Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning author

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Overview

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 imagination.

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...

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Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters and Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning Author (PagePerfect NOOK Book)

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Overview

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 imagination.

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.

You'll learn how to:

Draw characters from a variety of sources

Make characters show who they are by the things they do and say, and by their individual "style"

Develop characters readers will love-or love to hate

Distinguish among major characters, minor characters, and walk-ons, and develop each appropriately

Choose the most effective viewpoint to reveal the characters and move the storytelling

Decide how deeply you should explore your characters' thoughts, emotions, and attitudes

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599632124
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 1/18/2011
  • Series: Elements of Fiction Writing Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 210,918
  • Product dimensions: 8.76 (w) x 5.98 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I Inventing Characters 4

Chapter 1 What is a Character? 5

A Character Is What He Does

Motive

The Past

Reputation

Stereotypes

Network

Habits and Patterns

Talents and Abilities

Tastes and Preferences

Body

Chapter 2 What Makes a Good Fictional Character? 19

The Three Questions Readers Ask

You Are the First Audience

Interrogating the Character

From Character to Story, From Story to Character

Chapter 3 Where Do Characters Come From? 32

Ideas From Life

Ideas From the Story

Servants of the Idea

Serendipity

Chapter 4 Making Decisions 54

Names

Keeping a Bible

Part II Constructing Characters 61

Chapter 5 What Kind of Story Are You Telling? 62

The "Mice" Quotient

Milieu

Idea

Character

Event

The Contract With the Reader

Chapter 6 The Hierarchy 76

Walk-Ons and Placeholders

Minor Characters

Major Characters

Chapter 7 How to Raise the Emotional Stakes 87

Suffering

Sacrifice

Jeopardy

Sexual Tension

Signs and Portents

Chapter 8 What Should We Feel About the Character? 96

First Impressions

Characters We Love

Characters We Hate

Chapter 9 The Hero and the Common Man 120

Chapter 10 The Comic Character: Controlled Disbelief 129

Doing a "Take"

Exaggeration

Downplaying

Oddness

Chapter 11 The Serious Character: Make Us Believe 137

Elaboration of Motive

Attitude

The Remembered Past

The Implied Past

Justification

Chapter 12 Transformations 156

Why People Change

Justifying Changes

Part III Performing Characters 163

Chapter 13 Voices 164

Person

Tense

Chapter 14 Presentation Vs. Representation 174

Chapter 15 Dramatic Vs. Narrative 182

Chapter 16 First-Person Narrative 186

Which Person Is First?

No Fourth Wall

Unreliable Narrators

Distance in Time

Withholding Information

Lapses

Chapter 17 Third Person 202

Omniscient Vs. Limited Point of View

Making Up Your Mind

Levels of Penetration

Chapter 18 A Private Population Explosion 226

Index 228

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2015

    Well-written by a great science fiction writer. Very useful for

    Well-written by a great science fiction writer. Very useful for other science fiction writers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 13, 2014

    A very good text for Character Development, from an experienced

    A very good text for Character Development, from an experienced fiction writer. Great for the beginner, or accomplished writer reviewing the basics. It covers what is necessary for good fictional novel writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Great

    Best+source+of+info+short+of+a+teacher+and+textbook.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good. Full of info.

    An easy reading book. It's full of great material. I read it twice.

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    Posted September 13, 2013

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    Posted May 9, 2011

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    Posted April 11, 2011

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    Posted November 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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