"He's such a character," someone says. Well, aren't we all? Or are we? Some fictional characters seem to have stepped out of real life right into the book. They are made to order for an exciting story. The writer has only to change their name. Other people in real life are so dull they couldn't even make it into a newspaper story. How does a writer construct a character? Does she, like Laura Ingalls Wilder, develop sweet, charming characters out of three or four people in her life? Or like Carl Hiaasen, does she create bizarre characters that emerge from the Florida Everglades like alligators with a bad attitude? Characters drive the story. If a reader doesn't fall in love with them or find them creepy, or frightening, or funny, or thoroughly distasteful, he'll drop the book and log on to Facebook. Lots of characters there.