Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint

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Writer's Digest Books, Mar 15, 1999 - Reference - 182 pages
7 Reviews
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:&break;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

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RodRaglin - LibraryThing

There's nothing new in books about writing fiction, only on how they're presented. Some are written by academics and you need to be one to understand them. Others are written by authors who use them ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Bruce_McNair - LibraryThing

This book concentrates on inventing and writing memorable characters and telling their stories from different viewpoints. It is part of Writer's Digest Elements of Fiction Writing series. Because of ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

INVENTING CHARACTERS
3
WHAT IS A CHARACTER?
4
WHAT MAKES A GOOD FICTIONAL CHARACTER?
14
WHERE DO CHARACTERS COME FROM?
25
MAKING DECISIONS
41
CONSTRUCTING CHARACTERS
47
WHAT KIND OF STORY ARE YOU TELLING?
48
THE HIERARCHY
59
THE SERIOUS CHARACTER MAKE US BELIEVE
105
TRANSFORMATIONS
119
PERFORMING CHARACTERS
125
VOICES
126
PRESENTATION VS REPRESENTATION
134
DRAMATIC VS NARRATIVE
140
FIRSTPERSON NARRATIVE
143
THIRD PERSON
155

HOW TO RAISE THE EMOTIONAL STAKES
68
WHAT SHOULD WE FEEL ABOUT THE CHARACTER?
75
THE HERO AND THE COMMON MAN
93
THE COMIC CHARACTER CONTROLLED DISBELIEF
99
A PRIVATE POPULATION EXPLOSION
173
INDEX
174
Copyright

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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.

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