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The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Angela Ackerman , Becca Puglisi

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24. September 2013
Crafting likable, interesting characters is a balancing act, and finding that perfect mix of strengths and weaknesses can be difficult. But the task has become easier thanks to The Negative Trait Thesaurus. Through its flaw-centric exploration of character arc, motivation, emotional wounds, and basic needs, writers will learn which flaws make the most sense for their heroes, villains, and other members of the story’s cast. This book’s vast collection of flaws will help writers to explore the possible causes, attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and related emotions behind their characters’ weaknesses so they can be written effectively and realistically. Common characterization pitfalls and methods to avoid them are also included, along with invaluable downloadable tools to aid in character creation. Written in list format and fully indexed, this brainstorming resource is perfect for creating deep, flawed characters that readers will relate to.

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The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws + The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes (Writers Helping Writers) + The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression
Preis für alle drei: EUR 39,75

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Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are co-creators of The Bookshelf Muse, an award winning online resource for writers. The Negative Trait Thesaurus is the second book in their descriptive writing series, along with The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Emotion, and The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes. Members of SCBWI and writers of middle grade and young adult fiction, both authors lead workshops at regional conferences throughout North America and teach webinars at WANA International. They can be found at

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.9 von 5 Sternen  72 Rezensionen
24 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brainstorming Tool of the Year 18. Oktober 2013
Von K.M. Weiland, Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction - Veröffentlicht auf
I turn to Ackerman and Puglisi's Emotion Thesaurus regularly when needing inspiration for character reactions and action beats. Their new additions to the series are shaping up to be just as valuable, if not more so. In the introductory material to this volume, they state that they view this book as a "brainstorming tool." This is spot-on.

As they explain in their insightful opening chapters, character flaws drive character arcs. Without a solid understanding of what major problem is at the crux of our character's personal dilemma, we will never have the knowledge to shape a powerful transformation over the course of our story.

But more than just power, we also want originality, and this is where the Negative Trait Thesaurus should prove especially helpful. Just in browsing a few entries, my imagination was immediately spurred to look beyond obvious, first-glance choices toward bigger and more unique possibilities. I look forward to using this wonderful tool (complete with some of the best "bonus goodies" I've ever seen in the appendices) in shaping my characters in my next work-in-progress.
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Another Must-Have Resource for Fiction Authors 24. Oktober 2013
Von Shelley Hitz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I am a big fan of "The Emotion Thesaurus" and was excited to see that the authors released two new resources for authors..."The Negative Trait Thesaurus" and the "Positive Trait Thesaurus." I highly recommend both volumes.

In "The Negative Trait Thesaurus," the authors provide a treasure chest of ideas for fiction authors to use to bring depth to their characters. These character flaws will help add additional conflict to your story as well as help bring your characters to life for your readers.

The meat of the book (that I will use the most often) contains 106 negative traits. Each listing includes the following:

1) Definition
2) Similar Flaws
3) Possible Causes
4) Associated Behaviors and Attitudes
5) Associated Thoughts
6) Associated Emotions
7) Positive Aspects
8) Negative Aspects
9) Example from Film
10) Overcoming This Trait as a Major Flaw
11) Traits in Supporting Characters That May Cause Conflict

As you can see, each negative trait is jam-packed with great brain-storming content.

I recommend authors use this tool as follows:

1) When creating your character profiles
2) When you need to add extra depth to your characters
3) When brainstorming new characters
4) To find additional ways to add conflict to your story

And I'm sure there are tons of other uses for this tool as well. The authors also provide introductory material which could be a book in itself as well as tools in the appendix including a needs and lies list, a reverse backstory tool and character pyramid tool with links to print these tools off as well.

I highly recommend this book as a resource and brainstorming tool for fiction authors!

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, but would have gladly paid for a copy as I know I will use it often.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Awesome! 8. Oktober 2013
Von Julie Musil - Veröffentlicht auf
Just like the Emotion Thesaurus, the Negative Trait Thesaurus is a must read for writers. One of the areas I loved most was choosing a negative character trait, then matching it with a trait in another character that would offer natural conflict. Reading through these traits has helped me dig deeper and create flawed--but real--characters.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Another must-have for all writers 9. Oktober 2013
Von Marissa Graff - Veröffentlicht auf
Angela and Becca have done it again! The Negative Trait Thesaurus is a fantastic, must-have resource for writers. The exhaustive list of character flaws and how they are manifest on the page will inform writers for every character they craft. Beyond simply showing the negative aspects of a character, this book helps writers show their internal world, helping writers convey true motivations and needs. The result is character development on the deepest, most meaningful levels possible.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This Book Should Get 10 Stars! 29. Oktober 2013
Von Susanne Lakin - Veröffentlicht auf
Authors, you need this book. As a writing coach who reads and critiques 200 manuscripts a year, I can't speak highly enough about this book and the companion book, the Positive Trait book. I have a bookcase full of writing craft books that I draw on in my teaching and recommend to my clients, but I can easily say these books by Ackerman and Puglisi are at the top. It is so vital for writers to understand how to create believable characters, and that can't be done by randomly assigning traits and flaws with no regard for the background and history of the character. Just as in real life, characters need to act based on their true core personalities, which have been formed by events in the past and their upbringing. The authors of these books help writers see how to create rich, complex characters that will jump off the page. And the thesaurus style of these books makes for easy access to look up traits, flaws, and emotions (I'm including their Emotion Thesaurus in here too). Get all three. Your writing will greatly benefit!
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