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Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning author [Paperback]

Orson Scott Card
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 18 2011 9781599632124 978-1599632124 2
Vivid and memorable characters aren't born: they have to be made

This book is a set of tools: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your imagination.

Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoint in novels and short stories. With specific examples, he spells out your narrative options—the choices you'll make in creating fictional people so "real" that readers will feel they know them like members of their own families.

You'll learn how to:

  • Draw characters from a variety of sources
  • Make characters show who they are by the things they do and say, and by their individual "style"
  • Develop characters readers will love—or love to hate
  • Distinguish among major characters, minor characters and walk-ons, and develop each appropriately
  • Choose the most effective viewpoint to reveal the characters and move the storytelling
  • Decide how deeply you should explore your characters' thoughts, emotions, and attitudes


Frequently Bought Together

Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning author + Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends + The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression
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  • The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression CDN$ 16.46

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book Feb. 7 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book is fantastic. very well-written. very helpful. definitely worth the money. totally recommend it to writers. It's really good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tools for Creating Vibrant Memorable Characters Jan. 7 2012
By Richard R. Blake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In "Characters and Viewpoints" Orson Scott Card provides the writer with the tools for constructing colorful credible characters.

Card grabbed my attention as I scanned the table of contents. I immediately followed this by perusing the bold headings within the chapters. After reading the book I find it an important resource in my collection of books for the writer.

The book is divided into three parts. Card begins with pointers on inventing characters, where they come from, potential audience, and choosing names.
He moves on to help the reader/writer construct characters, including the protagonist, supporting, and minor characters. I particularly needed help in the area of voice, presentation, and person. Card included illustrations from well-known authors to reinforce the writing principles presented throughout the book.

"The Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters and Viewpoint" is an important tool for new writers. The book is filled with definitive techniques for creating vibrant memorable characters.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very objective and rich Jan. 12 2011
By Alie Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A few weeks ago I discovered in Speaker for the Dead how distinct and memorable are Orson Scott characters. So, I decided to buy this book for learning the craft. And I'm very pleased. The author goes straight to the point with all the things a writer should consider for creating memorable characters, and how to do it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book! Helps make intriguing multi-dimensional characters... Dec 23 2011
By Eleanor Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has been great fun to use. First I just like the way Orson Scott Card writes. He gives very good advice on where to come up with unique characters. This is part of the fun of fiction--we have the unique opportunity to fabricate an individual that is a mish-mash of our life experience, our imagination and other influences. Mr. Card teaches how to do this and yet still have someone believable that the reader wants to invest their time with on their journey. He also helps us to determine how well developed the character should be -- are they the crux of the story or just a walk-on that adds to the tension or inserts a bit of humor? How to use characters to raise the "emotional stakes"? Mr. Card has suggestions for this as well. Finally Mr. Card gives us some solid suggestions on which voice to use and why that will influence the quality of our story. I like this book, its positive, and writing still feels fun.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring March 5 2012
By R. Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have purchased 3 books dealing with similar topics. This is the first I was able to read all the way through. A testament to Mr. Cards prowess as a writer. The examples in the book are not disguised advertisements for the authors works. There are a wide range of examples given, all spot on to illustrate the current topic. My only complaint is that some of the novels mentioned as examples of a certain type of viewpoit are now out of print or at least in very limited supply (to expensive for me to buy as research). I will be going back through this work in a few months with a more practiced eye, hoping to gain a deeper understanding of Character and Viewpoint.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful March 23 2012
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As an author, young in my craft and continually striving to improve my writing, I've read quite a few books and taken courses on character development and viewpoint. Some books I've read give superficial direction, however, this one does not. I found the book to be insightful and helpful in considering how readers view your characters and how emotionally attached or detached they become with the characters you develop. Great tips on viewpoint, as well.
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