Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints (Write Great Fiction) Paperback – March 15, 2005
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
So many books on creating characters speak to their physical description, wants, motives and give the character a background. This book goes a step further and tells you how to do those things and hits the key point of showing emotion.
In addition, chapter Eight titled "Talking About Emotion -- Dialogue and Thoughts" was worth the price of the book alone.
Other great topics were "Showing Change in Your Characters" and "Frustration -- The Most Useful Emotion in Fiction."
Like the other books in the series, Appendix A recaps the author's critical points. Thus for the impatient reader, jump to this appendix and read what the book is about. For those of us who enjoy the journey of the reading the previous 200+ pages, the appendix is a nice summary.
Overall, this felt like the first book that brought all the concepts of characterization into one place and provided me with an easy to follow roadmap to creating, deepening and SHOWING my characters off in my story.
My recommended characterization plan:
1) Read this book as a guide on how to breath life into your characters and what you are trying to accomplish with your characters. (Characters are not there by accident!)
2) Pick up The Marshall Plan of Novel Writing by Evan Marshal or First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Weisner. Both of these books take many of the concepts listed in this book and put them into templates and forms you can fill out to plot your novel
3) Write. Write. Write.Read more ›
Buy this book, read it once through without doing the exercises. Then read it again, doing the exercises. You won't regret it.
For this particular book, Nancy Kress does do a good job of exploring each element in detail. Like the other books, it is largely an overview of each concept, and, like the other books, she does hit on some similar aspects that the other books cover more extensively (how could she not? All aspects work together to create a work of fiction.) That is to say, the other Write Great Fiction books all cover every aspect of a piece of fiction, but mainly discuss how they relate to the given topic they wrote their respective book about. So brief overviews are found in the other books and each aspect is covered extensively in the given work. So "Plot" focuses on plot while giving smaller and more general explanations of characters, description, dialogue, etc. while "Dialogue" does the same with plot, description, characters etc. while keeping the focus on dialogue and so on and so forth. I would recommend a would-be author grab all four of these books, as this would then allow them to see the whole picture.
My main problem with this particular book is that when she gets to the section where she delves deeply into first person, at one point at least she goes into a small rabbit trail about why some readers don't like and will never read first person. Apparently they're willing to read books but not willing to suspend their disbelief that the character narrating the work was an active participant.Read more ›
The characterization section is wonderful. Among other things it suggests complex characters that are revealed through the problems the author brings their way. Ensure they have a backstory and if they change through the book be sure to dramatize it at the end. Also covers different types of characters for different types of fiction.
The emotion section was great. Good examples and more general than the rediculous book "creating character emotions" by hood, there, I won't even capitalize the title or author of that mess. Important emotions are covered in detail such as loving, fighting, and dying with a complete chapter on the most important emotion of all for your lead character. Can you guess what it is? Nancy Kress will tell you.
Finally viewpoint. I have read several books already on this subject yet Nancy Kress sweetens the pot even more. Good advice and examples.
I would like to add, most books I have read on writing, where the author quotes works for examples of good prose, seem to fall flat. Apparently you must read the entire book quoted to fully appreciate the snippit given as an example. Surprisingly, Nancy Kress steps up to the mound and pitches some wonderful examples that STAND ON THEIR OWN. Nice work Nancy.
I bought all but one of the Elements of Fiction Writing. Home runs. However this new series from Writers Digest Books, the Write Great Fiction series with its four books surpasses them. Together the four books are a GRAND SLAM!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book that would help an author or writer that needs a bit of advice to make their fiction story a success.Published 4 days ago by Peter Churchill
Completely took me by surprise for the content and layout of book. Easy to find the necessary information I needed, but am able to read it page by page also. Great layout.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint is most helpful to the fiction writer.Published 3 months ago by Danielle
This book was OK. It had some helpful suggestions but overall wasn't groundbreaking for me.Published 3 months ago by AMK Reviews
Used in our writer's group and a good choice. Very thorough with lots of real-world examples of how to write well.Published 3 months ago by Charles Wenzel
A very helpful aid in writing for your characters in a novel.Published 5 months ago by Cory M Tsuhako
Thank you, Nancy Kress!
I could either write an entire essay on how
much I love your work, and how it invigorates
my creative impulses; however, I'm just
going... Read more
In all honesty I'm a newbie to novel craft so this book is a great resource. Having been trained years ago in a different writing type I decided to get some training in novel... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kindle Customer