I recently spoke at the excellent First Fridays writing series in Leesburg, Virginia, sponsored by The Writer’s Center. My topic was how to make that big move from writing short stories to writing novels, one of my favorite problems to ponder.
Attendee—and friend!—Karolina Gajdeczka was kind enough to post a summary of my remarks on the Potomac Review blog. Clearly she takes AMAZING notes, as some of this is virtually word-for-word:
Characters: Characters should all mean something in a novel, and should have depth so they are capable of something surprising. Ideally, characters in a novel need to act, and preferably act poorly, so their actions lead to more and more complicated circumstances and more desperation. What do the characters want? Externally and internally?