Tell Me Ishmael

So now that I've made a list of a hundred personality quirks of my own, I was wondering: do you think a writer would have to do the same for the major characters in his/her novel?

I don't know, but it sounds difficult, which is usually an indication that it's right.

Could some of you who are more well-read than me help settle this? Think of your favorite books: if pressed, could you list a hundred characteristics of the protagonist?

And if not, do you think the author could?

Does coming up with the magic #100 mean you finally know your characters well enough to write about them? Or do you start from nothing and learn about them while you write?

Any novelists out there, feel free to chime in too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yup. I think they would. The characters which spring to mind immediately for me are Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), Holden Caufield (Catcher in the Rye) and Bridget Jones (of Bridget Jones's Diary...which you know, is pretty much a list of a hundred quirky things).

As I sit here (thoughtfully strumming my chin), I think 50 would do. If you could list 50 defining characteristics of your main characters, I think you'd have it covered pretty much. 'course there's nothing that says you shouldn't borrow from your OWN list of quirks, right? Is that what they're always saying? Write what you know?

xo Wee