Wednesday, November 30, 2005

45 Master Characters

As you can see at the side bar the word count for my WIP changed and the non-fiction book I'm reading has changed also. I always try to read one fiction and one nonfiction at the same time. Keeps life interesting.

I have to say 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt is a definite must for a writer. Ms. Schmidt breaks down characters into eight archtypes for females and eight archtypes for males. Then she breaks down each archtype into heroes and villians. Under each breakdown she gives character description, then answers these questions:

What does the character care about?
What does the character fear?
How do other characters see this "character"?

Then she discusses developing the character arc and gives a list of assets and flaws. You can identify not only your character, but also the character types that work well with yours.

And there's more. Ms. Schmidt talks about supporting characters and goes in depth about the male and female journeys. She even includes worksheets for this at the end.

Every page of this book is full of valuable information. By page twelve I was competely hooked. The questions on this page alone helped me flesh out my characters with a depth I'd not experienced before, and I can already see a difference as I write my characters. I can hear them.

So, if you want to deepen your characters, this is the book to help you. I just read Donald Maass' book, Writing the Breakout Novel and found 45 Master Characters to be a great companion to what Maass refers to as "larger-than-life characters."

On a scale of five stars, I have to give this book a five. I know I'll be using it over and over again.

2 comments:

Robin Caroll said...

I, too, gave this book a high rating! I LOVE it! I find myself delving deeper into my characters pysche by using it!

Allen said...

Looks like I am going to the bookstore tomorrow...LOL. BTW, Dineen, you have been tagged over at my blog for a meme. Go check it.