Dynamic Characters

Front Cover
Writer's Digest Books, Jun 1, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 272 pages
2 Reviews

A truly unforgettable story is defined by its characters. Their motivations, their changes, their actions compel us to read on, anxiously trying to discern what will happen next.

In Dynamic Characters, award-winning author and Writer's Digest columnist Nancy Kress explores the fundamental relationship between characterization and plot, illustrating how vibrant, well-constructed characters act as the driving force behind an exceptional story.

Kress balances her writing instruction with hands-on checklists to help you build strong characters from the outside in. Blending physical, emotional and mental characterization, you'll learn to create characters that initiate exciting action, react to tense situations, make physical and emotional transformations, and power the plot from beginning to end.


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User Review  - bluetyson - LibraryThing

I ending up finding this because I was looking for sequels to her Probability series. No luck there, but I found this book. It was actually very readable, and filled with examples taken from a lot of ... Read full review

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The story can proceed from concept to character to plot. Trial and error techniques to improve characterization include their externalities, mind, and the actions of plot. A dossier makes character details understandable. Actions are motivated by deep urges. Consider how the setting affects the people. The process of character change involves preparation, pressure, realizations, and validation. There are three types of change, situation, reader perceptions and character. Destiny is the result of their thoughts, words and opinions which foreshadow the actions that make the plot and their character. Create strong visuals. Sometimes less is more. Change separates the main characters. Secondary characters have fewer dimensions and may solve some plot issues. Characters may be based on one or more real people whose traits can be evolved for the novel. Flesh out unusual characters or any resembling the author since the reader may have otherwise had a different interpretation. News and dreams can enhance character development. Characters may sometimes be more real because of distance and emotional dislikes. Unsympathetic characters are usually secondary for popular fiction, and protagonists for literary. A good villain could fill another book with their own story. Viewpoint connects character and plot. Theme or worldview may clarify a plot. Premade plots are the rise and fall, transformation, revenge, sacrifice, romance, competition, quest and chase. Desire had five plot forms, victory, defeat, pyrrhic victory, losing by winning and winning by losing.. Heinlein had a three-plot theory. Real-life events make good stories by adding motive and ordering conflicts. Fight scenes are surprising, plausible, accurate, detailed and necessary. There are twenty-five chapters. 


chapter seven
chapter four
chapter eleven
chapter thirteen
chapter fifteen

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About the author (2004)

Nancy Kress is an author who won Best Novella at the Nebula Awards 2014 for her title Yesterday's Kin.

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