Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Characters and Viewpoint

Availability: Ready to download

Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be made. 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. Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developi Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be made. 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. 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 the characters from a variety of sources, including a story's basic idea, real life–even a character's social circumstances 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 one 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


Compare
Ads Banner

Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be made. 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. Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developi Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be made. 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. 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 the characters from a variety of sources, including a story's basic idea, real life–even a character's social circumstances 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 one 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

30 review for Characters and Viewpoint

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samir Rawas Sarayji

    Characters & Viewpoint is another book by Orson Scott Card from the Writer's Digest Books that failed to impress. The book is 182 pages and is divided into 3 main sections, 'Inventing Characters', 'Constructing Characters', and 'Performing Characters'. Each part is, in turn, divided into smaller chapters. The first part covers topics that are really for the novice writer, someone who never wrote fiction and one day decided he/she wanted to... It explains how characters can come from people yo Characters & Viewpoint is another book by Orson Scott Card from the Writer's Digest Books that failed to impress. The book is 182 pages and is divided into 3 main sections, 'Inventing Characters', 'Constructing Characters', and 'Performing Characters'. Each part is, in turn, divided into smaller chapters. The first part covers topics that are really for the novice writer, someone who never wrote fiction and one day decided he/she wanted to... It explains how characters can come from people you know, your memories or yourself and so on, how to formulate a character with things like habits, patterns, abilities, feature and so on, and even talks about character names. Now I find this all quite useless, because if I had a novice at my doorstep, I'd rather ask him/her "How do you define yourself as a character?" then see what he/she comes up with, then ask him/her to write it down and take it from there, offering guidance and insight where necessary. Unlike Card's approach, where I find that writing about the obvious is redundant and generalizing the subjective in impractical. The second part begins with explaining the MICE quotient - Milieu, Idea, Character, Event - explaining that all stories have this but it's necessary for the writer to know which is the prominent one, and therefore, the type of story being written. Card then moves on to briefly explain hierarchies of characters, which he divides into placeholders, minor characters and major characters. The next chapters cover the emotional stakes involved, the emotional qualities a writer endows the characters with, and then discusses comic characters and serious characters. The final chapter here covers 'Transformations', which is indeed a necessity in good story telling because a character should undergo change (or fail at it) and the reader should witness this change (or failure) - but, Card's discussion here becomes abstract and, like most of this section, does not really delve into how to do any of these things. Instead, Card points at contemporary examples from books and films, preaching the do's and don't's, while showing the novice what possibilities are available. The third part is perhaps the most useful and focuses more on topics like voice and viewpoint rather than purely on character. Again though, the information is quite elementary and what he does in several pages, other writers have accomplished as an opening paragraph in their chapters of similar themes. The brief chapters here discuss the tense the story is told in, dramatic vs. narrative (only 3 pages... seriously?), and the different point of views, which occupies the bulk of this part. All in all, this is a book for novices and even then, I would not recommend it because much of the fiction or films referred to are mainstream or pulp, and the topics are never explored in-depth. This means the aspiring writer will lack the fundamental knowledge necessary in understanding the mechanisms at work and, thus, not be able to exploit or manipulate them, as exceptional writing is wont to do. I've given this 2 stars because it could still be useful to the novice interested in pulp writing, and because Card does explain himself clearly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    Orson Scott Card presents tools and techniques for the novice writer on characters and viewpoint. In his book we learn how to invent a character -- what makes a good fictional character. We discover how to construct a character and the importance of the MICE quotient -- Milieu, Idea, Character and Event. We learn the difference between major and minor characters and between walk-on and placeholder characters. We discuss how to raise the emotional stakes of a character and how we should feel abou Orson Scott Card presents tools and techniques for the novice writer on characters and viewpoint. In his book we learn how to invent a character -- what makes a good fictional character. We discover how to construct a character and the importance of the MICE quotient -- Milieu, Idea, Character and Event. We learn the difference between major and minor characters and between walk-on and placeholder characters. We discuss how to raise the emotional stakes of a character and how we should feel about the characters. We talk about transformations -- why people change and justifying those changes. We learn about presentational versus representational viewpoint. We close by looking at first-person and third-person point-of-view.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Not my cup of tea when it comes to writing advice. This WD book was very basic and most of the guidance on characterization is focused on creating characters before you start writing and not fleshing out those characters on the page. Toward the end of the book when Card does finally begin to address what happens to characters in the actual novel/manuscript he gets a bit preachy and theoretical and makes more than few statements that I do not believe are accurate around POV and tense. Overall I f Not my cup of tea when it comes to writing advice. This WD book was very basic and most of the guidance on characterization is focused on creating characters before you start writing and not fleshing out those characters on the page. Toward the end of the book when Card does finally begin to address what happens to characters in the actual novel/manuscript he gets a bit preachy and theoretical and makes more than few statements that I do not believe are accurate around POV and tense. Overall I felt this book was incredibly dated and failed to address key areas of characterization. If you're just starting out, it is a quick read and good basic info to be aware of but more advanced writers may find it less than satisfactory.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia Anske

