A Writer’s Guide to Characterization

While this book is a bit basic, I have found it to be a great help in getting the basics figured out for my characters. A Writer’s Guide to Characterization, by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, gives brief descriptions of character archetypes and arcs.

In my last resource post, I wrote about a book, Plot Versus Character. The combination of these two books is a tool that I use when it comes time to start actually developing my characters. Schmidt’s book even includes a short little quiz to help you figure out what archetype fits your character. From there, she provides you with basic knowledge of who that person is, including things such as how they think about things, if they are introverted or extraverted, ideas for occupations that would be fitting for them, examples of that particular archetype in movies and tv. Schmidt also gives a short explanation of how that archetype can be villainized.

The book also contains hints as to how each archetype would typically interact with each other. Would they get a long at first or would it take awhile to warm up to each other?

While this particular book does not help you create a thoroughly fleshed out character, it does give you a skeleton to build from. It helps the writer think about what their personality is when it is stripped of all of their history.


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