It's all about the character

It's all about the character.

"What interests readers is not so much what happens, but who it happens to."

That's how Peter Rubie says it in How to Tell a Story.

And ain't it the truth.

Would Gone with the Wind be the same story without Scarlett O'Hara? Or Rhett Butler? Change either character and it becomes a different story.

What about Huckleberry Finn? Do you think the story would be the same with another character in the title role?

I've seen it so often in writing advice: the story grows out of the character.

But of course it does. The characters I write don't always go where I want them to either. That's how I know they're real. Whispering in my ear.