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The Writer's Guide to Character Traits

A classic reference for creating realistic and distinct characters


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The Writer's Guide to Character Traits

by Linda Edelstein Ph.D.
Writer's Digest Books, 2006
ISBN 978-1-58297-390-6
$16.99 paperback, 352 pages

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About the Book
From Sex to Schizophrenia find out everything you need to develop your characters! What makes a person commit a white-collar crime? Who is a likely candidate to join a cult? Why do children have imaginary friends? How does birth order affect whether or not a person gets married? When does mind over matter become a crippling problem?

The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, 2nd edition answers all of these questions and many others. With more than 400 easy-to-reference lists of traits blended from a variety of behaviors and influences, you’ll have the knowledge you need to create distinctive characters whose personalities correspond to their thoughts and actions—no matter how normal or psychotic they might be. In this updated and expanded edition, you’ll also find:

  • Comprehensive instruction on how to best use this book
  • New statistical information to help you create true-to-life characters
  • Corresponding exercises that show you how to put the material to work in your stories
  • A quick-reference index to make cross-referencing a snap
  • Exercises and idea sparkers that will help you get your thoughts out of your head and onto the page

Plus, you’ll learn about common—and not so common—psychological, physical, and relationship disorders; delve into the minds of criminals; find out what it takes to be a professional athlete, scientist, and truck driver; discover what life is like for a gang member, suicidal teen, and alcoholic; and more.

In The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, 2nd edition, noted psychologist and author Dr. Linda Edelstein takes you beyond generic personality types and into the depths of the human psyche where you’re sure to find the resources you need to make your characters stand out from the crowd.

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