The Compass of Character: Creating Complex Motivation for Compelling Characters in Fiction, Film, and TV (Paperback)

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Just as a compass provides direction for an explorer, so does motivation provide direction for characters in fiction. The "compass" of character motivation is composed of four points: Lack, Yearning, Resistance, and Desire. In The Compass of Character you'll learn to deeply consider the key question "What does my character want?" and learn techniques to answer that question by writing realistic and empathetic characters without falling into formulaic, unsatisfying results that only diminish the character. Bestselling author and acclaimed writing instructor David Corbett provides writers with the essentials for building characters with motivations that range from clear to complex by exploring topics such as:

- human yearning
- pathological maneuvers
- the pain of life vs. the promise of life
- backstory and behavior
- mechanics of growth and transformation
- dramatizing mistaken desire and misbegotten yearnings
- moral arguments
The key to fascinating characters is rendering subtle inner states in straightforward external circumstances, which requires a fundamental understanding of the simple building blocks of complex motivation as they manifest themselves in behavior, where complexity of purpose collides with the messy, indifferent world. The Compass of Character is the one book that can guide writers to that end with both instruction and inspiration.

About the Author

David Corbett is the award-winning author of the writing guides The Art of Character ("A writer's bible" - Elizabeth Brundage) and The Compass of Character. He has published six novels, including The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday, nominated for the Lefty Award for Best Historical Mystery, and scheduled for re-release in Spring 2020 by Suspense Press. His short fiction has been selected twice for Best American Mystery Stories, and his non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Narrative, Bright Ideas, and Writer's Digest, where he is a contributing editor. He has taught at the UCLA Writer's Program, Litreactor, and at writing conferences across North America and Mexico, and is a monthly contributor to Writer Unboxed, an award-winning blog dedicated to the craft and business of fiction.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781440300868
ISBN-10: 1440300860
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books
Publication Date: November 19th, 2019
Pages: 288
Language: English