Sunday, October 6, 2013

Creating Character: Bringing Your Story to Life by William Bernhardt

 Creating Character: Bringing Your Story to Life by William Bernhardt

"All fiction is character-driven, according to William Bernhardt, despite what you might have heard elsewhere. If your characters don't interest readers, even the most exciting plots will fail. "Action is character," Aristotle wrote, but what does that mean, and how can you use that fundamental principle to create dynamic fiction that will captivate readers? This book explains the relationship between character and plot, and how the perfect melding of the two produces a mesmerizing story. Using examples spanning from The Odyssey to The Da Vinci Code, Bernhardt discusses the art of character creation in a direct and easily comprehended manner. The book also includes exercises designed to help writers apply these ideas to their own work."

In full disclosure I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I haven’t read any other writing books, but I had written about a 1/3 of a novel at the time of reading this book.

This book provides excellent tips for writing more interesting characters.

I must admit I was a little worried when I read the first chapter, it seemed a little wishy-washy without any real tips, fortunately the rest of the book was excellent with great tips and advice.

The tips are general enough to apply to whatever book you are writing but specific enough for you know how and where you will apply it to your own work.

There are plenty of examples in this book that calls upon well known characters both from books and TV (such Sherlock Holmes, Doctor House and James Bond.) The nice thing about these examples is that you can still understand them even if you don’t know the characters. He sometimes uses characters from his own books, although these were just because he knew them so well and could give excellent examples and it never felt that he was trying to promote his own books.

There were plenty of tips where it helped me realize how I could improve my book and writing, although rather nicely I also saw what I had done a lot right.

The writing style is very easy to read, even if you have never studied writing you will be able to understand everything that the author tells you. He very rarely uses technical terms and on the few occasions that he does, he fully explains what they mean.

One tip I have for this book, use a highlighter pen, there are so many useful tips you will need to highlight the ones that you find the most useful and relevant.

I liked the short length of this book, there was no filler, just great advice on how to write. The short length was nice as it meant I could read it without feeling I should get back to my own writing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to improve their writing, I will defiantly getting the rest of this series.

Rating *****

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