Creating Characters: How to Build Story People by Dwight V. Swain

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. 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 developing Characters, Dwight V. Swain exhibits how writers can invent attention-grabbing characters and enhance them so 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 suppose implicitly or explicitly, that anything is important.” construction 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 uncomplicated yet thought-provoking how-to is a worthy instrument for either the amateur and the professional author.

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The hair was what you noticed. ” 2. Action. ” 3. Dialogue. ’ “Eleana turned. A woman was standing in the doorway, an old woman a head shorter than she, with pinched features and squinty eyes. ’ she gulped. “ ‘Me? ’ ” 4. Thoughts, introspection. “Edwards pondered, scanning the passersby and trying to define the person called X. A man, surely — or was it? ” Meanwhile, the principle for simplistic labeling remains both sound and important. For ease of recognition it can’t be beat. Far too many writers create characters who are, at best, gray-neutral confusing, when it’s totally unnecessary.

The ability to care. TWO/SEARCHING OUT YOUR CHARACTERS 5 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 15 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 21 How do you make a character real? You provide him or her with appropriate tags, traits, and relationships. FIVE/THE WORLD WITHIN: 1 38 How do you motivate a character?

Is there a woman you wish you knew? A man who has the qualities—unlikely qualities, quite likely—that might fit a different hero? Can you conceive a unique villain, or band of villains —remember the Alec Guiness film, The Lavender Hill Mob, or Jack Bickham’s The Over-the-Hill Gang? None of these may strike a note, you understand. I never said writing was easy. But at least now you know what you’re looking for: the character who turns you on, excites you. And yes, you’ll find that character, if you keep hunting.

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