Posted by Jeff Markowitz on Thursday, October 20, 2011
Last night, at the Somerville Library, I was discussing how to develop
fictional characters that readers will care about and I was reminded of
this scene from the Woody Allen movie, Sleeper.
you have here... I diagnosed the entire situation, and I think what
we've got, what we're dealing with basically is a nose. I think we're
all in aggreance on that. I have the little beggar right here. And
what you want basically is a whole entire person connected to that nose,
right? Otherwise, you'd get your money back." (Woody Allen, in
And that, basically, is how I create fictional
characters. I start with a nose and using that nose, I create a whole
person, I "clone the patient directly into his suit."
it's not always a nose. With Mr. Garibaldi, the attorney of record for
the Sand Skeeter Baseball Club, it was his feet. It might be a
nickname (Detective Eddie "Eggs" Bebedict) or a growl (Greta, the
waitress with Tourette's). I start with one small thing that I know
about the character and I build out from there until I have a fully
formed human being.
Folks tell me that my blog address is cumbersome, that it's hard to spell and even harder to remember. They may very well be right. Although it's derived from the title of my first mystery, even I can recognize that it's not a user-friendly address. So this page will contain selected entries from that blog. Each entry will include a link back to the original post. Use the link to read comments about the post and to add your own.