Friday, June 6, 2014

Character Sympathy by Jordan McCollum


Title: Character Sympathy: Creating Characters Your Readers Have to Root For
Author: Jordan McCollum
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "IS YOUR CHARACTER WORTHY OF YOUR READER? CHARACTER SYMPATHY hooks your readers and gets them on your character's side from the very start. Often we think of sympathetic characters as those we love or envy or pity, but character sympathy runs deeper than simply liking or feeling sorry for a character. Sympathy in this sense is truly feeling what the character feels, worrying over the same things he worries about, and wanting him to succeed against all odds. If we can get our readers to fully sympathize and identify with our character, our readers will enjoy that journey with our character and then clamor for more. CHARACTER SYMPATHY will help you: Learn what events, actions and characteristics create true sympathy for a character. Engineer your character's motivations and goals to maximize her sympathy. Avoid cliched methods for creating reader identification. Foster sympathy for heroes, antiheroes, villains and everyone in between. Observe and analyze master storytellers' techniques to create character identification. Character sympathy isn't automatic or easy, but it's necessary for readable fiction. Applying these principles can strengthen any story and any character. Hook your readers with a character they can really root for!" (
Opinions: For the last month I've been reviewing feedback from my beta readers on my current writing work in progress. I've then spent the rest of the time studying various authors lectures and books on different techniques for improving my writing and fixing my weak areas. I just finished reading this book yesterday. It's a quick read, but I recommend keeping a pen handy. I frequently underlined tips and ideas that will help make my story tighter and increase my characters connection to the reader. So if you are a writer and are looking for information on how to improve your story I recommend this book.  It also references a lot of other books, blogs, and authors with great advice.  I'm looking forward to going through the additional reading section and learning more.

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