An insightful and actionable guide to creating a hero that readers will fall in love with, from the author of The Secrets of Story
The hardest yet most essential element of writing great fiction is character – specifically, creating a central hero who is relatable, compelling, and worth the reader’s precious time. In this entertaining and practical guide, popular blogger, writing coach and screenwriter Matt Bird breaks down what makes characters embraceable and unforgettable, and presents insider tips and tricks for writers of all levels and genres.
Generously packed with examples from popular books and movies analyzed with engaging specificity, this expert guide reveals what makes audiences believe, care, and invest in great characters – and how to bring your own characters vividly to life.
Matt Bird is the author of Secrets of Story, and creator of The Secrets of Story podcast and blog. He has an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia University. He lives and writes in Chicago where he and his wife Betsy are raising two delightful kids.
“There are plenty of books on the craft of writing. But there’s only one Matt Bird, the ultimate writing coach: smart, funny, insightful, and armed with a toolbox of innovative tips for creating characters readers will love. Whether you’re new to writing or a seasoned pro, you need this classic-in-the-making.”
--Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award winning author of The One and Only Ivan
“Secrets of Story instantly became one of my favorite writing guides. This follow-up dives under the water to take an even more in-depth look at the iceberg of character development. Meticulously researched and brimming with examples, it offers advice that is both precise and actionable. It reveals the genre-spanning patterns of memorable and resonant characters in an easy-to-access reference format that makes for both fun reading and a great tool to keep on your desk for easy thumb-through inspiration.”
--K. M. Weiland, author of Creating Character Arcs and Structuring Your Novel
“Matt Bird has done it again! The Secrets of Character is a book you want next to you when you write. From revealing what gatekeepers look for in your first ten pages to sharing powerful writing tricks from 150 years ago through today, this is a book to read with your laptop nearby. You'll see what your writing needs and it's sure to inspire you to write!”
--Torrey Maldonado, author of What Lane? and Tight
“All the great ideas in the world don’t matter if you don’t hook your audience out of the gate. In Matt’s new book, he lays it out plain and simple, practical advice for making readers grab on to your protagonists and never let go. The Secrets of Character is the perfect companion to The Secrets of Story, another essential writing guide from Matt Bird.”
--Lou Anders, Hugo-winning editor and author of Once Upon a Unicorn, and Star Wars: Pirate’s Price
“Who says there are no shortcuts to success? Matt Bird’s marvelous Secrets of Character offers indispensable, easy-to-implement story hacks that guarantee your character will grab readers’ attention—and ensure you have a story worth writing.”
--Keir Graff, author of The Three Mrs. Wrights and The Swing of Things (writing with Linda Joffe Hull as Linda Keir)