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Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
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Characters and Viewpoint (1988)

by Orson Scott Card

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This book concentrates on inventing and writing memorable characters and telling their stories from different viewpoints. It is part of Writer's Digest Elements of Fiction Writing series. Because of its limited scope, it delves further into its subject matter than many writing books. It provides lots of hints, ideas, and techniques for bringing characters into existence, how to develop their profiles, and how each viewpoint can be used to tell their stories in different ways. The subject matter is provided with a little humour, which helps lighten it. But there are none of the exercises you might see in other writing books. I give this book 4 stars. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | May 28, 2017 |
An editor once told me that if you're going to take advice on writing, take it either from name-bestselling writers or gatekeepers such as acquiring editors or agents--not necessarily anyone who writes for Writer's Digest. Well, I've ordinarily liked the Elements of Fiction Writing series Writer's Digest put out, but in this case you get the "name" too, and Orson Scott Card happens to be someone whose writing I admire. I liked the various examples he gave, especially in illustrating the effects of different points of view. Particularly memorable was his treatment of omniscience, which he said was particularly effective in comedy--complete with an example. The book is a keeper. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 9, 2013 |
This book really helped me understand why I'd use first or third person. The ending was helpful. The beginning was interesting. ( )
  KJKron | Jul 13, 2011 |
A useful examination of the process, elements, and techniques of characterization.

I appreciated the way Card created quick, bare-bones fiction examples to demonstrate most of points he making, rather than referring to other books and/or stories which may be hard to find.

Of the three sections, I found the last one (focused on the implementation of characterization and viewpoint) most useful. ( )
  CKmtl | Nov 30, 2008 |
Overall, this is a good book to start out with. It gives you plenty of things to consider, and OSC is good about giving examples so you can read the difference between style A and style B, which is incredibly helpful. This won't be the only character book I read though, but that said, I'm glad I have this one to refer to.

For a full review, just click here: http://calico-reaction.livejournal.com/3339.html ( )
  devilwrites | Apr 28, 2007 |
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WRITING & EDITING GUIDES. This book is a set of tools: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your imagination. Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoint in novels and short stories. With specific examples, he spells out your narrative options, the choices you'll make in creating fictional people so "real" that readers will feel they know them like members of their own families.… (more)

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