Create People – Not characters

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

-Ernest Hemingway

I’m sitting in my writing space, with bookcases to my left, a lamp to my right and characters’ mutterings in my head. Only, I’m trying hard to create people and not characters…

It’s hard, especially when it comes to dialogue and I find it interesting that i’ve only just realised how hard dialogue is. Before, I thought it was one of the easiest things to write, but when I really started to think about it, it became of the trickiest parts. However, the constant switching between two sets of intentions is confusing and thrilling in equal measure. Well actually, a little more thrilling!

I’m sitting here with a glass of Baileys on ice and a log burner crackling away in the corner and all I’m thinking is ‘How do I make her real?’ I’ve remodelled her in every way in the last few weeks. I thought perhaps she was too confident for a female who had grown up in the 1800s, but no. I know she needs to be confident and kick-ass. She needs to be a strong female and she needs to be a match of another character. She just isn’t quite there yet….

So I guess I’ll keep remodelling her until I find whatever gem is hidden in the soul I’ve plucked out of thin air for her. She’s in there somewhere. After all, she’s a person; not a character.

2 thoughts on “Create People – Not characters

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  1. I read a writing book once that explained there’s no way for a writer to create the complexity of a living being… but you are to simulate one. I always remember that when writing… it means picking specific traits and sticking to them. ♥️ Great little post here

    Liked by 1 person

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