How to Create a Character: The Best Book on Characterization You’ve Ever Read by Logan Mathis
Amazon Digital Publishing (2014)
Summary: The problem with other “how-to books” is they’re giving you generic advice. Half the information you can’t use in your story. This book is different as everything mentioned can be used. It touches on many different aspects of characterization such as the physical, psychological, sociological, and emotional side of everything. Other books were designed to create characters This one was designed to bring them to life. Get an edge on competition by learning the true way to create characters! – Amazon.com
This book was a helpful with making sure the characters in the book I’m writing were not flat (boring, simple.) The author covers:
- Desire (making sure your character wants something)
- How Science Can Help Your Characterization
- Physical (names, gender, ethnicity, background, habits, talents etc.)
- First Impressions (how they act)
- How to Introduce Your Character
- Your Character’s Voice (so all your characters don’t sound the same)
- Emotional Stakes (suffering, tension, regret)
- Relationships Between Characters
- Character Conflicts
- Antagonist (the one who tries to stop the protagonist)
- Characterization Tips
As you can see for an ebook, he is quite thorough. Although each section isn’t very long, he gives us an explanation of the topic and examples so you can understand it easily. I was glad to see after reading the book that I had fleshed out my main character quite well already but I had work to do on my other characters.
At the end of the book is a giant questionnaire that you can use if you want to help you write out a character. It includes everything you could think of and more such as: gender, age, clothing style, critical flaw, habits, sense of humour, hobbies, guilty pleasures, religion, moral code, prejudices, relationships with family, role model, occupation, diet, stress level, education, deepest regret, problem, goal and growth. There are 83 things in the questionnaire in all! There is also a technique to make a one-page character synopsis if you don’t want to use the questionnaire.
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