Review of The Mythic Guide to Characters

In The Mythic Guide to Characters, Dr. del Drago explains how to create complex characters who fit into your story and who act in a way consistent with who they are.

Why to buy this book: I spent a lot of time in my college days reading psychology books in an attempt to understand how people act. That study helps me greatly as a writer, and that’s the approach that the author brings to this book — to understand characters, you need to understand people. He also goes into detail on how those characters fit into the framework of your story.

Why not to buy this book: My expectation on picking up this book (I think because of the word “guide”) was that it would detail step by step how to make a character relatable, how to present certain character traits, etc. Instead, the book presents how to build characters at a fundamental level. I think that the approach presented is essential for building comprehensive characters, but it’s important for the prospective purchaser to understand that this book takes a different angle than most of the character development books I’ve read.

Bottom Line: Though the book seems written for the plotter instead of a pantser, I think a discovery writer (as one myself) will get just as much out of it. You just have to come at things in the opposite order. While the outliner builds a character sheet and writes the story so that the character’s actions conform to the created personality, the pantser needs to examine his character after the story is finished to make sure the actions are coherent. This book provides the tools to perform those tasks. 5 Stars.

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