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

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

by Orson Scott Card

Paperback(Second Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599632124
Publisher: F+W Media
Publication date: 01/18/2011
Series: Elements of Fiction Writing Series
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 129,149
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Orson Scott Card is a novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist and columnist. He writes in several genres but is known best for science fiction. Card is the author of the international bestsellers Shadow of the Giant, Shadow Puppets, and of the beloved classic of science fiction, Ender's Game—which was adapted into a feature film. He is also the author of Seventh Son, the first book in the acclaimed fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker.

Hometown:

Greensboro, North Carolina

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1951

Place of Birth:

Richland, Washington

Education:

B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981

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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Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning aut 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
RodRaglin More than 1 year ago
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 as a means of self-aggrandizement constantly quoting examples from their own work. These may not necessarily be good examples of what they're trying to demonstrate, but they're not about to let an opportunity to promote their work slip by. In Characters and Viewpoint, Card uses straight forward prose and not a lot of examples from his own work and gives good insight into these two important aspects of writing fiction. This is a solid book about what is stated in the title.
catburglar More than 1 year ago
Well-written by a great science fiction writer. Very useful for other science fiction writers.
TheWriteWarrior More than 1 year ago
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.
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meimsx More than 1 year ago
Best+source+of+info+short+of+a+teacher+and+textbook.
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wkl More than 1 year ago
An easy reading book. It's full of great material. I read it twice.