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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Thirteen

Unearthing Your Character

Drilling Down to the Core Personality

Jeff Gerke

Are you just like anyone else? I mean just like, as in no one, including your mother, could tell you apart from the other person?

I’m guessing not. Even identical twins are different from one another—though on the genetic level they are technically clones. The closer you look the more differences emerge. No two people are identical.

So why do we see novels peopled with identical characters? Why is there so little variation or even creativity among characters in so many novels?

Oh, sure, the characters in these novels might be different on the surface. One is male, and the other is female. One is old, and the other is young. One is Asian, and the other ...

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