- Series: Elements of Fiction Writing
- Paperback: 182 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 1st Printing edition (March 15, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898799279
- ISBN-13: 978-0898799279
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint 1st Printing Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The are chapters on description, motivation and growth are solid. Combined with the wonderful and numerous contrasting examples of good characterization/bad characterization, you will be able to go back to any story you've written and add, subtract and tweak your characters to make them leap off the page. Don't sell this book short because Orson Scott Card is primarily a writer of science fiction, either. This material will make absolutely any fiction a whole measure better.
Worth the money. Revise your stories with it. Write new, better ones after reading it. Run your writing workshops according to it. Card has given the writers' community a true winner here.
Written in a clear, engaging style and organized in a user-friendly format this thoroughly informative volume is divided into three parts (Inventing Characters, Constructing Characters and Performing Characters) that cover everything you need to know to breathe life and believability into your characters and mold them to accurately fit your story, including among others:
*The factors that make a good character
*How to come up with ideas for your characters
*How different types of stories relate to the characters
*How to give emotion to the characters
*The different types of characters
*Transformations in the lives of characters
*The pros and cons of each point-of-view
The author's suggested exercises reinforced by the excellent examples that illustrate his exposition are helpful additions that allow the reader to immediately apply the lessons learned. Humorous anecdotes and important advice on general storytelling (sources for ideas, plot twists, story structure) are an added bonus.
With this book, you will not only learn how to create great, memorable characters, but you will also attain a greater appreciation of fiction, whether in book or film format, by gaining understanding of the processes required in all aspects of characterization.
With a great binding, sure to resist constant rereads and quick consultations, and a modest price this book is the best value on the market for the advice offered.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
He gives his advice on character development and viewpoint in this book, which does it rather well. Viewpoint, for me, was a tough subject, and Card covers the basics rather well. He discusses common mistakes, as well as ways to improve. He explains the good points, as well as the bad points about each point of view, then lets you decide which to use.
His characterization help is flawless. I have read several other books on this, and his advice is similar, if not the same as other authors. I have found that his basic format is probably the best way to "create" a person - writing character back-stories, etc. He gives his advice for creating the necessary changes that have to occur over the course of a story, and also gives the reasons why these changes must occur.
This book deserves to be on any beginning writer's bookshelf, although experienced writers may not find the point of view information useful. I feel any writer, experienced or not would benefit from the characterization info.