Creating Characters: How to Build Story People

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University of Oklahoma Press, Feb 1, 2008 - Reference - 195 pages
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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.

 

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Contents

TWOSEARCHING OUT YOUR CHARACTERS
5
THREE LABELS LABELS
15
POURFLESHING OUT
21
1
32
2
39
SEVENTHE BREATH OF LIFE
53
EIGHTBENT TWIGS
61
TENTHE ROLE OF ROLES
88
TWELVETHE RIGHT WORDS
128
THIRTEENTHE THINGS THEY SAY
137
FOURTEENVARIATIONS ON A THEME
146
FIFTEENTHE CHARACTER OUT OF TIME
157
SIXTEENTHE DYNAMICS OF DISBELIEF
169
SEVENTEENTHE SEARCH FOR ZEST
182
Index
189
Copyright

ELEVENTHE LIGHT TOUCH
108

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About the author (2008)

Dwight V. Swain spent a lifetime writing newspaper and magazine articles, pulp fiction, and screenplays. For more than twenty years he taught in the Professional Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma. His popular books, Techniques of the Selling Writer and Creating Characters: How to Build Story People are published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

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