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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Editor Devil's Guide to Characters by Christine M. Fairchild

The Editor Devil's Guide to Characters (The Editor Devil Guides)

This book is geared toward fiction writers who want to create fascinating characters—characters readers want to take home for dinner. Whether you want to create the next James Bond or Ethan Frome, the next Indiana Jones or Bridget Jones... this book will help you break the mold on character development.

My goal is to help you create 3-dimensional characters everyone talks about. Emphasis is placed on building stand-out heroes, heroines and villains. We'll examine different profiling modes, including The Hero's Journey, epic-literature archetypes, psychology models, and even spiritual archetypes. Depending on your genre, you'll also learn the appropriate type of relationships to create between characters, both primary and secondary. You'll learn to
1. Answer 3 key questions about your main characters.
2. Apply the 5 “musts” for character introductions/entrances to the story.
3. Layer action effectively (internal & external, public & private) to “show, not tell”.
4. Build character development arcs (primary vs. secondary characters) more easily.
5. Leverage dialogue between characters (primary and secondary).
6. Understand how heroes/heroines/villains should interact for greater effect.
7. Know when heroes/villains should win or lose and why.
8. Make plotting easier through character-driven storytelling.
9. Choose the right POV character for the story.

4 stars
This is one of the two Editor Devil's guides. This particular one is about crafting characters. The second features writing dialogue.
This book feels like more of a workbook than a book. I wish there was a version you could buy that was part Editor Devil guide and part notebook. My favorite parts are about crafting villains, the hero's journey and archetypes. There are many sections where you need to stop and apply the techniques to your own writing and characters.
This is seriously going to help me flesh out my protagonist and make my villain/antagonist feel more like real people than whispy ghosts. This is one of those books you will keep for reference when you need assistance getting your characters out of the cardboard zone and edge into the realm of reality.
If you need assistance with creating characters or need help jumpstarting your writing, definitely check this out.

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