Getting into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors

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Overview

Proven techniques for creating vivid, believable characters

Want to bring characters to life on the page as vividly as fine actors do on the stage or screen? Getting into Character will give you a whole new way of thinking about your writing. Drawing on the Method acting theory that theater professionals have used for decades, this in-depth guide explains seven characterization techniques and adapts them for the novelist's use.

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Overview

Proven techniques for creating vivid, believable characters

Want to bring characters to life on the page as vividly as fine actors do on the stage or screen? Getting into Character will give you a whole new way of thinking about your writing. Drawing on the Method acting theory that theater professionals have used for decades, this in-depth guide explains seven characterization techniques and adapts them for the novelist's use.

In this unique and practical book, you'll discover concepts that will help you understand and communicate the behavior, motivation, and psychology of every fictional character you create. Examples from classic and contemporary novels show you how these techniques have been used to dazzling effect by Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Steve Martini, Anne Rivers Siddons, and others. These simple yet highly effective techniques will help you:
* Create characters whose distinctive traits become plot components
* Determine each character's specific objectives and motivations
* Write natural-sounding dialogue rich in meaning
* Endow your characters with three-dimensional emotional lives
* Use character to bring action sequences to exuberant life
* Write convincingly about any character facing any circumstance

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471058946
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/11/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 273,817
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bestselling author BRANDILYN COLLINS writes novels in both the women's fiction and suspense genres. She is also the author of the well-received true crime title A Question of Innocence. Before turning to writing, she was a longtime student of drama, including Stanislavsky's writings on Method acting. Visit her Web site at: www.brandilyncollins.com.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

The Author.

PART ONE: FROM HIGH-STAKES GAMBLING TO CERTAIN SUCCESS.

1 Low-Yield, Conventional Consulting VersusHigh-Yield, High-Impact Consulting.

2 The Five Fatal Flaws of Conventional Consulting.

3 The Bottom-Line Results of High-Impact Consulting.

PART TWO: THE RESULTS-DRIVEN ARCHITECTURE OF HIGH-IMPACT CONSULTING.

4 Define Goals in Terms of Client Results Insteadof Consultant Products.

5 Match Project Scope to What the Client IsReady to Do.

6 Aim for Rapid-Cycle Successes toGenerate Momentum.

7 Build a Partnership to Achieve and to Learn.

8 Leverage Resources: More Results withFewer Consultants.

PART THREE: CREATING HIGH-IMPACT PARTNERSHIPS.

9 Create a Contract for Collaboration Instead ofa Proposal for a Job.

10 Senior Managers Must Insist That Their PeopleProduce the Results.

Build Communication Bridges and Overcome Anxiety.

12 Test the Shift to High-Impact Consulting:It s All Upside and Risk-Free.

Notes.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2002

    New Wave of Character Development

    This book is way ahead of its time. For those who want to benifit today on what is to come tomorrow in character development, read this book. At first I was hesitant on purchasing a writing manual based on acting methods, but after reading it, I started to see the parallels linked between the novelist and the actor in bringing to life a real person. I went further and read the books on Stanislovsky's "Method" that Collins mentioned and saw that there are so many more avenues to be used when paralleling the trade of an actor with that of the writer, particularly the novelist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    Fine Tuning Your Writing

    Brandilyn Collins treats us to the seven secrets she uses to bring her fiction to life. Through great examples and thorough explanations, she shows writers how to incorporate these secrets. Beginning with personalizing, she encourages writers to dig deeply to understand themselves and their characters in a way that almost guarantees well-rounded characters. She delves into areas not often thought about that broaden and strengthen stories in surprising ways. Use of action objectives provides clear motives, tension and conflict for characters, and subtexting explains how to capture unspoken dialogue on the printed page. Coloring passions and inner rhythm help writers develop rich, believable, emotional characters. Restraint and control explains how authors can make the best word choices, and emotion memory enables writers to create vivid characters even though they have not had experiences similar to those of their characters. The appendix alone is worth the price of the book, because it recommends additional books on writing fiction. Each entry lists the book Ms. Collins recommends and the secret it supplements. 'Getting Into Character' will help both novice and experienced writers hone their skills. My well-worn copy sits on my desk so I can refer to it often.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2010

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