The merits of fictional characters

The first in a series on characterization…

Write about what?


Having seen discussion boards in which people spend time arguing about the merits of fictional characters, I would assume that a number of readers prefer these imaginary people to real ones. Fictional characters may be braver, more beautiful, or have greater ingenuity than real people so it is easier to become attached to them. But the real advantage is they don’t talk back and readers can imagine them however they desire. But, the same is not true for the people who create the stories. I can attest to a number of times that authors have related incidents in which characters they have created refuse to behave in the manner that the author envisions.

Characters live in the author’s heads, sometimes ignore their directives and even argue with them as the author tries to capture them with words. These finite words are the only way that reading audience may become acquainted…

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