Thursday, March 29, 2012

Creating Realistic Characters in Fiction

Writing fiction is never an easy task because it requires the author to crawl inside the minds of a very diverse group of characters. No writer would put a real person inside a novel, for what would be the point in doing this. We do, however, draw clues from the people we know that helps us understand humanity a little better. While the sadness a friend encounters after losing a loved one will not appear in a book, the experience makes us more aware of what personal loss involves. Our books become richer, more realistic, and in various ways, more helpful to readers who might be going through a personal crisis.

The most difficult characters to create are the ones who commit senseless crimes. A writer friend of mine attempted to probe inside the mind of an inmate who had killed several people in a decade long crime spree. He came away without any additional understanding of the situation, and a feeling that the prisoner did not really understand it himself. One thing that makes it so hard to probe the mind of these people is the fact that they are so skilled at concealing who they really are. People are dangerous, complex, and often loveable. This is the thing that makes fiction so appealing to all of us. Thank you for your visit and happy reading.

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