Characters are People Too

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

-Ernest Hemingway

Fiction is so fun to write. By fun, I really mean “freeing.” Although it’s only fiction, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I write about real people with real problems. Who wants to read about characters that always choose the best answer? There is no fun, I assure you, in that! I have written characters that don’t like carrots, are afraid of spiders and have bad hair days every once in a while. Have you ever read a really good book and then wondered about what all the people in the story did after you closed the cover? I like to imagine that they go on living; going to catch a movie or pick up coffee with their best friend. Realness must transcend the words on a page. Characters can’t remain untouchable. They must be experienced. Characters are meant to become our friends and teachers. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like really good characters are nearly eternal. Consider how the nameless characters that Jesus spoke of have out lived the parables of their day.


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