You can be interested in a Jane Smiley novel whether or not anyone says a word. She enters into her characters thoughts with great understanding and depth.
I have to have a character worth caring about. I tend not to start writing books about people I don't have a lot of sympathy for because I'm just going to be with them too long.
It's possible to overlook character flaws of in-laws for the simple reason that you feel neither responsible for them nor genetically implicated.
A lot of my characters in all of my books have a self-destructive urge. They'll do precisely the thing that they know is wrong, take a perverse delight in doing the wrong thing.
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