It's been some time since I first read this one.T he character advice was intriguing in how to play with who the protagonist and main character are--who do not have to be the same--and what makes a character effective. I'll leave it to readers to investigate, but some intriguing bits about Octavia Butler's Wild Seed, Darth Vader, and detective sidekicks.
Familiar Character questions:
- Who was the most to lose?
- Who has the power and freedom to act? (Nelson Algren's National Book Award-winning The Man with the Golden Arm is an interesting counter example although its antithesis is depressing and probably proves Card's rule.)
His discussion of the story types (MICE--Milieu, Idea, Character and Event--one not necessarily better than another) is essential to genre writing: "End the story that you begin." The reason prologues fail (Event), he says, is that writer is that we haven't been given a reason yet to care about the characters, who can take us slowly through the world and see what the event is wrecking upon the world.
This one is worth rereading. I may have gotten more from the book now than when I first started out many eons ago.