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By Dwight V. Swain

A jargon-free guide at the fundamentals of constructing fascinating fictional characters

Vibrant, plausible characters aid force a fictional tale. besides a shrewdpermanent plot, well-drawn characters make us are looking to proceed examining a unique or end observing a film. In Creating Characters, Dwight V. Swain exhibits how writers can invent fascinating characters and enhance them in order that they movement a narrative along.

“The center of character,” he says in bankruptcy 1, “lies in each one person tale person’s skill to care approximately whatever; to consider implicitly or explicitly, that anything is important.” construction on that foundation—the ability to care—Swain takes the would-be author step by step throughout the basics of discovering and constructing “characters who flip you on.” This simple yet thought-provoking how-to is a beneficial software for either the beginner and the pro writer.

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Sample text

And as I write, I find I need things. Character A, for instance, needs to know how to pick a lock, so I give her a bit of background involving time spent years before with a locksmith uncle. Character B is going to have to deliver a baby; I plant references to his training as a paramedic. Character C? Her mother was an amateur gemologist/rockhound, so she can identify semiprecious stones. All this material goes into a sort of working file - a dossier after the fact - as my story progresses, creating the details of characterization catch-as-catch-can as I go.

A far · different woman from the Regan grandmother, right? Here we see not only physical details, but a trait of candor: a character not afraid to report honestly on what she sees in the mirror. " And in her analogy - "the color of the limestone monuments raised by the Mayas one thousand years ago" - establishes her intelligence and the focus of her interests. " Is this a tag of appearance, or manner, or attitude? It doesn't really matter. Here we see a judgment of one person by another, captured in a phrase.

Does she see herself as good-humored, honest, hard-working, clever, kind, short-tempered, timid, aggressive, understanding, stingy, generous, or what? Bear in mind, however, that all such traits are abstract and general. Behavior is concrete and specific. " that demonstrates any given point is what's important. To that end, you must devise incidents and specific details that show the trait in action. Never just say a character is irritating. Make him do something recognizably irritating. Telling simply isn't good enough.

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Creating Characters by Dwight V. Swain

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