Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Card, Orson Scott. Characters and viewpoint / Orson Scott Card, p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 0- Review of Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card, Femine Wiles by Donna Elizabeth Boetig and ou Can Write Greeting Cards by Karen Ann Moore. Award-winning auther Orson Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoints in Orson Scott Card writes imaginative and compelling novels that also.
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Characters and Viewpoint
Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Vivid and memorable characters aren’t born: This book is a set of tools: Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your memory, your imagination and your soul.
Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developi Vivid and memorable characters aren’t born: 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.
You’ll learn how to: Paperbackpages. Published March 15th by Writer’s Digest Books first published Elements of Fiction Writing. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Characters and Viewpointplease sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Characters and Viewpoint. Lists with This Book. Sep 05, Samir Rawas Sarayji rated it it was ok Shelves: The book is pages and is divided into 3 main sections, ‘Inventing Characters’, ‘Constructing Characters’, and ‘Performing Characters’.
Each part is, in turn, divided into smaller chapters. It explains how characters can come from people you know, your memories or yourself and so on, how to formulate a character with things like habits, patterns, abilities, feature and so on, and even talks about character names.
Unlike Card’s approach, where I find that writing about the obvious is redundant and generalizing the subjective in impractical. The second part begins with explaining the MICE quotient – Milieu, Idea, Character, Event – explaining that all stories have this but it’s necessary for the writer to know which is the prominent one, and therefore, the type of story being written. Card then moves on to briefly explain hierarchies of characters, which he divides into placeholders, minor characters and major characters.
The next chapters cover the emotional stakes involved, the emotional qualities a writer endows the characters with, and then discusses comic characters and serious characters. The final chapter here covers ‘Transformations’, which is indeed a necessity in good story telling because a character should undergo change or fail at it and the reader should witness this change or failure – but, Card’s discussion here becomes abstract and, like most of this section, does not really delve into how to do any of these things.
Instead, Card points at contemporary examples from books and films, preaching the do’s and don’t’s, while showing the novice what possibilities are available.
Characters and Viewpoint Summary & Study Guide
The third part is perhaps the most useful and focuses more on topics like voice and viewpoint rather than purely on character. Again though, the information is quite elementary and what he does in several pages, other writers have accomplished scoyt an opening paragraph in their chapters of similar themes.
The brief chapters here discuss the tense the story is told in, dramatic vs. All in all, this is a book for novices and even then, I would not recommend it because much of the fiction or films referred to are mainstream or pulp, and the topics are never explored in-depth. This means the aspiring writer will lack the fundamental knowledge necessary in understanding the mechanisms at work and, thus, not be able to exploit or manipulate them, as exceptional writing is wont to do.
I’ve given this 2 stars because it could still be useful to the novice interested in pulp writing, and because Card does explain himself clearly. View all 16 comments. Orson Scott Card presents tools and techniques for the novice writer on characters and viewpoint. In his book we learn how to invent a character — what makes a good fictional character. We learn the difference between major and minor characters and between walk-on and placeholder characters.
We discuss how to raise the emotional stakes of a character and how we should feel abou Orson Scott Card presents tools and techniques for the novice writer on characters and viewpoint. We discuss how to raise the emotional stakes of a character and how we should feel about the characters.
We talk about transformations — why people change and justifying those changes. We learn about presentational versus representational viewpoint. We close by looking at first-person and third-person point-of-view.
Oct 19, Melissa rated it it was ok Shelves: Not my cup of tea when it comes to writing advice. This WD book was very basic and most of the guidance on characterization is focused on creating characters before you start writing and not fleshing out those characters on the page.
Overall I f Not my cup of tea when it comes to writing advice. Overall I felt this book was incredibly dated and failed to address key areas of characterization.
Reviews of Writing Books
If you’re just starting out, it is a quick read and good basic info to be aware of but xcott advanced writers may find it less than satisfactory. A book to help you choose your POV.
Whose story are you really telling? And what POV would be best for it? Plus examples same bits of stories told from different POVsrules, conventions, pitfalls and advantages of one or the other POV.
