John Green on creating characters for novels and written stories

Here’s the thing:

Characters we write in novels are different than characters in movies because novel characters are made out of words instead of images. There’s a difference. Characters from books may be one day brought to life on the big screen, but writers shouldn’t write their characters thinking about that. Characters need to be developed through text while the image of the characters should somewhat be left to the imagination.

John Green, everybody.

Misprinted Pages

John GreenJohn Green talked today about how to create characters in novels and other text-based forms of storytelling … while playing Fifa Soccer 11, which probably doesn’t have very deep characters.

But his reasons for playing make sense. Fifa is a video game, which is largely a visual medium. The author of The Fault in Our Stars said that what’s often forgotten about character creation is that characters in stories are made out of text, not images. “When I first read Harry Potter, I didn’t think of the physicality of Harry Potter. That wasn’t as central to his character as his interior life and my own feelings and connection to his interior life.”

He added, “First-time readers of Harry Potter are able to read that story without thinking of Daniel Radcliffe or even picturing anyone specific.”

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