    A book to help you choose your POV. Whose story are you really telling? And what POV would be best for it? Plus examples (same bits of stories told from different POVs), rules, conventions, pitfalls and advantages of one or the other POV. Also, if you want to learn what melodramatic writing is and how to avoid it (my case), these are a few excellent examples here that will make you "get" it (I certainly "got" it). "If your characters cry, your readers won't have to; if your characters have good A book to help you choose your POV. Whose story are you really telling? And what POV would be best for it? Plus examples (same bits of stories told from different POVs), rules, conventions, pitfalls and advantages of one or the other POV. Also, if you want to learn what melodramatic writing is and how to avoid it (my case), these are a few excellent examples here that will make you "get" it (I certainly "got" it). "If your characters cry, your readers won't have to; if your characters have good reason to cry, and don't, your readers will do the weeping."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    I've just remembered that I read the noted homophobe's writing guide back in my early teens. Even then, I could tell that a lot of his advice was bollocks - I especially remember the bit about how erudite types were inherently unsympathetic, and a smart hero would have to punch a couple of guys for every time he demonstrated his brains. Yep, as demonstrated by the lamentable obscurity in which characters like Poirot and Sherlock Holmes have long languished, right? Pillock.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joy Pixley

    For turning out to be possibly my favorite writing craft book ever, this one started off a bit slow to me. The first and shortest section is about coming up with characters, what makes a character, how to name them. It was fine, well-written, and useful, and you couldn't have a book about characters without these issues, but I didn't see a ton that was really new to me. The remaining three-quarters of the book was amazing. Having anchored on the first four chapters, I kept finding myself thinkin For turning out to be possibly my favorite writing craft book ever, this one started off a bit slow to me. The first and shortest section is about coming up with characters, what makes a character, how to name them. It was fine, well-written, and useful, and you couldn't have a book about characters without these issues, but I didn't see a ton that was really new to me. The remaining three-quarters of the book was amazing. Having anchored on the first four chapters, I kept finding myself thinking: "Well, this book is mostly just fine, but this bit right here is brilliant. And this bit. And this bit here too. I'd better stop again to mark this and write notes in my WIP." Until I realized that I'd said that about every section, on practically every page, for the whole rest of the book. It took me a while to finish because I was reading in small chunks, so when I was done, I went back and read it again. And learned more, again. What was so good? First, the range and depth of the topics. Card's "MICE quotient" talks about four things your story might focus on (milieu, idea, character, or event), and why it makes sense to look at your characters differently depending on what plot style you're writing. For me, this section was worth the price of the book. He also discusses how readers respond to certain elements and traits in characters and how to include or avoid them. How to construct emotional tension and empathy, how to make characters believable, how or whether they change over time. How to fit the characters into the web of other characters and setting. Possibly the best part of the book is the third section on point of view. I would have sworn I'd read just about everything there was on point of view, but again I was pleasantly surprised. He does a wonderful job of comparing the POV options, discussing the strengths and limitations of each, how the characters come across differently in each one, and why you might want to use one versus the other in certain circumstances, for different effects. It's not just the range of topics that makes this an excellent craft book, it's how deeply Card manages to probe them; he effortlessly squeezes a huge amount of insight into relatively short sections, while offering truly useful examples and techniques. It is, simply, an incredibly well-written book by someone who really knows what he's talking about and is good at explaining it to other people. You can look up any of these issues online if you want; I'm sure there are tons of blog posts about each one of them. But for me, I'm glad I have Orson Scott Card's way of explaining it, right here by my writing desk, to delve into for serious thinking about my characters whenever I need it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I read this book at a point where I'd already read a couple dozen books, a hundred Writers Digest magazines, and a zillion web pages on writing. Upon reading this book, I was EMBARRASSED by how much I didn't know! Characters and Viewpoint is required reading for all fiction writers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Bibb

