- Taschenbuch: 186 Seiten
- Verlag: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (28. August 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1479208973
- ISBN-13: 978-1479208975
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,3 x 1,1 x 25,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 592.322 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. August 2012
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Bryan Cohen writes about writing, comedy, self-help and embarrassing anecdotes from his life. He is also an actor, director and producer who enjoys dabbling in both theatre and film in Chicago, Illinois. Bryan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art with a minor in Creative Writing. His books have sold over 15,000 copies. His website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, helps over 25,000 people a month to get over writers block and to come up with new creative projects.
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This book was loaded with examples, but not necessarily prompts. For example, in one section - characters by occupation (writer), it gives several 'examples' which describe writers, but I didn't walk away with any new ideas or suggestions to kick start my own creative juices. I suppose I took the title literally - prompts.
The book was also riddled with mistakes, typos that absolutely should have been caught by the author. For example:
Section 226 - Character by Occupation
'When his books became overwhelm popular, the publisher decided to keep his identity secret...' (should be overwhelmingly)
The book had many mistakes and such blatant mistakes are the mark of an amateur writer.
As one person said, opinions are just that, everybody has one. As for me, I was disappointed.
This book is definitely a keeper for me, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is truly serious about creating good 3-dimensional characters that come to life on page or screen.
So much of what is out there today showcases very poor character creation. Abandoning the old writer's adage of "Show, don't tell", too many authors rely on the exact opposite, telling their audience right off the bat who the heroes and villains are without ever giving reasons why. Character X is evil. Why? He's mean to people. Why? Who knows? Character Y is good. Why? Because he's going after Character X. Any particular reason why? No. Sorry, but that isn't good character development. There's no reason for the audience to become invested in what happens to either side. It's quite frankly, a very lazy way to write.
Mr. Cohen's book is divided into sections on the main types of characters one would be writing about, giving a short explanation at the beginning of each to describe why certain characteristics capture the attention. What makes a hero a hero? What makes a villain a villain? He goes on to create character prompts which give a description of various types of characters in various scenarios and the exercise ends with questions for the writer to puzzle out. A hero that does wonders for the world, but doesn't have enough time for his own family. How does that affect him? Them? Does it affect his interactions with those he's actively helping? Does it diminish what he does? These are terrific exercises to build the back-stories of characters. How did they get to where they are now? What motivates them? What are they hiding from or compensating for? No character is completely black or white. Like us, they all have grey areas, and this is a wonderful reminder about including that in their development. Being able to answer these questions goes a very long way to building a fully fleshed-out character that the audience can actually care about.
Those who are expecting a book of character information sheets or cheat sheets for quick character formation, whereby one plugs in vague information such as height, weight, other description of appearance, etc., in order to create a character will be very disappointed. Mr. Cohen did not create your characters for you, but is instead giving you the tools to create your own.
I understand its a case of different strokes for different folks, but, a 5 star rating, this book is not. That said, there are lots of ideas to glean from. The author offers differing genre prompts, differing archetype prompts (mad scientist, aliens, zombies)etc. These, in themselves, can serve as fodder for the imagination.
So, it's a good book, not a great one.
Recommendation: Story starters by Clifford Fryman. This author really mixed it up while often times keeping it lean e.g. 1) The dog looked up quizzically at his owner, the arm dangling in its mouth where a frisbee should have been.
This is a one sentence prompt. Fryman's book has its own flaws, but it does get to jump start your juices.But like I said earlier, different strokes ...