By Dwight V. Swain

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

Vibrant, plausible characters aid force a fictional tale. besides a smart plot, well-drawn characters make us are looking to proceed analyzing a unique or end observing a film. In Creating Characters, Dwight V. Swain indicates how writers can invent attention-grabbing characters and increase them so they circulate 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 suppose implicitly or explicitly, that anything is important.” construction on that foundation—the ability 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 device for either the beginner and the professional writer.

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Bob, in contrast, isn't content merely to stand up and be counted. A business type and aggressive he wants to help run the show from the church boardroom. It's one of the things that makes him feel that he's important. Bert's case is a little different. A bit paranoid, he's suspicious of 42 • Creating Characters all authority. The church gives him a point of focus. Add to that his conservatism, his feeling that any change is dangerous, and he's an ideal convert for those who feel the trend to modernization is endangering the church itself and springs from Satan.

You need to ask. " Is his behavior a matter of attitude? Function? Potential? Where do you get all this material? The answer, I must repeat, even though it grows tedious, is through observation and introspection - a study of living, breathing, human beings in their native habitat, and that includes yourself. Nothing will substitute for watching, on the one hand, and probing your own most secret thoughts, on the other. This is a subject we'll discuss elsewhere in more detail. But it's important to plant the thought in the back of your head early.

Consider, too, your character's weaknesses. What flaws do you want to show in the course of your story - and yes, Character does have them; we all do, and you'll be wise to reveal them, for the "perfect" person tends to disgruntle readers. ) A good example of such a "non-perfect" person is Murphy Brown (played by Candice Bergen), a character in a TV situation comedy. Murphy is a top TV newsperson-intelligent, efficient, gorgeous to look at. But she's also a recovering alcoholic, a heavy smoker suffering the agonies of quitting, and so aggressive, opinionated, and jealous of her status that she makes your teeth ache.

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