Steal From Real Life

31 Jul

this was supposed to be a picture that cleverly highlighted my point, but unfortunately something went terribly, terribly wrongWhat is it that people do all of the time? (that is when they aren’t sitting at home, hopefully reading your books,) do they moulder, dreaming of adventure? Do they write a shopping list while trying to brush their teeth? Do they organize their books according to the gender — and possibly the espoused state of their — author?

The real world is often quirkier than we can manage to communicate in only two dimensions. As a result our characters can have an aura of unreality that readers find discomfiting. The best authors make an effort to choose salient but still relatively common features to accentuate in their characters, making them unique but also recognizable and relatable. Dickens did this wonderfully (whatever his other faults;) lots of people have crazy aunts, feel like mistreated children or have someone that gives them the — totally inexplicable — creeps. We can recognize Dicken’s characters, and they’re very real, but no one can deny they they are very much his characters. Zaphodora


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