A writer’s reference library can get overwhelming. We need books on cultures, settings, expressions, people–just about every topic. I’ve tried to check books out of the library, but there’s always that moment, three months after I return the book, that I really must have it.
And, I mark the book up with highlighter, underlines, marks so I recall the important parts. Not good for library books or those of friends.
So, I’ve purchased four selves of books on a variety of topics. A favorite area is how to show not tell–show my character feeling something or thinking through problems–what would my POV (Point of View) character see as another character was musing over a memory, maybe a painful one? And how would my protagonist who’s a natural born leader react differently from my wall-flower love interest? Each character must have their own believable collection of traits that accompany them wherever they go.
I’ve purchased several books on this subject, none satisfactory. Writers Guide to Character Traits had such a perfect name, I was sure it would be worth the money. Here’s my review:
Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I found this book difficult to use. I wanted to find traits for, say, a salesman. I’ve done sales so I have a general idea, but wanted a thorough discussion. The discussion is brief (about 11 bullets) and included as one of 42 careers the author discusses. No career for ‘military’, ‘researcher’, ‘teenager’ or ‘home maker’–all careers of people in my upcoming novels.
I recognize this may be an expectation I placed on the book which was never the author’s intent to fulfill. I share it so no one else is disappointed.