Since month we’ll be celebrating Fantasy Romance… and characters are at the heart of Romance, I wanted to recommend a good primer on creating believable and likable (or loathsome) characters.
Orson Scott Card’s book, Characters & Viewpoint, is, in my opinion, the absolute best book on Character and Viewpoint out there. An experienced writer might read it and think, “Gosh, I know all this…”; it is a writing primer, meaning it covers the basics. Nonetheless, even for experienced writers, it’s a worthwhile read.
You may know the difference between First Person and Third Person, but do you know the difference between Close Third and Distant Third? You may know how the difference between a hero and a villain, but do you know how to ensure that your hero is likable (but not boring) and your villain is enthralling (but doesn’t steal the show from you hero)? What is the difference between a Superman and an Everyman? Should you ever employ flat characters–spear holders?
In fact, characters are at the heart of any good novel. Even if you don’t write “Character Focused” fiction, you’ll need characters, though they will serve a different role in your story than in a Romance or Literary novel.
And do read this book.
Buy Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card.