A character forms slowly. In the beginning you may think you know all the facts about a character – height, hair colour, whether they wear glasses, even shoe size – but then they will surprise you by saying something unexpected, or doing something you’d never considered. Eventually you realise that you know nothing about your character, and then, rather like the Cheshire Cat in reverse, they glimmer into real being.
Where does this creature come from? Some say they are universal, ‘out there’ waiting to be written down; others say they are emanations of our subconscious minds – whatever that means.
I know some characters that are much more real to me than you are – I can hear their thoughts, watch their nightmares and hold their hands when they are filled with regret or misery. The facts are almost immaterial. I never worry about shoe size, much. The character will tell me if I need to know.