Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors

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Wiley, Mar 11, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 212 pages
Proven techniques for creating vivid, believable characters

Want to bring characters to life on the page as vividly as fine actors do on the stage or screen? Getting into Character will give you a whole new way of thinking about your writing. Drawing on the Method acting theory that theater professionals have used for decades, this in-depth guide explains seven characterization techniques and adapts them for the novelist’s use.

In this unique and practical book, you’ll discover concepts that will help you understand and communicate the behavior, motivation, and psychology of every fictional character you create. Examples from classic and contemporary novels show you how these techniques have been used to dazzling effect by Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Steve Martini, Anne Rivers Siddons, and others. These simple yet highly effective techniques will help you:

  • Create characters whose distinctive traits become plot components
  • Determine each character’s specific objectives and motivations
  • Write natural-sounding dialogue rich in meaning
  • Endow your characters with three-dimensional emotional lives
  • Use character to bring action sequences to exuberant life
  • Write convincingly about any character facing any circumstance

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About the author (2002)

Bestselling author BRANDILYN COLLINS writes novels in both the women's fiction and suspense genres. She is also the author of the well-received true crime title A Question of Innocence. Before turning to writing, she was a longtime student of drama, including Stanislavsky's writings on Method acting. Visit her Web site at:

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