I don’t usually read resource material. So I really have nothing to compare this book to. However, can I just say “WOW!” The Mythic Guide to Characters has so much helpful and insightful information. I may have to buy a print copy just so I can mark it up with ideas! Seriously, if a Muse could manifest in the form of a book, it would be this book!
By the end of reading the first chapter (dealing with the unconscious mind of an author’s character), Mythic Guide had already given me TONS to think about. So much of what’s in this book seems like it can be applied not only to creating characters, but also in the real world and in interacting with people. Honestly, it will help authors AND readers better understand characters in any story they write and/or read about! I have found that most of the books I really fall in love with are ones with characters that embody the aspects Del Drago discusses in The Mythic Guide. I don’t see how anyone could ever write a shallow character that is easily forgettable if they follow Del Drago’s model/advice. He covers all the aspects an author needs to create a realistic character – the perfection is in the details.
Some of the different topics you will learn about are:
- Enneagram of Personality – Perfectionist, Giver, Achiever, Romantic, Observer, Questioner, Adventurer, Protector, and Peacemaker.
- Bartle Types – Killer, Achiever, Explorer, and Socializer (examples from Harry Potter & Hunger Games really helped clarify these types).
- Character’s Formative Relationships – Ruler to Subject, Husband to Wife, Parent to Child, Friend to Friend, Sibling to Sibling.
- Archetypes – Hero, Shadow, Mentor, Herald, Threshold Guardian, Shapeshifter, Trickster, Ally. (I really honed in on this section because I feel it’s the area I struggle with most in my writing.)
- The Soul Triptych – 3 characters in a story that each represent one of the powers of soul: Body, Mind and Spirit.
- Proactive v. Reactive Protagonist – Is your lead character someone who goes looking for adventure (like Indiana Jones) or does he/she find adventure without seeking it (like Frodo Baggins)?
- Physical Characteristics – The three key character descriptions to use (age, build, and gender) and many other possibilities (The pointers for using character actions, gestures & expressions were my favorite areas to read about).
- Dialogue and Speech Patterns – Writing dialogue, vocabulary, jargon/slang, sentence structure/length, dialect and phonetics. Find out what authors should use since “nobody speaks Standard Written English“.
You also get a handy-dandy worksheet to use!
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Appropriate for all aspiring authors!
For more information about Dr. Antonio Del Drago, check out his website.
I received a free eBook of The Mythic Guide to Characters from Goodreads-Making Connections in exchange for an honest review.