Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction

Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction

Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction

Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction


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Create characters that leap off the page—and into readers' hearts!

Populating your fiction with authentic, vivid characters is a surefire way to captivate your readers from the first sentence to the last. Whether you're writing a series, novel, short story, or flash fiction, Creating Characters is an invaluable guide to bringing your fictional cast to life.

This book is a comprehensive reference to every stage of character development. You'll find timely advice and helpful instruction from best-selling authors like Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Sims, Orson Scott Card, Chuck Wendig, Hallie Ephron, Donald Maass, and James Scott Bell. They'll show you how to:

 • Effectively introduce your characters
 • Build a believable protagonist
 • Develop strong anti-hero's and compelling villains
 • Juggle multiple points of view without missing a beat
 • Craft authentic dialogue that propels the story forward
 • Motivate your characters with powerful objectives and a believable conflict
 • Show dynamic character development over the course of a story
No matter what your genre, Creating Characters gives you the tools necessary to create realistic, fascinating characters that your readers will root for and remember long after they've finished the story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599638768
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Series: Creative Writing Essentials
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 158,243
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vi

Introduction 1

Part I Getting Started

Chapter 1 25 Things You Should Know About Character Chuck Wendig 4

Chapter 2 Character Concerting Joseph Bates 12

Chapter 3 Choose a Name Wisely Nancy Kress 16

Chapter 4 Name-Dropping Elizabeth Sims 21

Chapter 5 Introducing Your Character for the First Time Jeff Gerke 29

Part II Point of View

Chapter 6 Whose Emotions are We Sharing? Nancy Kress 33

Chapter 7 What POV Communicates About Your Story Alicia Rasley 45

Chapter 8 Dealing with Multiple Points of View Jordan E. Rosenfeld 60

Part III Dialogue

Chapter 9 Writing Dialogue Hallie Ephron 69

Chapter 10 Dialogue That Propels the Story Forward Gloria Kempton 75

Chapter 11 Using Profanity and Other Raw Talk In Your Fiction Elizabeth Sims 90

Chapter 12 The UHS, Ands, and ERS of Dialogue Gloria Kempton 96

Part IV Protagonists

Chapter 13 The Hero and the Common Man Orson Scott Card 107

Chapter 14 From Zero to Hero Dawn Wilson 116

Chapter 15 How to Challenge Your Protagonist Larry Brooks 120

Chapter 16 Relate to Readers with a Lead Character James Scott Bell 125

Part V Antagonists

Chapter 17 Creating an Anti-Hero Jessica Page Morrell 141

Chapter 18 The Three-Dimensional Villain Donald Maass 158

Chapter 19 AMP Up Your Antagonists Laura DiSilverio 163

Chapter 20 Sympathy for the Devil Jessica Page Morrell 170

Part VI Supporting Characters

Chapter 21 Developing Your Supporting Cast Joseph Bates 189

Chapter 22 The Character Hierarchy Orson Scott Card 193

Chapter 23 Crafting Effective Supporting Characters Hallie Ephron 205

Part VII Conflict

Chapter 24 A Character's Emotional Thread Jordan E. Rosenfeld 211

Chapter 25 Push Your Character to the Limits David Corbett 218

Chapter 26 Character Objective and Conflict Mary Kole 227

Chapter 27 Coping with Conflict Rachel Ballon 240

Part VIII Motivations & Relationships

Chapter 28 Motivation and Realism Cheryl St. John 257

Chapter 29 Showing Change In Your Characters Nancy Kress 266

Chapter 30 Romantic Relationships Victoria Lynn Schmidt 276

Part IX Character Arcs

Chapter 31 Creating a Character Arc Joseph Bates 287

Chapter 32 The Arc Within Plot James Scott Bell 291

Chapter 33 The Knot Jeff Gerke 301

Chapter 34 The Moment of Truth Jeff Gerke 308

Chapter 35 Revising for Strong Character Jack Smith 318

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