Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be made This book is a set of tools: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your imagination. Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoint in novels and short stories. With specific examples, he spells out your narrative options—the choices you'll make in creating fictional people so "real" that readers will feel they know them like members of their own families. You'll learn how to: Draw characters from a variety of sources Make characters show who they are by the things they do and say, and by their individual "style" Develop characters readers will love—or love to hate Distinguish among major characters, minor characters and walk-ons, and develop each appropriately Choose the most effective viewpoint to reveal the characters and move the storytelling Decide how deeply you should explore your characters' thoughts, emotions, and attitudes
"There are ways to create, fix, steer and discover plots—ways which, over a writing life, you'd eventually puzzle out for yourself," writes Ansen Dibell. "They aren't laws. They're an array of choices, things to try, once you've put a name to the particular problem you're facing now." That's what this book is about: identifying those choices (whose viewpoint? stop and explain now, or wait? how can this lead to that?), then learning what narrative problems they are apt to create and how to choose an effective strategy for solving them. The result? Strong, solid stories and novels that move. Inside you'll discover how to: test a story idea (using four simple questions) to see if it works convince your reader that not only is something happening, but that something's going to happen and it all matters intensely handle viewpoint shifts, flashbacks, and other radical jumps in your storyline weave plots with subplots get ready for and write your Big Scenes balance scene and summary narration to produce good pacing handle the extremes of melodrama by "faking out" your readers—making them watch your right hand while your left hand is doing something sneaky form subtle patterns with mirror characters and echoing incidents choose the best type of ending—linear or circular, happy or downbeat, or (with caution!) a trick ending Whether your fiction is short or long, subtle or direct, you'll learn to build strong plots that drive compelling, unforgettable stories your readers will love.
Author: Orson Scott Card
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Characters and characteristics in literature
Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be madeThis book is a set of tools: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your imagination.Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoint in novels and short stories. With specific examples, he spells out your narrative options-the choices you'll make in creating fictional people so "real" that readers will feel they know them like mem.
Author: Rachel Ballon
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books
Release Date: 2009-03-01
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Create Convincing Characters That Readers—and Editors—Can't Resist! It's the question that eternally plagues all good writers: How can you describe the thoughts and feelings of characters who have backgrounds or psychological aberrations with which you have no personal experience? How can you describe the feelings of a drug addict if you've never been one? How can you write about being a prisoner if you've never been to jail? You can do all the research you want, but the question still remains: How do you convincingly portray characters if you've never lived in their skin? In Breathing Life Into Your Characters, writing consultant and professional psychotherapist Rachel Ballon, Ph. D., shows you how to get in touch with the thoughts and feelings necessary to truly understand your characters—no matter what their background or life experiences. She'll show you how to: Develop a psychological profile for every character Turn archetypes into conflicted characters Think like a criminal to convincingly write one Reveal personalities through the use of nonverbal communication In addition, you'll learn how to effectively use Ballon's "Method Writing" system—taught previously only in her writing workshops—to explore your own feelings, memories, and emotions to create characters of astonishing depth and complexity!
Every Character Has a Voice Point of view isn't just an element of storytelling–when chosen carefully and employed consistently in a work of fiction, it is the foundation of a captivating story. It's the character voice you can hear as clearly as your own. It's the unique worldview that intrigues readers–persuading them to empathize with your characters and invest in their tale. It's the masterful concealing and revealing of detail that keeps pages turning and plots fresh. It's the hidden agenda that makes narrators complicated and compelling. It's also something most writers struggle to understand. In The Power of Point of View, RITA Award-winning author Alicia Rasley first teaches you the fundamentals of point of view (POV)–who is speaking, why, and what options work best within the conventions of your chosen genre. Then, she takes you deeper to explain how POV functions as a crucial piece of your story–something that ultimately shapes and drives character, plot, and every other component of your fiction. Through comprehensive instruction and engaging exercises, you'll learn how to: choose a point of view that enhances your characters and plots and encourages reader involvement navigate the levels of a character's point of view, from objective viewing to action to emotion craft unusual perspectives, including children, animal narrators, and villains A story changes depending on who's telling it, and The Power of Point of View will help you determine which of your characters can make your story come to life.
