Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
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out of date and not very practical
am 25. Dezember 2013
The book is not really that bad. It gives a broad overview over the different layers of character creation and certainly might be entertaining and a tad helpful for novice screenplay writers who never have given thought to the process of character creation.
However, its usefulness for everyone else stops right there. Though Seger assures that the principles used in the book are universally applicable, I strongly disagree. For example, she claims with a violence that backstory is not important, and that a character telling her story is boring - which might be true for screenplays, but certainly not for novels, at least not to the same extent, in my experience. There are more of those claims that I felt to be a bit too absolute to be truly universally applicable.
Furthermore, she illustrates those principles with case studies and examples from movies and TV series, assuming that the reader is familiar with the characters and themes and not bothering to explain at least in broad strokes. Born in Germany 1981, I knew virtually none of the dropped US TV series and was forced to google all of them to understand what she was talking about.
Most of the rest of the book consists of anecdotes and interviews with known screenplay writers. Thought that seems the favourite way of teaching and learning for US creatives, I personally find it very confusing, unstructured and not helpful (though entertaining).
Bottom line: if you are a US screenplay writer looking for general information on character creation, this book might be for you. If you're a novelist and/or from any other country and look for a basic, working, step-by-step instruction for building characters, go buy "Plot vs. Character" by Jeff Gerke.