Friday, June 10, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 29 - Creating Characters

Creating Characters: How to Build Story Peopleby Dwight V. Swain

Started: June 10
Finished: June 18

Notes: I do not consider characterization as one of my strengths as a writer, though I wouldn't necessarily say I'm completely awful at it. But, I'm hoping this book will teach me a few things, or at least keep me motivated a little to work on character building techniques. Though the first edition of this book is more than 20 years old, and the author passed away nearly that along ago, I still feel there will be much here to learn. Honestly, I sometimes feel older generations of writers have more to teach me than do many of today's writers. But that's just me.

Mini review: This book was actually kind of painful to read. It was not awfully written, but there were two factors that made this not a joy for me. 1.) It's quite dated. I expected some of this considering the book is 20 years old, but for a modern writer it's quite off base when it discusses cultural norms, the state of the world and even writing careers and technology. So much so that it's jarring. 2.) I know most of the stuff already written about here. On the plus side, I did pick up a few ideas, and the chapter about writing humor opened my eyes to a few things. Again, not written badly, just not right for me at this point; 15 or 20 years ago I probably would have enjoyed it more.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I feel the same way, that there's more to learn from older writers than most modern writers.