For instance, the first sentence of the book says, "What's the one key element any major character must have? The ability to care." Mr. Swain then rambles along with examples and before you know it, you've learned two or three new insights.
One of the insights I jotted into my notebook: When preparing to start a new work, treat your characters as though you're a casting director. Audition and scrutinize each role and find the character that you want. Find someone that intrigues you and that you'll be excited to integrate into your story.
I'll share more insights from Mr. Swain later this week. I'm signing off because I have to go brush Buster's teeth. Remember 2 weeks ago when he got a tooth pulled? Well, the vet said we have to start brushing his teeth once a week. Oh my.
Do you think Buster suspects anything? The problem is that he insists on licking the toothpaste while I brush. Aye-ya-aye ...