Monday, June 13, 2016

Fabulous Five: Books on Writing Characters

My How-to Library
"There's more where that came from."

I'm sticking with my Renewing Creative Energy theme and moving down the list to "Learning." I read a lot of books on the craft of writing and always manage to pick up a nugget of wisdom that makes the whole book worthwhile. Below are my favorites on the topic of writing, but with the focus on building and exploring characters.

Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D.
Written by a psychologist who digs deep into the human psyche. It's on my shelf.

The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman
The first 80 pages offer an excellent guide to exploring characters, inside and out. It's on my shelf.

Tarot for Writers by Corinne Kenner
I have the book, The Mythic Tarot, along with the accompanying cards illustrated by Tricia Newell. A beautiful deck from my childhood. When I'm stuck, I find it helpful to pull random cards and try to conjure up character stories. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But, it's one more way to slay the dragon. A library check out.

How to Write Great Characters: The Key to Your Hero's Growth and Transformation by David Wisehart
I found this information on the author's blog and have found the Enneagram Personality Model to be the most useful for getting under the skin of my characters and understanding their motivations and fears. Read the blog.

Please Understand Me by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates
Has detailed information about the sixteen personality types for a quick insight into what your characters like and who they would be attracted types of jobs and interests. It's on my shelf.

Other ways I get inspired for character creation is to surf on Pinterest for people pictures. I've created a file called "Characters" and sometimes I'll print them off and pin them to my board. Seeing the faces/expressions will give me a sense of who the character is and what they like.

Also, when all else fails, there are always horoscope websites to peruse.

"You must learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader." ~ Nancy Kress

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