Characters & Viewpoint: A Review

Characters & Viewpoint
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Orson Scott Card’s Characters & Viewpoint offers an in-depth look at inventing, constructing, and performing characters in fiction writing. To this end, he makes a distinction between writing and storytelling– a relationship he likens to composer and performer, screenwriter and actor. 

What I loved:

This book offers a serious spread of in-depth character development analyses. Card broke it up into three sections (the ones I mentioned above: inventing, constructing, and performing characters). Each part breaks down an aspect of constructing believable characters.

What I didn’t:

Characters & Viewpoint is text heavy. It offers great (and important!) information, but it is limited in its usability as a quick-reference.  Writer’s Digest offers downloadable PDFs for other books (Writing Monsters, for example), and that was a feature I missed here.

Final Word?

Don’t mind crafting your own charts? Or already have your own process in place and are simply looking to supplement that practice? Then Characters & Viewpoint can be a valuable resource for you.

But if you are looking for something that offers more in the way of a structured brainstorming tool with ready-made charts, you’ll likely want to look someplace else–or practice creating your own graphic organizers.

Looking for more character development help? Check out my review of A Writer’s Guide to Character Traits!

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