On Character

My friend (and literary agent) Eric Simonoff once told me this story about one of his clients: this writer was on an extended book tour, enjoying the readings and persevering through the time spent trudging through airports and alone in hotel rooms. Writers know that on such a tour you must always travel with a fat novel or two. So in one anonymous hotel room, this writer settled in for a bout of reading with a deliciously thick novel by Anthony Trollope, the 19th century British author famous for his deft handling of characters through multi-book sagas. The protagonist of our story turned to the first page of this book, which is a late instalment in one of these series (I’m being purposefully vague here). He read the first line, in which Trollope bluntly informs the reader that one of the most prominent characters—until now developed in fine detail over several books—has died. The writer threw the book across the room. He couldn’t bring himself to read on for weeks afterwards.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.granthika.co/on-character/