Quotes with characters
Once a novel gets going and I know it is viable, I don't then worry about plot or themes. These things will come in almost automatically because the characters are now pulling the story.
I think that I've always been attracted to characters who are positive and come from a very innocent place. I think there's a lot of room for discovery in these characters and that's something I always have fun playing.
Some comedians love their characters. I don't fall in love with mine. In fact, I get tired of them very fast. You have to be willing to throw it all away.
Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862)
The thing about the African-American community compared with the white community is, we are more concerned with image and message than execution. I don't play roles that are necessarily attractive or portray a positive image. They are well-rounded characters. When you squelch excellence to put out a message it's like passing the baton and seeing it drop.
History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription molders from the tablet: the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand; and their epitaphs, but characters written in the dust?
The Sketch Book
If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character -- the one whose view best brings the scene to life -- I'm able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what's going on, and I'm nowhere in sight.
The New York Times (July 16, 2001)
Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
From Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, as appeared in The New York Times (July 16, 2001)
Psychopaths... people who know the differences between right and wrong, but don't give a shit. That's what most of my characters are like.
Certain personalities are greater than mere physical beauty and more powerful than learning. Charm of personality is a divine gift that sways the strongest characters, and sometimes even controls the destinies of nations.
Pushing to the Front or, Success Under Difficulties (1894)
All people are paradoxical. No one is easily reducible, so I like characters who have contradictory impulses or shades of ambiguity. It's fun, and it's fun because it's hard.
There are interactions with characters within the game which I think are pretty neatly done considering the limitations that you have to work with. I mean, a computer can't really generate a character that talks back and forth with you successfully.
Talking about the game of Myst in an interview that originally was published in Spring 1997 issue of Talebones Magazine, downloaded from berserkerfan.org.