Author: Dwight V. Swain
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 2012-11-28
A jargon-free manual on the basics of developing interesting fictional characters Vibrant, believable characters help drive a fictional story. Along with a clever plot, well-drawn characters make us want to continue reading a novel or finish watching a movie. In Creating Characters, Dwight V. Swain shows how writers can invent interesting characters and improve them so that they move a story along. “The core of character,” he says in chapter 1, “lies in each individual story person’s ability to care about something; to feel implicitly or explicitly, that something is important.” Building on that foundation—the capacity to care—Swain takes the would-be writer step-by-step through the fundamentals of finding and developing “characters who turn you on.” This basic but thought-provoking how-to is a valuable tool for both the novice and the seasoned writer.
Craft an otherworldly experience for your readers! Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions on world building, character creation, and storytelling in the many styles and possibilities available to writers of speculative fiction. You'll discover: How to build, populate, and dramatize fantastic new worlds. How to develop dynamic and meaningful themes that will expand the cannon of sci-fi and fantasy storytelling. Exciting subgenres such as steampunk, as well as new developments in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. How to imbue your tales with historically accurate information about world cultures, legends, folklore, and religions. Detailed descriptions of magic rituals, fantastic weapons of war, clothing and armor, and otherworldly beasts such as orcs, giants, elves, and more. How societies, villages, and castles were constructed and operate on a day-to-day basis. The astounding methods of interstellar travel, the rules of starflight, and the realities and myths of scientific exploration. How to generate new ideas and graft them to the most popular themes and plot devices in sci-fi and fantasy writing. The boundaries of your imagination are infinite, but to create credible and thrilling fiction, you must ground your stories in rules, facts, and accurate ideas. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction will guide you through the complex and compelling universe of fantasy and science fiction writing and help you unleash your stories on the next generation of readers and fans.
Writing a novel can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. No matter where you are with your writing project--beginning the first draft, rewriting the fifth draft, or editing the final draft--help is available. The Magic of Fiction is a comprehensive guide for crafting fiction. It's the perfect resource for writers planning to self-publish, authors looking for an edge for manuscript submissions, and editors looking for a handbook on craft. Students and educators will also benefit, with details about the crafts of writing and editing available in a single book.Whether you intend to self-publish or submit your manuscript to agents or publishers, use The Magic of Fiction to master the ins and outs of writing and revision, create stronger early drafts, and edit your own stories.This guide addresses all aspects of editing and writing, from the mechanics to story issues to style concerns. In it you'll find--~ A comprehensive editing checklist~ Fixes for common writing mistakes~ Specifics for punctuation in dialogue~ Tips for putting setting to work for your fiction~ Suggestions for editing for the reader~ Help for writing to genre conventions~ Tips for word choices~ A guide for editing approaches and much more.Every fiction writer should be equipped to not only write well, but to rewrite and edit. There are books designed to help you write a novel, books to help you revise, and books to help you with the nitty-gritty of punctuation and grammar. The Magic of Fiction brings all those elements together in a single easy-to-digest resource for the writer looking for an edge in today's literary marketplace.The format of The Magic of Fiction helps you focus on what you need when you need it. Chapters provide detailed discussions of topics and end with "quick lists" to help you get straight to work on your own stories.Written by freelance fiction editor Beth Hill, The Magic of Fiction will help you produce high-quality fiction that will earn attention for all the right reasons.
Author: Philip Athans
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2010-06-18
Science fiction and fantasy is one of the most challenging--and rewarding!--genres in the bookstore. But with New York Times bestselling author Philip Athans and fantasy giant R. A. Salvatore at your side, you’ll create worlds that draw your readers in--and keep them reading! Just as important, you’ll learn how to prepare your work for today’s market. Drawing on his years of experience as one of the most acclaimed professionals in publishing, Wizards of the Coast editor Athans explains how to set your novel apart--and break into this lucrative field. From devising clever plots and building complex characters to inventing original technologies and crafting alien civilizations, Athans gives you the techniques you need to write strong, saleable narratives. Plus! Athans applies all of these critical lessons together in an unprecedented deconstruction of a never-before-published tale by the one and only R. A. Salvatore! There are books on writing science fiction and fantasy, and then there’s this book--the only one you need to create strange, wonderful worlds for your own universe of readers!