Monday, October 10, 2016
The Story Works Guide to Writing Character by Alida Winterheimer
The Story Works Guide for Writing Characters is, as the title says, focused on characters. But since Alida considers characters, setting and plot to be three strands of one story braid, she does talk about the other two elements as and when they're related to character (for example, character arcs and plot are quite closely related).
Each chapter comes with an exercise (there are 12 in total), ranging from "finding the flaw in your plot" to "the agency tree" (I really, really like the agency tree). Alida also uses excerpts from her own books and the books of authors she has edited to illustrate her points, which make things easy to understand.
Bottom line: if you're looking to improve your craft (and if you don't have enough money to hire a developmental editor) this book is perfect for you. It's not going to beat talking to an expert, but it will help you correct many of the common mistakes that people make when writing.
Disclaimer: I received a free book from Alida in exchange for a free and honest review.