Character in real life matters a lot, but it also matters in fiction. Character creation, portrayal, description and expression are all meaningful. The nature of the art form being used influences the manner is which character can be known, perceived, understood etc..
We all know some real life characters and some fictional ones. There are also ones we may be overly or insufficiently sure of – mythical figures, gods, heroes, heroines and so on.
Where do we find fictional characters? Books, adventure games, plays, TV shows, movies, the comics and all too often at the office. OK, that last one was a bit cynical, but that’s how it goes.
Recently the big fiction characters in my own life have been the ones for a science fiction novel series that I’m now writing the second novel of for the series and a group of characters used in some Dungeons and Dragons gaming. Yes, I do that even though I am an adult. There was about a decade when I did not but my son likes it – he is imaginative and likes it. He plays online versions way more than I ever did or do, and we both play real time group and have played ‘traditional in person’ style. He likes to create characters. While we don’t deal with it all the same way, we both like creating and using characters in fictional settings. This goes beyond mere observation. I view reading as being between mere observation and the type of enactment and portrayal of stage actors. Movies and TV are a little different because in some ways they work like stage theatre but in other respects they really don’t.