    I borrowed this book from another writer at the writer's meeting I attend, since I'm fascinated by the craft of writing. Overall, Orson Scott Card's Characters & Viewpoints book had a lot of insightful information, good stuff to keep in mind when writing and developing characters. Some tips were familiar, while other tips were new or approached a bit differently than I've seen in other sources. I was particularly fond of his explanation of jeopardy, and I found his explanation on developing I borrowed this book from another writer at the writer's meeting I attend, since I'm fascinated by the craft of writing. Overall, Orson Scott Card's Characters & Viewpoints book had a lot of insightful information, good stuff to keep in mind when writing and developing characters. Some tips were familiar, while other tips were new or approached a bit differently than I've seen in other sources. I was particularly fond of his explanation of jeopardy, and I found his explanation on developing sympathetic characters interesting. However, by no means do I think the information in this book should be taken as an absolute answer on the craft of writing. There were times when it felt like the author held a grudge toward some of his topics.(The way he addressed references of "homosexual" characters, his suggestion that characters who show their intellect tend to come across as unsymphathetic, and the way he addressed some of the women characters didn't quite seem... fully developed?) However, despite having a few biases about what works and what doesn't (or shouldn't... he did not seem to like first person present tense, while this has been done well in quite a few novels, at least recently), there's a lot of useful advise that can help guide and improve an author's writing. A few other reviewers on Goodreads mentioned that his advice seems dated, and there are several instances which attest to this. Admittedly, some of the dated examples can't be helped, given that over time, books do become outdated. That being said, a lot of his examples came from movies, which explain the points he is trying to make, but I would have liked to have seen more examples from various books. There were also times when I wasn't sure that his examples were accurate, though it's been too long since I've watched/read the example to remember for certain. As for the development of characters, he has some good points on where to look for ideas, how to develop ideas from something that might seem otherwise trivial, and how looking past the initial first response can create nuanced characters with far more intriguing stories than the first idea you come up with. He also explains the basic concept of various types of stories, Milieu (which has a fascinating explanation for the reason that The Lord of the Rings is percieved as having so many endings), Idea, Character, and Event. These were quite fascinating to consider, though I felt they could have been explained a bit better, since after reading them I'm still not sure that I understand the division between the three that aren't Milieu (a world-focused story). The author does have a pretty good explanation of omniscient point of view versus third person limited, and shows the benefits and downsides to both. He seems to be particularly biased on the topic, however (his dislike of present tense), even while admitting that there are reasons to use the other options. His explanations about what tends to make characters sympathetic vs unsympathetic is insightful, though I disagreed with some of things mentioned (characters who show their intellect coming off as unsymphathetic). Still, it offered a few points to consider, especially if you have beta-readers specifying that you have unlikable character, and you're trying to pinpoint why. There is also an explanation of a hierarchy of characters, from major to minor and placeholder characters, and how subverting a stereotype can make a character more interesting. This section may be particularly useful to writers having difficulty with characters running off with their manuscript in unintended directions. He had an interesting section regarding the concept of suspencion of disbelief in regards to comical and serious characters. While fascinating, I think a lot of the points he makes in this section are very dependent on the audience, as I felt opposite about several of the examples he tried to make. Still, the ideas are worth keeping in mind. My favorite part was his section on raising the emotional stakes and jeopardy. Here he has some golden information. Not all of his tips will work in every situation, but he shows how certain stakes are more likely to be believed than others, and what may cause a reader to feel the most concerned for a character--especially when you already know that a certain character isn't going to die, and what else could happen to them. Overall, I think Characters & Viewpoints has plenty of tools to refine and remember, though a writer should take what is written with a grain of salt, especially when he's writing about things the author says are "dos" and "don'ts."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Femmy

