10 Things: Quotes on Character Development

Hey there!

One of our most important jobs as fiction writers is to create believable, relatable characters. Characters that help our readers grow through the various stages of their lives. Sometimes, however, our creativity can get a little drained when we’ve been staring at a computer screen for hours trying to fabricate an imaginary life. When that happens, it’s helpful to get a little outside inspiration to fuel your dreams. Here are ten quotes from some fantastic writers that might just encourage you to write your next page-turner.

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it [is] to be God.”

-Sidney Sheldon

“If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.”

– David Brin

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”

-Ray Bradbury

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.”

-Willa Cather

(I found Cather’s quote interesting because its pretty true that by fifteen most individuals have some pretty cemented beliefs about humanity. The beliefs influence our writing as we go throughout our lives, so I think this quote is actually quite brilliant!)

“Begin with an individual, and before you know it you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find you have created – nothing.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald ❤

“Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up.”

-Nancy Kress

(I personally believe this to be true – after all, the best protagonists are broken in some way.)

7.) “All the information you need can be given in dialogue.”

-Elmore Leonard

“Over the years I have forged intimate familial ties with these characters, who are reflections of a portion of myself. Consequently, even a character who appeared only once in a short story waits now in the wings, concealed by the curtain, for his next appearance on-stage. Not one of them has ever broken free of his familial ties with me and disappeared for ever – at least, not within the confines of my heart.”

― Shūsaku Endō, The Final Martyrs

“Clever’s not enough to hold me – I want characters who are more than devices to be moved about for Effect.”

-Laura Anne Gilman

“’There are three types of actions: purposeful, habitual, and gratuitous. Characters, to be immediate and apprehensible, must be presented by all three.’”

-Samuel R. Delany, Nova

Also, the customary bonus quote:

“You will only thrive when you are allowed to be what you are.”

-Chris Dee, Cattitude

And this one was just too good to pass up:

“Characterization is an accident that flows out of action and dialogue.”

Jack Woodford

I hope that these quotes help propel you through your writing process, or at the very least serve to inspire you a little more toward your dreams.

And always,

Go forward!

Be strong.

God bless,


Works Cited

Goodreads.com. Quotes About Characterization. 7 12 2016 <www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/characterization>.

Writer’s Digest. Inspirational Writing Quotes from Famous Authors. 6 12 2016 <www.writersdigest.com/writing-quotes>.



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