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Writing Great Characters : The Psychology of Character Development in Screenplays Paperback – January 25, 1996

2.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Lone Eagle Publishing Company (January 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943728797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943728797
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,292,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
With all the screenwriting books on format and career success on the market it seems odd that there are only a handful of books devoted to the most important element of any good story--the CHARACTERS. Halperin's book is a welcome text on the subject, but it lacks the depth of Linda Seger's "Creating Unforgettable Characters. The chapters touch on essential elements found in successful stories such as myth, culture, and interior lives, but the examples and in-depth analysis are minimul. Many exercise questions at the end of each chapter fail to get the mind to develop the skills and ideas presented previously. The final chapter details what the author considers great characters from Citizen Kane to Forrest Gump, but I would have preferred more intense study of these characters within the subjects of each chapter.
While I like this book for its contribution to a little written about subject I finished it feeling a bit shortchanged.
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By A Customer on October 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
You might find this book interesting if you've never read another book on screenwriting or human behavior. If you've read any of the other books in the field you will find this one inferior. Linda Seger's books on characterization are much better. I'm only glad I bought this title used from Amazon.com -- and I waited to sell it before I posted this review.
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By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
As an aspiring screenwriter, I have devoured most of the commonly read texts currently available on the topic. Halperin's book does _not_ stand up favorably. In fact, not only is his writing style stilted and vague (e.g., non-specific use of "it" and "they", and more dumped quotes than you can shake your mouse at), his ideas are nothing more than lame banalities. For more info on writing pick up any of Syd Field's books, and for info on psychology any basic primer will do. His examples are not illustrative and his film analysis is at the middle-school level. Don't waste your money on this book like I did.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is boring. The author does not actually talk about how to write great characters instead the author constantly refers to others movies and then goes into long film scene descriptions.
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Format: Paperback
Well, I must say that =I= find Michael Halperin's book an essential screenwriting reference. Dr. Halperin was one of the best screenwriting instructors I had at USC's School of Cinema-Television, where he taught the future pros of the industry. His advanced screenwriting classes were some of the toughest in the school--and therefore the most worthwhile.
What's so good about Halperin's book? For one thing, he doesn't talk down to you as a screenwriter. In fact, he presumes that you know what you are doing. Imagine that! So he's not going to hold your hand through the elementary parts of introductory screenwriting. Try Syd Field for that. Instead, Halperin shows the already competent writer how to improve his or her script's ultimate impact by significantly improving characterization.
Although I may agree that script consultant Linda Seger's books are excellent and beneficial, it should be pointed out that she has never written a single screenplay in her life.! Dr. Halperin is a =working= writer in the film industry, and his book is a winner. Enough said.
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