Also, if you want to learn what melodramatic writing is and how to avoid it my casethese are a few excellent examples here that will make you “get” it I certainly “got” it. I’ve just remembered that I read the noted homophobe’s writing guide back in my early teens.
Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Even then, I could tell that a lot of his advice was bollocks – I especially remember the bit about how erudite types were inherently unsympathetic, and a smart hero would have to punch a couple of guys for every time he demonstrated his brains. Yep, as demonstrated by the lamentable obscurity in which characters like Poirot and Sherlock Holmes have long languished, right? Jul 11, Joy Pixley rated it it was amazing. For turning out to be possibly my favorite writing craft book ever, this one started off a bit slow to me.
The first and shortest section is about coming up with characters, what makes a character, how to name them. It was fine, well-written, and useful, and you couldn’t have a book about characters without these issues, but I didn’t see a ton that was really new to me. The remaining three-quarters of the book was amazing. Having anchored on the first four chapters, I kept finding myself thinkin For turning out to be possibly my favorite writing craft book ever, this one started off a bit slow to me.
Having anchored on the first four chapters, I kept finding myself thinking: And this bit here too. I’d better stop again to mark this and write notes in my WIP. It took me a while to finish because I was reading in small chunks, so when I was done, I went back and read it again. And learned more, again. What was so good? First, the range and depth of the topics. Card’s “MICE quotient” talks about four things your story might focus on milieu, idea, character, or eventand why it makes sense to look at your characters differently depending on what plot style you’re writing.
For me, this section was worth the price of the book. He also discusses how readers respond to certain elements and traits in characters and how to include or avoid them.
How to construct emotional tension and empathy, how to make characters believable, how or whether they change over time. How to fit the characters into the web of other characters and setting. Possibly the best part of the book is the third section on point of view. I would have sworn I’d read just about everything there was on point of view, but again I was pleasantly surprised.
He does a wonderful job of comparing the POV options, discussing the strengths and limitations of each, how the characters come across differently in each one, and why you might want to use one versus the other in certain circumstances, for different effects.
It’s not just the range of topics that makes this an excellent craft book, it’s how deeply Card manages to probe them; he effortlessly squeezes a huge amount of insight into relatively short sections, while offering truly useful examples and techniques. It is, simply, an incredibly well-written book by someone who really knows what charactrrs talking about and is good at explaining it to other people.
You can look up any of these issues online if you want; I’m sure there are tons of blog posts about each one of them. But for me, I’m glad I fharacters Orson Scott Card’s way of explaining it, right here by my writing scoth, to delve into for serious thinking about my characters whenever I need it.
Oct 24, Eric rated it it was amazing. I read this book at a point where I’d already read a couple dozen books, a hundred Writers Digest magazines, and a zillion web pages on writing. Characters and Viewpoint is required reading for all fiction writers. I borrowed this book from another writer at the writer’s meeting I attend, since I’m fascinated by the craft of writing.
Some tips were familiar, scort other tips were new or approached a bit differently than I’ve seen in other sources.
I was particularly fond of his explanation of jeopardy, and I found his explanation on developing I borrowed this book from another writer at the writer’s meeting I attend, since I’m fascinated by the craft of writing. I was particularly fond of his explanation of jeopardy, and I found his explanation on developing sympathetic characters interesting.
However, by no means do I think the information in this book should be taken as an absolute answer on the craft of writing. There were times when it felt like the author held a grudge toward some of his topics.
The way he wnd references of “homosexual” characters, his suggestion that characters who show their intellect tend to come across as unsymphathetic, and the way he addressed some of the women characters didn’t quite seem However, despite having a few biases about what works and what doesn’t or shouldn’t A few other reviewers on Goodreads mentioned that his advice seems dated, and there are several instances which attest to this. Admittedly, some of the dated examples can’t be helped, given that over time, books do become cwrd.
That being said, a lot of his examples came from movies, which explain the points he is trying to make, but I would have liked to have seen more examples from various books.