Both Lillian Li and Cristine Sneed offer advice on writing characters in their Glimmer Train Bulletin #100 craft essays. The GT Bulletin allows writers published in Glimmer Train Stories to offer their advice to other writers in short essays availble free monthly.
Li’s essay “I Want You Bad: Can Nice People Make for Good Characters?” shares advice she’s received – and broken away from – about creating ‘interesting’ characters without navel gazing: “I’ve started creating characters first, without wondering how they’ll benefit the pace of the story. I write the characters I want, and because I want them around, I also want to get to know them.”
Sneed’s essay “What a Character! Incorporating a Living Person into a Work of Fiction” explores that very complicated issue, sharing the one – and only time – she included a real life friend as a character in her writing.
Also included in the May 2015 GT Bulletin is Courtney Sender’s essay “Narrative Arc in the Novel,” rounding out a great installment of craft essays to guide writers in their work.