    This has got to be one of the best books about writing. It discusses characterization in depth, with practical tools you can actually use in your fiction. Other articles I've read about characterization inevitably instructs you to create a complete profile about your character, sometimes giving you a form to fill out, with prompts like favorite color and such things, but they don't really show you how to make these details alive in your story. Characters and Viewpoint shows you just that, how t This has got to be one of the best books about writing. It discusses characterization in depth, with practical tools you can actually use in your fiction. Other articles I've read about characterization inevitably instructs you to create a complete profile about your character, sometimes giving you a form to fill out, with prompts like favorite color and such things, but they don't really show you how to make these details alive in your story. Characters and Viewpoint shows you just that, how to craft characters through their actions, reactions, motivation, etc, with good examples throughout.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Characters and Viewpoint By: Orson Scott Card Writer’s Digest Books Tools for Creating Vibrant Memorable Characters In “Characters and Viewpoints” Orson Scott Card provides the writer with the tools for constructing colorful credible characters. Card grabbed my attention as I scanned the table of contents. I immediately followed this by perusing the bold headings within the chapters. The book is divided into three parts. Card begins with pointers on inventing characters, where they come from, potenti Characters and Viewpoint By: Orson Scott Card Writer’s Digest Books Tools for Creating Vibrant Memorable Characters In “Characters and Viewpoints” Orson Scott Card provides the writer with the tools for constructing colorful credible characters. Card grabbed my attention as I scanned the table of contents. I immediately followed this by perusing the bold headings within the chapters. The book is divided into three parts. Card begins with pointers on inventing characters, where they come from, potential audience, and choosing names. He moves on to help the reader/writer construct characters, including the protagonist, supporting, and minor characters. I particularly needed help in the area of voice, presentation, and person. Card included illustrations from well-known authors to reinforce the writing principles presented throughout the book. “The Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters and Viewpoint” is an important tool for new writers. The book is filled with definitive techniques for creating vibrant memorable characters.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Grace Wagner

    This is actually the latest book I've read and it's been incredibly helpful. I was having trouble with my new book because it's told from two main characters' POVs in first person. I really felt like I hadn't solidified those characters and I turned to this book to help. The thing I liked best about this book was that it didn't tell you how to create in depth characterization. It asks you the right questions so you get there on your own. It really is a book of tools, not answers, and those tools This is actually the latest book I've read and it's been incredibly helpful. I was having trouble with my new book because it's told from two main characters' POVs in first person. I really felt like I hadn't solidified those characters and I turned to this book to help. The thing I liked best about this book was that it didn't tell you how to create in depth characterization. It asks you the right questions so you get there on your own. It really is a book of tools, not answers, and those tools have turned out to be very useful. Card takes you on a journey from basic character creation to understanding your story as a whole and how characterization plays into it. It's well written and easy to follow. I would definitely recommend it to anyone having trouble fully realizing their characters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book has some good tips for anyone who wants to evolve their characterizations skills. Unfortunately, the book is not crammed with such tips on every page. A lot of time is spent rehashing the same point over and over from several perspectives until your eyes start to glaze. It is possible that this would be helpful for a complete novice, but for someone who has already got a lot of this writing stuff figured out, it just comes across as a lot of fluff and filler. I will keep the book as a This book has some good tips for anyone who wants to evolve their characterizations skills. Unfortunately, the book is not crammed with such tips on every page. A lot of time is spent rehashing the same point over and over from several perspectives until your eyes start to glaze. It is possible that this would be helpful for a complete novice, but for someone who has already got a lot of this writing stuff figured out, it just comes across as a lot of fluff and filler. I will keep the book as a reference, but I could have spent more time writing if this book had been a little less padded.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John

