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Review: The Three Dimensions of Character

by Jennifer on February 11, 2010

By Jennifer Blanchard

Larry Brooks has done it again.

He’s managed to produce 85 pages of pure genius.

Two days ago, Brooks quietly launched his new eBook: The Three Dimensions of Character: Going Deep and Wide to Create Compelling Heroes and Villains.

The purpose of this book is to show you how to create deep, complex characters. But it does so much more than that.

While reading it last night (which I did, from cover-to-cover in less than four hours), my mind started reeling with ideas for the novel I’m working on.

That’s because Brooks address character in context to story structure, not in a vacuum like most books and articles about character do.

There are three dimensions of character:

  1. Surface traits, quirks and habits
  2. Backstory and inner demons
  3. Action, behavior and world view

And all of these dimensions must be addressed and work together if your main characters are going to be successful.

In 85 pages, Brooks  explains to you (for the most part) the basics of human psychology; what drives it (resentment), what holds it back (inner demons), what will make a character overcome inner demons (the chance to be a hero), etc.

And if a psychology lesson isn’t enough for you—he offers even more.

He also included an amazing checklist of questions you should be able to answer about your character before you start writing.

My favorite part is when Brooks walks you through all the parts of story structure (everything from part one to the first plot point to the second plot point to part four) and shows how character drives the plot of a story.

Brooks doing that really helped me put the final pieces together on my understanding of story structure and how it all works to produce a great story.

And I thought Story Structure–Demystified was as good as it gets.

If you want characters that are deep, compelling and interesting, you need The Three Dimensions of Character.

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

Ed. Note: I am a Storyfix.com affiliate. If you purchase The Three Dimensions of Character or any of Brooks’ other eBooks, Procrastinating Writers will make a couple bucks. Thank you very much for helping me keep this blog going!
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shane Arthur February 12, 2010 at 8:40 am

Larry is the man! I have this book on the “I’m going to buy it when I can” list. I appreciate your review. More people should do book reviews on their blogs. Does it work? When I get this book, I’ll get it through you, so yes it does.
Regards,
Shane

2 Tanya February 12, 2010 at 11:10 am

“That’s because Brooks address character in context to story structure, not in a vacuum like most books and articles about character do.”

I never quite realized that’s what felt not-quite-right to me about those “most books and articles about character”. When you think about it, discussing characterization while keeping story structure in mind is the only way that really makes sense.

Great review, now I’m going to have to read it too. 🙂

3 Andrew Toynbee February 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

This looks like a must-have…I am in the early stages of constructing characters for my ‘angels’ story – my first real novel-shaped story.

(Many thanks to Jennifer for giving me the nudge and getting this started BTW). I hope to be Procrastinating no longer…

How do I go about buying this in such a way that Procrastinating Writers will benefit?

Andy

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