Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint

Front Cover
F+W Media, Mar 15, 1999 - Reference - 182 pages
Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be made.

&break;&break;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 memory, your imagination and your soul.

&break;&break;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.

&break;&break;You'll learn how to:

  • draw the characters from a variety of sources, including a story's basic idea, real life–even a character's social circumstances&break;
  • make characters show who they are by the things they do and say, and by their individual "style"&break;
  • develop characters readers will love–or love to hate&break;
  • distinguish among major characters, minor characters and walk-ons, and develop each one appropriately&break;
  • choose the most effective viewpoint to reveal the characters and move the storytelling&break;
  • decide how deeply you should explore your characters' thoughts, emotions and attitudes

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VincentDarlage - LibraryThing

I think this book is an excellent resource to have for an aspiring author. I'm keeping it on my writing desk for future reference. It was filled with a lot of useful tips and wonderful illustrations of the points Mr. Card makes. It's an actionable resource. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CharityBradford - LibraryThing

This was really helpful for me. I was able to take a new look at my characters and see where I needed to fill them out and also see that some of my characters really didn't need any more attention. This book will be helpful for creating and developing characters in any genre of writing. Read full review



9 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Orson Scott Byron Walley Card, was born in 1951 and studied theater at Brigham Young University. He received his B.A. in 1975 and his M.A. in English in 1981. He wrote plays during that time, including Stone Tables (1973) and the musical, Father, Mother, Mother and Mom (1974). A Mormon, Scott served a two-year mission in Brazil before starting work as a journalist in Utah. He also designed games at Lucas Film Games, 1989-92. He is best known for his science fiction novels, including the popular Ender series. Well known titles include A Planet Called Treason (1979), Treasure Box (1996), and Heartfire (1998). He has also written the guide called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (1990). His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead, both won Hugo and Nebula awards, making Card the only author to win both prizes in consecutive years. His titles Shadows in Flight, Ruins and Ender's Game made The New York Times Best Seller List. He is also the author of The First Formic War Series, which includes the titles Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, and Earth Awakens.

Bibliographic information