    In this book, Card delved deeper into the subject matter than I've ever seen anyone do before. This is a book I think anyone serious about writing a novel ought to read. It's made even better by the fact that Card's insights apply equally to both literary and mainstream fiction.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This book helped me understand so much about the characterization process - I will return to it many times for reference. Incredible resource for fiction writers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rod Raglin

    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 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luke Bongers

    2.5* This book had some good ideas on characterization but overall it complicated topics far more than I'd prefer and I found myself skimming as a result. It wasn't a waste of time but there are books that covers the same ground while also being A. More concise or b. Having more thought provoking content. There are better books on fiction writing and for it's topics characters and viewpoints it didn't do much in the realm of expert ideas for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I'd already heard much of the advice in this book, in part because Mary Robinette Kowal of the Writing Excuses podcast is a fan and refers to it often. It was still worth reading, as it takes the reader through a number of important considerations about characterisation and allied subjects: not only how to use the techniques, but when and why. I highlighted a great many useful and well-considered passages. Card's basic view of writing is that in telling stories, we are influencing people to expan I'd already heard much of the advice in this book, in part because Mary Robinette Kowal of the Writing Excuses podcast is a fan and refers to it often. It was still worth reading, as it takes the reader through a number of important considerations about characterisation and allied subjects: not only how to use the techniques, but when and why. I highlighted a great many useful and well-considered passages. Card's basic view of writing is that in telling stories, we are influencing people to expand their understanding of the human condition; that by presenting fictional characters we can help our readers understand them more than they have ever understood a real person, and to understand themselves. This involves making the reader care about, believe in, and comprehend the story that you're telling and the characters in it. In order to do this effectively, we need to understand the techniques of characterisation. Along the way, he considers the question of the epic hero versus the ordinary person; the comic character and the serious character; the hero and the villain; character change; voice; and viewpoint. Throughout, he explains the techniques in terms of the likely effect on the reader. The Kindle edition has been scanned from a print copy, but competently, and there are only a few small errors (such as a missing blank line after the sentence "This is what a line break looks like"). All in all, worthy to stand alongside its series-mates Scene and Structure and Beginnings, Middles & Ends.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Bauer

    I've oft heard this book referred to as the definitive work on effective use of characters & viewpoint in writing but didn't really believe it - until I was "encouraged" by a pro writer whom I respect highly to dig into it. I was wrong. It is an invaluable resource for any penmonkey. I know of many authors who have a talent for using just the right technique to depict vivid, dynamic and interesting characters with smooth and consistent use of proper perspective / voice. I'm not one of them and I've oft heard this book referred to as the definitive work on effective use of characters & viewpoint in writing but didn't really believe it - until I was "encouraged" by a pro writer whom I respect highly to dig into it. I was wrong. It is an invaluable resource for any penmonkey. I know of many authors who have a talent for using just the right technique to depict vivid, dynamic and interesting characters with smooth and consistent use of proper perspective / voice. I'm not one of them and struggle with that aspect of my writing. I read this book THREE times and still struggle with complete understanding of all its contents. But I learned enough to have much more confidence in the craft of writing. Card makes numerous points and backs it up with examples, the best way for my mind to latch onto lessons. While this book is not written for the casual reader, it will occupy a space on my bookshelf within easy reach for all the times I'll need to refer to it in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Velez

    Orson Scott Card writes really great characters. I've read a couple of his Ender novels, and another stand-alone novel called Empire and his characters are really smart and are able to dive into the psychology of the people around them. They understand people and why they are who they are, and why they do what they do. It is most certainly a reflection of the author's own understanding of the inner workings of himself and the people around him. He is able to take his life experiences and create Orson Scott Card writes really great characters. I've read a couple of his Ender novels, and another stand-alone novel called Empire and his characters are really smart and are able to dive into the psychology of the people around them. They understand people and why they are who they are, and why they do what they do. It is most certainly a reflection of the author's own understanding of the inner workings of himself and the people around him. He is able to take his life experiences and create worlds and characters that are not biographical or autobiographical in content or detail, yet touch very realistically upon the thoughts, motives, and desires of the audience. This books shows you how to create believable characters with fantastic qualities and human flaws and how to ask for the best story from each of those characters. I am not an aspiring author, but this author is inspiring.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Morfi

