Ahh, creating characters for your story. It’s my favorite part of the writing process. Figuring out what makes them tick, and their thought process, is what will drive your story forward. As the writer, you should know things about your characters that may not be revealed in the story. You must live with the characters you have conjured up; spy on them, and be sympathetic to their flaws. Even if no one else is. Below is a list of insightful quotes on character creation from writers, editors and agents.
You must learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader. — Nancy Kress, quote from the book Write Great Fiction – Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint
Let’s face it, characters are the bedrock of your fiction. Plot is just a series of actions that happen in a sequence, and without someone to either perpetrate or suffer the consequences of those actions, you have no one for your reader to root for, or wish bad things on. — Icy Sedgwick, quote from He was a man of good character
Even if you find the bad guy generally repulsive, you need to be able to put yourself so thoroughly into his shoes while you’re writing him that, just for those moments, you almost believe his slant yourself. — K.M. Weiland, quote from Maybe Your Bad Guy Is RIGHT
Great fiction is fueled by bad decisions and human weakness. — Kristen Lamb, quote from Great Characters–The Beating Heart of Great Fiction
The “difficult” female character can—and will—do the shocking, the unexpected and, as a consequence, will give your story an immediate jolt of energy. She is the character who doesn’t fit the mold. — Ruth Harris, quote from 5 Ways “Difficult” Women Can Energize Your Writing and Make Your Fiction Memorable
Readers understand intuitively that people are not what they seem. —Jan O’Hara, quote from All Hail Dilemmas: Why Your Characters Need to Make Tough Choices
Characterization requires a constant back-and-forth between the exterior events of the story and the inner life of the character. —David Corbett, quote from The Art of Character: The Five Cornerstones of Dramatic Characterization
The one common thread in all of the books that are falling apart on my shelf? Characters—flawed ones with desires and needs who spend most of the story tripping over their weaknesses in an effort to get what they want. — Becca Puglisi, quote from Getting to the Core of Character Motivation
Complexity is an indispensable ingredient of life, and so it ought to be with the characters we create in our stories. —Stavros Halvatzis, quote from How Paradoxes Deepen Character
Be clear on every character’s agenda in a scene, and the agendas in conflict. Before you write take just a moment to jot down what each character in the scene wants, even if (as Kurt Vonnegut once said) it is only a glass of water.
— James Scott Bell, quote from the book How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript (aff.)