But how to push out? How to animate the static portrait? Ford Madox Ford writes wonderfully about getting a character up and running - what he calls "getting a character in". Ford and his friend Joseph Conrad loved a sentence from a Guy de Maupassant story: "He was a gentleman with red whiskers who always went first through a doorway." Ford comments: "that gentleman is so sufficiently got in that you need no more of him to understand how he will act. He has been 'got in' and can get to work at once."
Ford is right. Very few brushstrokes are needed to get a portrait walking; and surely, as a corollary, the reader can get as much from small, short-lived, even rather flat characters as from large, "round", towering heroes and heroines. To my mind, Gurov, the adulterer in Anton Chekhov's "The Lady with the Little Dog", is as vivid, rich and sustaining as F Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby or Theodore Dreiser's Hurstwood, or even Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.