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Writing the Intimate Character: Create Unique, Compelling Characters Through Mastery of Point of View Paperback – October 4, 2016
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Writing the Intimate Character, the latest engaging guide by JordanRosenfeld, is a rich resource we'll all be learning from the rest of our lives."Does the term point of view seem too dull and dry?" she asks."Try intimacy instead." And then she shows us how, withdiverse examples and wise observation. Now that I have Jordan's take how tocreate a character from the inside out, I'm eager to get to it. You, too, willfind this book that inspiring.
--RebeccaLawton, author of Sacrament: Homage to a River and other books
"Inthis thoughtful, thorough book, Jordan Rosenfeld shows us not only how to buildcharacters from scratch, but also how to fully inhabit those characters, how toslip beneath their skin and plumb their deepest, most human, stories. Anyfiction writer would benefit from Rosenfeld's clear and generousguidance."
-GayleBrandeis, author of My Life With theLincolns, The Book of Dead Birdsand others.
"Writing the Intimate Character provides insights, examples, andexercises that will be useful not only to those who are new to writing fictionof any genre but to those, like myself, who are coming back to it after abreak. Jordan Rosenfeld's explanation of how narrative voice works with pointof view and other literary elements to create characters that readers caredeeply about is clear and revelatory. The book can be worked throughmethodically or dipped into as needed, a useful tool for getting the gears ofimagination working or for jump-starting and fine-tuning a work inprocess."
--ZoeZolbrod, author of the novel Currency and the memoir The Telling
"JordanRosenfeld has a keen insight in how to construct characters who are trulylived-in. With intelligence and wit, she'll walk you through every element ofpowerful characterization, from selecting your POV to demonstrating charactergrowth throughout your story. Whether you're new to fiction, or a moreexperienced writer, put your trust in Jordan Rosenfeld; she'll help you learnto tell a better story." -Laura Bogart, freelance writer published in TheGuardian, DAME, Salon and more.
About the Author
Jordan Rosenfeld is author of four writing guides with Writer's Digest Books: Writing the Intimate Character: Create Unique, Compelling Characters Through Mastery of Point of View, A Writer's Guide to Persistence, Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, Writing Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story Through Action, Emotion & Theme (with Martha Alderson), as well as Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life (with Rebecca Lawton) and the novels Women in Red (BoldFace Books), Forged in Grace, and Night Oracle. She is a former contributing editor to Writer's Digest magazine and her many publications include The Atlantic, Mental Floss, the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, Scientific American, the Washington Post, XO Jane, The Writer magazine and many more. Her book commentaries have been featured on NPR-Affiliate KQED's radio magazine, "The California Report." Visit her website: jordanrosenfeld.net or follow her on twitter: @JordanRosenfeld
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And now, in Rosenfeld’s new book, WRITING THE INTIMATE CHARACTER, I’ve found yet another great addition to my writer’s bookshelf, and toolbox—with many nuggets of wisdom to call upon as I move ahead through future manuscripts; and rewrite those that already exist. Writing is rewriting, isn’t it?
WRITING THE INTIMATE CHARACTER delves into the psychology of the writer’s process, or at least offers different ways of thinking of the process as a connection between her or his psychology, which can inform the characters that he or she chooses to develop; and also intimately is tied to the Point of View chosen to tell her or his story.
That said, it’s good for us writers to think, more intimately, about how character informs Point Of View, and vice versa. And Rosenfeld helps facilitate this with an exploration, for example, of “Surface” (as in what the character feels on a base level) versus “Subset Cues” (as in what’s beneath those layers) to think about when crafting characters.
Of the intimate character, Rosenfeld says: “Here are the basic cues you can use to demonstrate character emotion and experience” (p.54). And throughout the book she then offers examples, across all genres, of how Physical-Action Cues, Sensory Cues, Dialogue Cues, Other Characters’ Reactions, and also Interior Monologue Cues, and Image Cues come into play for helping define characters, and within whichever narrative Point Of View is used to help demonstrate the characters.
In fact, I am pleased to have been exposed to so many different examples from varied genres in the book, and how (no matter if you’re writing Literary Fiction, Sci-Fi, Mystery, YA, Thriller, etc.) getting “intimate” with your characters is possible, and only strengthens your story. Unless you write, or read in the various genres, you might not make the connection, but this book helps give me a better understanding/working knowledge of how important selecting the appropriate narrative point of view (first, 2nd, 3rd, Omniscient, etc. and all their variations) is for your particular story, and hos it relates to character development and story ac. As well, my curiosity to explore more genres, and other narrative points of view is now encouraged after reading this book.
(Actually, I now realize that I, the writer, can perhaps fix the problem with the protagonist of a story, with whom I’ve long struggled. Maybe it’s the point of view I was using that wasn’t working well for the intimacy of that protagonist? Only another draft will tell.)
And, aside from such revelations I mention above, wonderful nuggets and insight come from the short, yet truly effective, end-of-chapter “NOW YOU” exercises, where Rosenfeld offers a chance for practical application of the material covered in each chapter. (And, at the very end of the book, there are more exercises that I’m certain also will help aid me in crafting many stories to come).
In essence, this is why we writers can benefit from reading about, and exercising our craft—no matter how experienced we are. Add WRITING THE INTIMATE CHARACTER to your writer’s bookshelf (or even, if you’re only a reader), because it’ll give you a better understanding of how to become more intimate with the characters you decide to follow through any given story.