“No,” Isla said. “You need to write characters that are – not nice -“

“But I don’t want to . . . I want my characters to be . . . people that are liked . . .”

“What you’re really saying is that you don’t want readers to think you are capable of knowing there is badness in people!”

“Oh!  That’s not fair!  I’m only young.  I haven’t had time to meet bad people . . .”

“Yet!  Except – I don’t believe that for a minute!  What about Rob Roy at school?  He should have been called Robber Roy!  If he was in this workshop now . . .”

“Oh, he only borrowed my eraser that time . . .”

“And rubbed out all my homework so that Miss Gubbins thought I hadn’t done it!”

“Hmm.  But that wouldn’t happen these days, now that we’re using our darn phones for every single thing . . .

“I wouldn’t put it past Robber Roy to have figured that angle already!” said Isla.  “But, look, you can’t just create cosy characters when we’re working with titles like ‘Valkyrie’!”

“Oh – I never wanted to come here in the first place, but you made me!”

“That’s the spirit!  What would Valkyrie Valerie make someone like me do, if I was a warrior against Robber Roy in a battle?”

“Oh, you’re making things too difficult!

“Yes!  Now you’re getting it!  He makes things too difficult!  Valkyrie Valerie thinks I’m a bad lot!  Off with my head!  Or would that be Queen Guinevere?. . . the point is – how to avoid a weak ending?  Everything we do seems to lead to that . . .