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On My Writerly Bookshelf

Characters are the core of your story. There’s no doubt about that. Even if you write plot-based fiction, you still need dimensional characters. You also want to create characters who feel (i.e. show emotions) so that your reader can connect with them. And if the reader connects with the main character within the first page, she’s going to keep reading. Right?

This is why you want to check out the non-fiction book, Breathing Life Into Your Characters: How To Give Your Characters Emotional & Psychological Depth, by Rachel Ballon. Whew! Say that five times fast.

In it you’ll learn how to create your characters both inside and out, and I mean beyond the typical interviews you see in most books on writing fiction. You’ll know your characters so well, they’ll become real to you, and that will make it easier to for you to make them real for your reader. You’ll learn through explanations, examples, and exercises to:

• create character backstories and motivations
• infuse feelings into your characters
• determine how they deal with conflict
• work with dysfunctional families
• make your villains believable and non-cartoonish
• create believable characters who have personality or behavior
• convey emotions through imagery, dialogue, and subtext

This is one of the best books I’ve read on the subject of characterization and emotion (the other two I’ve discussed here and here).

Any questions?


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But then again, if you don't enter, if increases my odds of winning. Of course, if one of you wins, I'll be really excited for you . . . so please enter. I'd love to see one of my friends win.

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On My Writerly Bookshelf + writerly books