Friday, October 1, 2010

Getting Into Character - Brandilyn Collins

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

Rating: 8
7- It took me longer then most writing books simply because I needed to keep stopping and applying it.
Impact: I hope very high. Hopefully it will show in my writing!

Read it Again: Yes. It's an excellent reference book and I would probably benefit from going strait through a couple more times.
Recommend it:

What to Expect

Brandilyn Collins delves into different stages of bringing out character and understanding people.

She bases her seven points on the great Constantin Stanislavsky's books on acting.

My Squib

I really enjoyed this book, partly because it was just amazing for building characters and partly because it was explores human character and the way we think.

I especially appreciated what she taught about subtexting and inner rhythm. She uses examples from well known books to illustrate her points, which really helped me actually understand the concepts.

The only thing I didn't like was wordiness and sometimes she had some sort of unnecessary content.

I don't always agree with every little thing she said, but it always made me think. An extremely good book if you are interested in writing or just what goes on and the human head and how it translates into actions. I highly recommend it.

She has an amazing list of writing books in the back with short, explanatory squibs. More to add to my list of book wants. ;-)

From the Book

"The novelist's challenge of 'getting into character' is indeed never-ending.

Ultimate characterization is an art that requires our lifetime pursuit--a pursuit that rests upon fervent, continual studying and recording of the human condition. When we blend new observations with those techniques that we've borrowed from our acting cousins, we will continue to see fresh, vibrant life breathed into our characters.

Even more important, we'll learn about ourselves--
Which leads to greater understanding of character--
And the cycle goes on."

Let me know what you thought if you read it. Do you have any favorite character books?
Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian


Eldra said...

I read this book but since I read a number of other character/writing books at the same time, I don't remember it really well. I'll probably have to reread it.

Miss Pickwickian said...

That's the main reason I like to review books and write down things about them. ;-) Then I can keep track of them.

Any other good character books you can recommend?

Thanks for commenting,
Miss Pickwickian

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Miss P, thanks so much for your review and comments. I hope you find the concepts in GETTING INTO CHARACTER helpful as you apply them to your writing.

I agree with you that it's a book to be read more than once. The concepts are quite deep, even though the book itself can read rather quickly.


Miss Pickwickian said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe you read my blog!!!!!

Thank you so much for writing such an amazing book. It has definitely helped me mature my characters. I really appreciate your hard work!
Thanks so much!

And thanks for commenting! You made my day. :-)

Thank you!
Miss Pickwickian

Jubilant Wife said...

I had a chance to read a little of it and really like what I read. Well, one example she cited was tragic and made me cry... but her examples really helped me understand better the concept she was getting at.

Brooke said...

I have like major writer's block and it never came back - yet, and hopefully it will. Haha. I've written a lot of stories before that are left unfinished. I hope this book could give me that drive back, the inspiration.

Miss Pickwickian said...

I hope it does too! I think getting more in depth into character helps me finish things. If I care enough about them I can't just leave them there. :-)

Writer's block is a real and terrible thing. I hope it leaves you in peace. ;-)

Miss Pickwickian