Creating Characters

A Writer’s Reference to the Personality Traits That Bring Fictional People to Life


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About the Book

A frequent problem area for fiction writers is characterization. If writers jump headlong into a story with only a fuzzy notion about the people who are in it, the result is a collection of characters who are clichéd, stereotypical and not very interesting. Creating Characters is an easy to use reference work that looks at character development from many different angles. The book does not tell writers how to write. Instead, it generates a thought process by asking crucial questions about characters’ internal and external traits, wants, needs, likes, dislikes, fears, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, habits and backgrounds. Following these questions, the writer will find an ever deeper and wider array of options. Thus, Creating Characters helps writers delve as deeply into a character’s psychology as they want. All characters, and the stories they people, can be made richer and more compelling.

About the Author(s)

Author Howard Lauther of Cincinnati, Ohio, accumulated the notes and insights for this project over many years of writing.

Bibliographic Details

Howard Lauther
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2004 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2031-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8656-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction     1

1 What Are the Character’s Internal Traits?    3
2 What Are the Character’s External Traits?    33
3 What Does the Character Want, Not Want, or Need?    83
4 What Does the Character Like or Dislike?    97
5 What Does the Character Fear?    104
6 What Does the Character Believe?    116
7 What Are the Character’s Strengths, Weaknesses, and Habits?    124
8 What Is the Character’s Background?    127
9 What Is the Character’s Self-Assessment?    134
10 What Is the Character’s “Type”?    147
11 Does the Character Have a Nickname?    189
12 What Is the Character’s Job?    202
13 Will the Character Face a Nonhuman Adversary?    212
14 What Plot Drivers Will Affect the Character?    222

Index    235