    Strong and believable characters are the essence of a good book! This book is the perfect guide on how to built this kind of characters. From the very simple things, like their personality to the more complex ones, like the reasons behind their acts, this book explains them all. It is well writen and easy to understand. It can help you create and develop the characters of your story. I never thought that characters are the most important thing in a story, even if the storyline is not that strong Strong and believable characters are the essence of a good book! This book is the perfect guide on how to built this kind of characters. From the very simple things, like their personality to the more complex ones, like the reasons behind their acts, this book explains them all. It is well writen and easy to understand. It can help you create and develop the characters of your story. I never thought that characters are the most important thing in a story, even if the storyline is not that strong. Extraordinary characters can make even the simpliest of ideas blossom into something beautiful. The only thing you have to do is make them as real as they can be. Have reasons and motives, hopes and fears, a past and dreams for the future. Give them life. This is a book that helps you with that. It is the only book I've read about writing and I think that it's given me everything I needed!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Jacobs

    Okay, so you know I'm an addict, I read a lot of books on writing, and I'm not done on reviewing them all yet. This was useful in helping me decide which viewpoint to write from and how best to do that. Also what mistakes to avoid making as well. Such as writing a whole novel in third person, when other things are occurring that the protagonist can't know about they cannot be mentioned. But there are clever ways certain things can be shown to the reader through the actions of other characters wh Okay, so you know I'm an addict, I read a lot of books on writing, and I'm not done on reviewing them all yet. This was useful in helping me decide which viewpoint to write from and how best to do that. Also what mistakes to avoid making as well. Such as writing a whole novel in third person, when other things are occurring that the protagonist can't know about they cannot be mentioned. But there are clever ways certain things can be shown to the reader through the actions of other characters when they are in the presence of the protagonist. Also when writing in this way, the protagonist can't say what another character thinks or feels, only what they think that character might think or feel, but again, this can be done by using a scene to show the character in dialogue or action that demonstrates how they might be thinking or feeling.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex Ristea

    Wow. This was the first I read in the Writer's Digest series, and the rest are eagerly awaiting me in my library. If you're a writer, this is a must-read. Orson Scott Card explains key storytelling concepts so naturally that this is an absolute pleasure to read for its own sake. I would recommend this even if you have no intentions of writing your own prose. You will have a better appreciation and understanding of narrative and characters after this book, and your reading will never be the same.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ted Cross

    I'm not saying the information in this book isn't useful, as it is, but it is primarily common sense, or at least it was for me. The bad part is that it is presented in such a dry manner that it bored me and I took forever to get through it. I might have thought better of the book--perhaps assuming that such a topic must be dry like this--if I hadn't read On Writing by Stephen King, which is a terrific read while telling me a lot of similar great information.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Joshua

    Excellent book! Card understands and explains how an author can make his characters believable, fascinating, likeable, or repellant. He has an amazing grasp of human nature, and even if you're not a writer, his book will give you a better understanding of fiction, and new insights into why we act the way we do. (This is the second time I've read it - and I just finished reading it aloud to my teen sons who love to write fiction.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    A how to write book. Covers topics like sources for characters, how to develop the original notion, the differences between serious and comic characterization, how to engage sympathy, the differences between bit and minor and major characters, where you exactly want to stereotype your character (when he's actually so bit that he's scenery), attitude, points of view, and more.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I graduated from college in English--and yet this is the best book I've read on how to write characters. I thought it was fabulous. I love many of Card's books, so it was also nice to see into his writing mind.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This book answered some questions I still had after doing a lot of reading on the craft. It explains use of tense, line spaces, and provides tons of info on viewpoint and creating characters that come to life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Travis Bow

    Re-read... great insight on the mechanics of characterization, with tons of examples. Makes my want to stop reading and start writing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    K.M. Weiland

    Intelligent and thought-provoking discussion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Liz B

    Clear and straightforward. I think this will be a great book to recommend to certain 8th grade readers. They are dying to write fiction, and this will give them some ideas for places to start.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.