Gentleness is strength under control. It is the ability to stay calm, no matter what happens.
Creating the characters is the most creative part of the novel except for the language itself. There I am, sitting in front of my computer in right-brain mode, typing the things that come to mind - which become the seeds of plot. It's scary, though, because I always wonder: Is it going to be there this time?
While I've written in the POV (point of view) of adolescent characters before... I never have had to create novels in which those characters not only drive the plot, but also are instrumental in resolving whatever issue the plot deals with.
I'm interested in the dark side of man. I'm interested in taboos, and murder is the greatest taboo. Characters are fascinating in their extremity, not in their happiness.
The English tradition offers the great tapestry novel, where you have the emotional aspect of a detective's personal life, the circumstances of the crime and, most important, the atmosphere of the English countryside that functions as another character.
I find it both fascinating and disconcerting when I discover yet another person who believes that writing can't be taught. Frankly, I don't understand this point of view.