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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Getting into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors by Brandilyn Collins

I just finished reading this book.  It gives a good overall view of the main elements used in writing.  I love acronynms and she gives us a few that will serve me well.  She also has a way of explaining things that simplifies why we do what we instinctively do, and yet still could not tell another how we do it.  Except now I can.  Her insights are useful.

Plus her examples were fun to check out which I personally enjoy when accompanying the instructive text.  Samples seem to make it more vivid for me.  This book was a fast read and only 206 pages--if you continue on to her recommended reading section.  I have ten handwritten pages (both sides) full of her tips.  My typewritten version is eleven pages long.  So lots of noteworthy stuff. 

Having ingested her book, I am now left with the desire to carry on with some of the other books she notes at the end.  And to compile lists.  About eleven of them.  You know, the shortcuts that we authors just love to have on hand.  Like for instance, for me, it is having Baby Name books from which I can choose my characters' names.  Which I should narrow down to selections I actually like and would possibly use.  Such a condensed preapproved character name list would be of great value to me.

A book that prods me to action is always a good thing.

I don't want to give away her book contents here, but one quote I would like to leave you with.  On page 147, Ms. Collins states:  "Novelists as a rule hate rules."  Amen.

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