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Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets A Novelist Can Learn From Actors Paperback – April 26, 2015
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From the Back Cover
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
About the Author
BRANDILYN COLLINS, an award-winning and bestselling novelist of 30 books, is known for her fast-paced, twisting Seatbelt Suspense®, and her insightful contemporary novels. She is a popular keynote speaker and teacher at writers conferences.
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Top customer reviews
Based on Stanislavsky's training for actors, this book isn't just a useful read - it should be considered a course of study. It has brought my attention and focus to a new primary perspective, and has restructured my approach to my writing.
Brandilyn Collin's work is not 'wares for sale', it is a gift.
Thank you, Brandilyn.
To me, this was one of the best books I've ever picked up on the subject of building strong fictional characters. Next to Dwight Swain Master Writing Teacher's books and perhaps one or two others, this book is by far one of the best, and one I keep referring back to over and over again.
It takes you to the ground level of your story, by that I mean, character to character acting, as if you had your scene in front of you in miniature, and you could move and interact with each character within your scene. I found myself playing the role of each of my characters. Not only did it give me a better idea of how my characters should behave, they suddenly came alive and told me what they were going to do. That is priceless.
I love this book and would recommend it to anyone!
Five stars does not seem like enough.
"Getting into Character" is one of my favorite books on writing. It's helped me look at new ways of creating characters I would have never thought of on my own, or aren't covered in any of the other books on writing I have read previously.
It covers things like action objectives, inner conflict, developing mannerisms through understanding your character's past, and looking inside yourself to learn new things about your characters. It also covers things like sentence rhythm and how to write inner an outer action properly.
I'd recommend this book to anyone looking to write a novel or short story. The information and techniques discussed in the book are priceless.
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.