Friday, August 9, 2013

Review-The Mythic Guide to Characters by Dr. Antonio Del Drago

From Goodreads:
How do you create characters who are so compelling that they hook readers from the start?

As a professor, writer, and philosopher, Dr. Antonio del Drago has immersed himself in the literary and mythological traditions of the world. His search for answers led him to uncover the common elements behind all great myths and stories.

Applying this knowledge to the writing of characters, he has developed a layered approach to character creation.

In this guide, you will discover:

- The secret to writing multidimensional characters
- How to develop your character's unconscious motivations
- Four ways in which characters interact with their worlds
- Five formative relationships that shape your character
- Nine mythic archetypes and how to use them
- The difference between proactive and reactive protagonists
- Ways to define a character through dialogue and physicality

The guide also includes a detailed worksheet that walks you through the stages of character development.

This is more than a book on how to write characters. This guide offers a practical, step-by-step approach to character creation that is sure to take your writing to the next level.

My Take:
I received a free copy of this for reviewing several months ago and although I'm not finished with the book, thought I'd go ahead and share my thoughts with you. The only reason I'm not finished is because I've been working through the steps Dr. Drago sets out to solidify some of the characters I'm working with in my WIPs. Since I haven't been writing much the last the last three months, I haven't been thinking along the lines of improving said writing.

I did however get 45% through the book and have found it to be very helpful with digging into the subconscious motivations of my own characters. I read one review where the reader complained that this felt like a psychology book, this is one of the things that I liked about the book. They also complained that it was similar to other books on the same topic out there. Not having read any other books on this recently I can't comment on that. I can only say it was helpful for me. I also liked how he used characters from popular movies and books to illustrate his point.

The blurb from Goodreads above will tell you exactly what the book is about. I've been going through slowly, step by step with each of my characters--Ryanne, Caedmon, Katrina, Austin. As I get to know how their minds work I'm understanding how they will act and react to certain situations. When I get to sit down and finally write, I'm hoping this will result in realistic and natural progression of the story.

If you are having trouble figuring out your characters, this is a great place to start.

I'm giving The Mythic guide to Characters by Dr. Antonio Del Drago 4 stars.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure


  1. I kind of fear getting started with a book like that. I have a tendency to overanalyze, and I have a feeling that I might just undo all that I've done. (And considering that I just finished the last scene of my last chapter, I really don't want to undo right now.)

  2. Sound interesting. Might check it out. Thanks for the review. :-)

  3. I love anything that has to do with characterization so I will have to check this out - thanks :)

  4. I think I've heard of this book before, but I hadn't read any review on it, so I was glad to stumble over this. I'd like to request another post on it when you finish his exercises, and see if you feel it was worth it, or if it helped :)


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