Making (up) friends | Ingrid Jonach
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Making (up) friends

Judy Horacek

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 — in the case of Tom from my upcoming young adult novel When the World was Flat (and we were in love)!

I know many authors have similar sentiment with their own work and just to prove the point I looked up a few of my favourite authors to see what they said about the bond between themselves 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 will leave you with this gem, which I think sums up how I feel about characterization:

When writing a novel, a writers should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.
– Ernest Hemmingway.

Oh, and my favourite artwork from cartoonist, artist, writer and children’s book creator Judy Horacek (below).

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. AE Rought #

    I love book people! Heck I still feel guilt for what I did to my book people n BROKEN.

    July 30, 2012
    • Ingrid Jonach #

      No! I am already in love with your characters just from the blurb. PLEASE tell me they live happily ever after! *crosses fingers*

      July 31, 2012
      • AE Rought #

        Well, now that you have the file you can see how Emma’s story ends. ^_^ I’m dying to hear what you think!!

        August 11, 2012
  2. Jen #

    Oh my goodness, it makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only nutcase doing that! Love the William Faulkner quote- for me that sums it up!

    July 31, 2012
  3. Treb #

    Now think about what King said, but with a Brooks perspective. All the villians are there in the author’s psyche too. Pure creepy.

    July 31, 2012
    • Ingrid Jonach #

      Very true Treb! We should keep that quiet – otherwise I know a few authors that might get themselves locked up!

      August 1, 2012

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