A Mini-M.F.A. in the Psychology of Character

Metal sculpture of modernistic man on horseback dividing his patterned metal cloak with man on the ground.
How do you know what your hero is capable of? A modernistic St. Martin cuts his cloak in half to share with a poor man. Mainz, Germany.

This week, I’m over at The Winged Pen, writing about the The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus along with my penfellow, Rebecca J. Allen, who’s writing about The Emotion Thesaurus.

All the Thesaurus flurry is in honor of Angela Ackerman’s and Becca Puglisi’s newest volumes, The Urban Setting Thesaurus and The Rural Setting Thesaurus.

I have two more reasons to like these these books that I couldn’t cover at The Winged Pen, so I share them with you here:

  1. A lot of practical story theory in a small space. The Foreword for The Negative Trait Thesaurus, written by Carolyn Kaufman, Phys. D., and the introductory chapters that follow are full of insights that will get you writing. They cover character-building, villains, how to reveal flaws, and suggestions for how to deal with difficulties. This is really a mini-M.F.A. in character psychology.
  2. Deepen your fiction and make compelling and original characters. The introductory chapters for The Positive Trait Thesaurus cover how characters “worth rooting for” are the “ultimate hook,” how positive traits relate to character arc and how they develop.

Read more at The Winged Pen.

Happy writing!

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Laurel Decher

LAUREL DECHER writes stories about all things Italian, vegetable, or musical. Beloved pets of the past include "Stretchy the Leech" and a guinea pig that unexpectedly produced twins. She's famous for a nonexistent sense of direction, but carries maps because people always ask her for directions. When she's not lost, she can be found on Twitter and on her blog, This Is An Overseas Post, where she writes about life with her family in Germany. She's still a Vermonter and an epidemiologist at heart. PSA: Eat more kale! :) Her short fiction for adults, UNFORESEEN TIMES, originally appeared in _Windhover_. Photo: © Jane Joo Park, 2017.

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