NaNoWriMo Prep #4 – Best Books for Creating Characters

Lady Books

How is your NaNoWriMo prep going? I’m concentrating on characters for the next week or so. I want my NaNo novel to be the first in a series so I’ll be spending more time on characters than I usually do.

Today I’m going to share some of the best books I’ve read on creating characters. You won’t have time to read all of them before NaNoWriMo starts, but when the insanity of NaNo is over and you have time, you can read them at your leisure.

If nothing else, glancing them through should give you some ideas.

The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines – Sixteen Master Archetypes – Tami D. Cowden, Caro LeFever, Sue Viders – Not only gives you sixteen archetypes to choose from, eight male and eight female, but demonstrates how these archetypes but clash and mesh.

Bullies, Bastards & Bitches – How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction – Jessica Page Morrell – Need villains and/or bad guys/gals? This book will help you create them.

The Power of the Dark Side – Creating Great Villains and Dangerous Situations – Pamela Jaye Smith – Another good book for creating villains, anti-heroes, etc. She talks about what’s so appealing and necessary about having the dark side in your fiction.

45 Master Characters – Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters – Victoria Lynn Schmidt – Similar to Cowden, LeFever and Viders’s book above but bases the archetypes on mythic characters such as Hera, Zeus and Apollo

A Writer’s Guide to Characterization – Archetypes, Heroic Journeys, and Other Elements of Dynamic Character Development – Victoria Lynn Schmidt – A companion book to 45 Master Characters but goes into more depth as to how these archetypes interact.

Characters & Viewpoints – Orson Scott Card – A classic book not only on creating characters but how using viewpoint. Highly recommended.

The Art of Character – Creating Memorable Characters for Fiction, Film and TV – David Corbett – This is a new purchase. I’ve only had time to read the first few chapters but already I’m impressed.

The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits – Includes Profiles of Human Behaviors and Personality Types – Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D – This is a book to have on your research shelf. It’s full of information about all aspects of human behavior. Excellent resource

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