Kathrynn's Reviews > 45 Master Characters

45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
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's review
May 01, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, 2008, reviewed, nonfiction-writing
Recommended to Kathrynn by: K.S.R. Kingworth

Great ideas to help create well rounded, 3-dimensional characters. The author begins by telling the story of the writer who starts out gung-ho on a story, until page 30, when the plot seems to go astray. She explains, with examples, how it may not be the plot, per se, but the character(s). I enjoyed reading examples of how to first DRAW a character, then color them in. Nice ideas.

The book talks a lot about "archetype" which (to paraphrase the author) is the blueprint for building a well-defined character be they hero, villain or support models. And it explains the "character arc" which is how a character grows and changes with the story.

I have read about both the "archetype" and "character arc" in other books, but they were not labeled as such. The author did an excellent job explaining how to use archetypes and how to create both male and female heroes and villains. Each archetype has:
1. Excellent t.v. or movie examples of characters that fall in categories (some fall into several categories),
2. Examples of how to best "rock the world" of that particular archetype
3. Ideas what they could do in stories...and much more!

In other books, there are "only" 7 main archetypes (from Greek Mythology) this author adds an 8th--the Messiah. Normally, I've seen the Messiah spun of other archetypes, but giving this character its own "place" is a good idea.

The last portion of the book pertains to plotting both the male and female journeys.

I found this book to be chalk full of great ideas, well laid out and a great asset to anyone writing: plays, novels, film...

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