by Charlie Jane Anders

2021, 228 pages

ISBN 978-1-250-80001-5

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Charlie Jane Anders has made a name for herself by creating memorable worlds with even more meaningful characters. Character generation, she proves in these essays about writing, is an art form itself. Presenting characters that as a reader you care about is an even greater art.

How does a writer create convincing characters?

Envisioning that unique personality with behaviors and motivations that make sense, imagining a world and the character’s interactions and reactions to that world, is key to engaging fiction.

NEVER SAY YOU CAN’T SURVIVE is all of Anders’ experience in the art of character and story creation, and a lot more. To Anders, writing is therapeutic and, often times, purely uplifting. Creating fiction can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but also overwhelmingly rewarding.

Anders speaks about a host of things, including point of view, world building, finding a writer’s unique voice and purpose, like no other book on How to Write. She makes us believe that, to paraphrase Socrates, an unexamined creation of fiction is not worth doing. Doing it right — with love and talent — goes a long way to be world-changing, to be masterful, to be worth remembering.