Tuesday, August 6, 2013

G173 E-reading The Mythic Guide to Characters; Writing Characters Who Enchant and Inspire

Title of the book: The Mythic Guide to Characters; Writing characters who enchant and inspire

Author: Dr Antonio Del Drago

Publisher: Mythic Scribes

Publishing Date: 2013

ISBN: 9780615752310


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.

Other Works:

 He doesn't appear to have any other works besides this one.

Background of Author:
(from goodreads.com)
The United States



twitter username

Fantasy, Non Fiction

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Alexandre Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper, Ro...more

member since
March 2013

Antonio del Drago, Ph.D., is the founder of Mythic Scribes, an online writing community. When he isn't writing fiction, he works as a professor and non-fiction author.


"There's no one right way to create a character. What this guide offers is one possible approach that's designed to help you, the author, explore possibilities that wouldn't have occurred to you otherwise." (Getting started, page 6 of my Sony e-reader)

Problems addressed:

Most often the authors aren't sure how to add depth to the created characters, or what to do when it comes to them. This book offers some interesting ways in creating more in depth characters which includes an idea of taking personality tests and pretending to be the character.

Summary of content:

"The steps outlined in this guide are not absolutely necessary in order to write a good book. But the tools that you'll gain here can certainly help you to reach that goal with greater clarity and confidence." (Getting stated, page 6 on my Sony reader)


"So, what does this book offer that can help writers? Primarily, we'll be exploring the rudiments of mind and behavior that shape all human actions." (Page 6, Getting started)

Main points:
Getting Started
Layer 1: The Character Within
-The Unconscious Mind
-The Enneagram
Layer 2: The Character in His or Her World
-Bartle Types
-The Five Great Relationships
Layer 3: The Character in Your Story
-The Soul Triptych
Further Considerations
-Proactive vs Reactive protagonists
-Physical characteristics
-Dialogue and speech patterns
Conclusion: Pulling it all together
Character Worksheet
Additional Reading

Why its interesting and informative:

I have to admit that some of the ideas that the author has suggested have never even entered into my mind. I never would have thought of taking a personality test pretending to be my character, or would never have considered the relationship between the character and his environment and so forth. The goal is to make the character well rounded and consisent, I imagine, as well as add many layers to fictional characters. Perhaps these ideas can also be used for non-fictional characters as well.

Supports Thesis:

The book does support thesis because the author does give various ideas and mentions how tests can fit the character profiles. For example, Bartle type is how people play video games and behaviors they display. The author mentions how Bartle types can be used to give more depth to characters. In other words, numerous possibilities are awaiting an author as soon as they turn the page.

Issues the book raises:

Many writers aren't certain of how to create well rounded and consistent characters. He presents one of the ways in which these characters can be created and gives tools as well as how to use them. Its short, understandable and to the point. And its not complicated.

Ideas in book vs larger ideas:

It will give many future writers ideas on how to create rounded characters, some that most haven't even thought of. I will use the tools in this book for my own character creation, or to get a more in-depth look at the characters I am creating. I am also hoping that books that will become popular will be with well written characters.


Although I hadn't tried the ideas the author mentions, they are intriguing and are designed to give more depth to various characters. Along with tests, there is also a character sheet with interesting ideas such as how a character will speak, or physical details, relationships, and so forth.


The author does use sources such as Richard Bartle's book titled Designing Virtual Worlds, Joseph Campbell, James Frey and so forth, and does recommend that these books be read for further details.


"These layers can be approached separately in order to help create a compelling character. Ideally, though, they should be approached in unison, enabling you to construct a fleshed-out character fromt he ground up.

"Bringing all three layers can be daunting, but will seem natural once you get started." (Conclusion: Pulling it all together page 82 on my Sony e-reader.)

I would highly recommend this to be read either for new ideas or insights into the way characters are written and why are some of the books popular as they are.

Quick Notes: This is a review for Making Connections.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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