By Orson Scott Card
This ebook is a suite of instruments: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift solid characters out of where the place they reside on your imagination.
Award-winning writer Orson Scott Card explains extensive the strategies of inventing, constructing and featuring characters, plus dealing with standpoint in novels and brief tales. With particular examples, he spells out your narrative options—the offerings you will make in developing fictional humans so "real" that readers will think they be aware of them like individuals in their personal families.
You'll find out how to:
- Draw characters from various sources
- Make characters convey who they're by means of the issues they do and say, and by way of their person "style"
- Develop characters readers will love—or like to hate
- Distinguish between significant characters, minor characters and walk-ons, and advance each one appropriately
- Choose the simplest point of view to bare the characters and circulation the storytelling
- Decide how deeply you need to discover your characters' techniques, feelings, and attitudes
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Extra resources for Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning author
Not only do such tastes help the reader feel like he knows the character better, they also open up possibilities within the story. On a trivial level, knowing your character’s devotion to wines will give her something to chat about at dinner; a chance to show a flippant attitude — or resent someone else’s flippancy; a reason to disdain another character’s lack of taste or knowledge. A character’s tastes can even be endearing, like Dagwood Bumstead’s mammoth midnight-snack sandwiches. On a more significant level, a character’s love of skiing gives you an excuse to get her into the mountains in the winter; gives her at least a few friends she met on the slopes, friends who might phone or visit during the story; allows you to show her escaping from someone on skis without the reader doubting for a moment that she could do it.
We who write fiction have no team of actors or musicians to do our bidding, so it’s easy to forget that our work, too, has a composition stage and a performance stage. We are both composer and performer. Or rather, we are both storyteller and writer. ” There is no clear separation of our two roles. As we invent and construct our fiction, we will often do it with language — we jot down notes, tell scenes to our friends, write detailed outlines or synopses. And as we are performing our stories, writing them out in our most effective prose, we also invent new details or motivations, discover new relationships among characters, and we revise the construction of the story in order to make a scene work better, by adding a new fillip of suspense or horror or sentiment, or presenting a startling new idea that only just now came to us.
All these things you’re telling me, they’re part of the story. You try everything, and it doesn’t work. What do you do now? — Put it to bed and let it cry. You do that, and it screams louder and louder until it starts choking and coughing and you pick it up again. What next? — Call the doctor. His office is closed. — Call the hospital! — The emergency room! — They never close. You’ve got me; I can’t weasel out of that. They never close. So you call. What happens ? They tell you to try doing all the stuff you’ve already tried.
Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning author by Orson Scott Card