Creating Unforgettable Characters

Linda Seger

Holt Paperbacks



Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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How to create strong, multidimensional characters in fiction is the focus of this book by Linda Seger, author of the highly acclaimed Making a Good Script Great. She introduces a series of concepts designed to stimulate the creative process, combining them with practical techniques and exercises. The book covers everything from doing the necessary research and developing the backstory and character psychology to avoiding stereotypes and working through character blocks. Throughout are interviews with many of today's top writers for film, television, and advertising as well as novelists and playwrights.


Praise for Creating Unforgettable Characters

"Linda Seger's book helps you to search for your own voice while searching for that of your characters. This no-nonsense book steers you past easy answers and challenges you to be creative."—Fay Kanin, writer/producer; past president, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

"Unlike most books aimed at aspiring screenwriters, this book is equally useful for fiction writers and playwrights who want to move beyond the stereotypical and into the original."—Dr. Linda Venis, director, UCLA Extension Writers' Program

"A fascinating collection of ideas and insights. I think anyone writing for the screen would benefit from reflecting on this material."—Ron Bass, writer, Rain Man, Black Widow, Gardens of Stone

"A vital aid to all writers, novelists and screenwriters, this book is invaluable in its examination of how to write well-rounded characters."—Gale Ann Hurd, producer, The Abyss, Aliens; executive producer, Tremors

"In this book, Linda Seger takes us firmly by the hand and leads us down into the core of the drama, illuminating the lives of the people who live there, that they may teach us more about ourselves. A unique and absorbing work, it belongs on the 'Must Read' list of every serious writer."—Barry Morrow, writer, Rain Man, Bill on His Own, The Karen Carpenter Story
"Linda Seger has provided creative TV and film executives with a short course on how to work with a writer, honing and improving the script through the most importannt dynamic of all—character development. I don't know how we do our job to the utmost without Linda Seger."—Barbara Corday, former president Columbia Pictures Television, cocreator of Cagney and Lacey

"Here's a nuts and bolts approach to understanding and applying character to scripts. It asks the right questions that will stimulate the writer and is a valuable tool for creating memorable lives on film."—p0Jeremy Kagan, writer/producer/director, The Chosen, The Journey of Natty Can

"Character development is the hardest part of writing a novel. Linda Seger's suggestions create a frame of mind which makes writers more sensitive about other people and gives them a new way of viewing people in their lives."—Robin Cook, novelist, Coma, Mutation, Harmful Intent

"This book is a valuable resource for creating those well-drawn characters that attract great actors."—Dianne Crittenden, casting director, Witness, Black Rain, Star Wars

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Creating Unforgettable Characters
1Researching the CharacterSome time ago, one of my writing clients came to me with a terrific concept for a script. She had worked and reworked the script for over a year. Her agent was excited and eagerly awaiting this new story.Although she had been told that some of her scripts weren't strong enough for the American commercial market, this one was exciting and tough. It was the kind of story that many producers called "high concept"--with a strong hook and unique approach to the story, a clear conflict and identifiable characters.Her first film had just been
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  • Linda Seger

  • Linda Seger is the author of Making a Good Script Great and The Art of Adaptation. She is married and lives in Venice, California.
  • Linda Seger