Today I read Looking for Alaska, another beautiful book by John Green. His characters are richly, unexpectedly specific. He takes his time with them and isn’t afraid to get tangential. Takumi, the Japanese boarding student who raps. Alaska, the girl who loves sex and collects books at yard sales. Miles, who had no friends and spent his life memorizing the last words of famous people. The Colonel, dirt poor and insanely smart, who has memorized, first, all the capitols of all the countries of the world, and then all of their populations. I learn: you don’t need as many details as you think to bring a character vividly to life.