A friend and I were talking about our writing the other day and realized we were talking about our characters as if they were our mutual friends or even our… BOYFRIENDS. It seems falling in love with your characters is an occupational hazard when you write romance…
I know many authors have similar sentiment with their own work and, just to prove the point, I looked up a few of my favorites to see what they said about the bond between an author and their characters. Here are a few quotes for you to read at your leisure:
If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.
– Richard Bach.
You can have a very intense relationship with fictional characters because they are in your own head.
– J. K. Rowling.
Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.
– Mel Brooks.
It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.
– William Faulkner.
I rarely base any characters on real people. It’s much more fun to make stuff up. Plus I feel like I get to know the person that much better if I am creating them from the ground up.
– Sarah Dessen.
Of course, there are those authors who have a love-hate relationship with their characters.
If I were invited to a dinner party with my characters, I wouldn’t show up.
– Dr Seuss.
I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
– Stephen King.
But I’ll leave you with this gem, which I think sums up how I feel about characterisation:
When writing a novel, a writers should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.
– Ernest Hemingway.