Characters are what drives good writing. You can have a wonderful plot, and do wonderful description, but if your characters don’t feel real, you don’t have a story.

Throughout the history of the 1632 Universe, it has been the characters who move the stories. From the start of 1632, it was the characters, not necessarily the action or the tech, weird or otherwise. We understand Mike Stearns and we can clearly see him. We understand Becky Abrabanel, and Melissa Mailey. We totally get the people of Grantville in the Croat Raid on the high school. We can see who Cardinal Richelieu is, as he strokes his kitten.

The growth of characters makes the story. Look at Bjorn Hasseler’s Edgar Neustatter. Through the stories in the Gazette, and then the novels about NESS, Neustatter grows and develops as a character with every appearance.

Dr. Gribbleflotz is another example of a character who started as a figure of fun and has now become a successful businessman and a real person who lives and breathes and can be hurt—by Stoner’s joke.

The characters of Mughal India are believable because Griffin Barber allowed them to inhabit his words. So are the characters of Shogunate Japan. So are the Native Americans in New Mexico, and in the former New England.

The point is, if you want us to buy your story, you need to have characters that live and breathe. Then you can walk them through the plot. Doing it in reverse just makes cardboard cutouts.

I could go on, but I think you get the message.

Tell me what you think!