Cw Characterization

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Cw Characterization

  1. 1. Characterization
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ I write because I want to have more than once life.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Anne Tyler </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What is characterization?
  4. 4. What is characterization? <ul><li>The method by which an author introduces a character to a reader </li></ul>
  5. 5. How do writers create characters?
  6. 6. Direct Characterization <ul><li>The writer tells you what to think about that person. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Indirect Characterization <ul><li>The writer shows you a character through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Image/appearance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thoughts </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Things to Think About
  9. 9. Desire <ul><li>Characters who want something have a purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting to readers because the desire creates suspense. </li></ul><ul><li>Try this: </li></ul><ul><li>____(name)________ is a __(adj.)____ _____-year-old __(noun)___ who wants _______________. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Remember the External <ul><li>Too often, writers skip descriptions of appearance and move directly to creating personality. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Writing Exercise <ul><li>If people are characterized by the objects they choose, own, wear, and carry with them, they are also revealed in what they throw away. </li></ul><ul><li>Garbology is the study of society or culture by examining its refuse. </li></ul><ul><li>On a clean sheet of paper, introduce a character by describing the contents of his/her waste basket. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Point of View <ul><li>Putting yourself in your character’s shoes is an easy way to develop a new voice. </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously, the easiest way to allow your reader into the deep corners of a character is to write from his/her perspective. </li></ul>
  13. 13. 10 Steps to Creating a Round, Dynamic Character Picture a character in your head. Answer the questions as we go through the steps.
  14. 14. 1. Where does your character live? <ul><li>What country does your character live in? What region? Does he live alone or with a family? In a trailer park or an estate? How did he end up living there? How does he feel about it? </li></ul>
  15. 15. 2. Where is your character from? <ul><li>Where did your character's life begin? Did she grow up running around the woods in a small Southern town, or learning to conjugate Latin verbs in a London boarding school? </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously this influences things like the kinds of people your character knows, the words she uses to communicate with them, and the way she feels about a host of things in her external world. </li></ul>
  16. 16. 3. How old is your character? <ul><li>It’s important to make a clear decision about this before you begin writing -- otherwise, it's impossible to get the details right. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, would your character have a cell phone, a land line, or both? Does your character drink martinis or cheap beer? Still get money from his parents, or worry about what will happen to his parents as they get old? </li></ul>
  17. 17. 4. What is your character called? <ul><li>Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? </li></ul><ul><li>Your character's name provides a lot of information -- not only about ethnicity -- but about your character's age, background, and social class. </li></ul>
  18. 18. 5. What does your character look like? <ul><li>Though you need not have a crystal clear picture of your character in mind, physical details help your readers believe in the character, and help you imagine how your character moves through the world. </li></ul>
  19. 19. 6. What kind of childhood did he/she have? <ul><li>As with real people, many things about your character's personality will be determined by his background. </li></ul><ul><li>Did his parents have a good marriage? Was she raised by a single mom? </li></ul><ul><li>How your character interacts with other people -- whether he's defensive or confident, stable or rootless -- may be influenced by his past. </li></ul>
  20. 20. 7. What does your character do for a living? <ul><li>As with all of these questions, how much information you need depends in some part on the plot, but you'll need some idea of how your character makes money. </li></ul><ul><li>A dancer will look at the world very differently from an accountant, for instance, and a construction worker will use very different language from either one. </li></ul><ul><li>How they feel about a host of issues, from money to family, will be in some part dependent on their choice of careers. </li></ul>
  21. 21. 8. How does your character deal with conflict and change? <ul><li>Most stories involve some element of conflict and change -- they're part of what makes a story a story. </li></ul><ul><li>Is your character passive or active? If someone confronts her, does she change the subject, head for the minibar, stalk off, or do a deep-breathing exercise? When someone insults him, is he more likely to take it, come up with a retort, or excuse himself to find someone else to talk to? </li></ul>
  22. 22. 9. Who else is in your character’s life? <ul><li>Relationships -- how people interact with others -- reveal character. They're also excuses for dialogue, which break up exposition, offering another way of providing necessary information. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about who will best help you convey this information, and what kinds of people would realistically be in your character's world in the first place. </li></ul>
  23. 23. 10. What is your character’s motivation/goal in this story/scene? <ul><li>In longer stories or novels, you will have to ask this question repeatedly. Many of your character's actions will result from the intersection of what she's trying to achieve and her personality, which is composed of everything you've invented in answering the above questions. </li></ul><ul><li>When in doubt about how your character should behave, ask yourself what your character wants from the situation, and think about the answers you've given to all of the above. </li></ul>

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