Quotes about Character

If you're writing about a character, if he's a powerful character, unless you give him vulnerability I don't think he'll be as interesting to the reader.
STAN LEE, interview, Mar. 13, 2006

There is a part of me in every character, naturally. That's why novelists rarely write good autobiographies. You start one and it becomes another novel.
JOHN DOS PASSOS, New York Times, Nov. 23, 1941

There are two kinds of characters in all fiction, the born and the synthetic. If the writer has to ask himself questions — is he tall, is he short? — he had better quit.
REX STOUT, The New York Times, Nov. 15, 1953

The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn't thought about. At that moment he's alive and you leave it to him.
GRAHAM GREENE, New York Times, Oct. 9, 1985

Fictional characters are made of words, not flesh; they do not have free will, they do not exercise volition. They are easily born, and as easily killed off.
JOHN BANVILLE, attributed, Irish Writers and Their Creative Process

The first act of insight is throw away the labels. In fiction, while we do not necessarily write about ourselves, we write out of ourselves, using ourselves; what we learn from, what we are sensitive to, what we feel strongly about--these become our characters and go to make our plots. Characters in fiction are conceived from within, and they have, accordingly, their own interior life; they are individuals every time.

I believe so. In its beginning, dialogue’s the easiest thing in the world to write when you have a good ear, which I think I have. But as it goes on, it’s the most difficult, because it has so many ways to function. Sometimes I needed to make a speech do three or four or five things at once—reveal what the character said but also what he thought he said, what he hid, what others were going to think he meant, and what they misunderstood, and so forth—all in his single speech. And the speech would have to keep the essence of this one character, his whole particular outlook in concentrated form. This isn’t to say I succeeded. But I guess it explains why dialogue gives me my greatest pleasure in writing.
EUDORA WELTY, The Paris Review, fall 1972

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