By Dwight V. Swain

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

Vibrant, plausible characters aid force a fictional tale. in addition to a shrewdpermanent plot, well-drawn characters make us are looking to proceed studying a unique or end looking at a film. In Creating Characters, Dwight V. Swain exhibits how writers can invent attention-grabbing characters and increase them in order that they stream a narrative along.

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

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Devereaux, a footloose gambler in the pioneer West. For mystery writer Lawrence Block there was a man who couldn’t sleep; for Tony Hillerman, his Navajo neighbors in New Mexico. John D. MacDonald came up with a “knight in slightly tarnished armor” named Travis McGee who lived aboard a Florida houseboat called the Busted Flush. Victor Hugo found fascination in a hunchback, Quasimodo. Shakespeare won immortality with such diverse figures as Hamlet, Juliet, Falstaff, and Lady Macbeth—she of the bloodstained hands.

TWO/ SEARCHING OUT YOUR CHARACTERS How do you find the right character? You scan the applicants until you locate one who turns you on and fits the part. THREE/ LABELS, LABELS Why do you label a character? Your reader needs some clue or two to help him recognize each of your story people. FOUR/ FLESHING OUT How do you make a character real? You provide him or her with appropriate tags, traits, and relationships. FIVE/ THE WORLD WITHIN: 1 How do you motivate a character? You devise something that he or she must change in order to win happiness.

Here is a man—an orderly man, we’ll say arbitrarily. He’s neat by habit—so much so that he’s hardly conscious of it, doesn’t even think about it. His shirts are folded neatly in their drawer, his ties hung on a proper rack, the bills in his billfold arranged in order so that the fifties are in the back, the ones in front. Now he marries. His wife, it proves, is content to let dirty clothes pile up in the corner of the bedroom. The living room floor is ankle deep in junk mail and old newspapers.

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