Characterization is the process by
which the author reveals the
personality of the characters and
things that make the character unique.
There are two types of
characterization: direct and indirect.
3. Types of
concrete information that is
given to you
based on observations, you
make an inference
Excerpt from story:
“Cinderella’s step mother was
Excerpt from story:
“Cinderella’s step mother locked
her in a closet so that Cinderella
could not try on the slipper.”
What do we learn? The step mother is mean. The step mother is mean.
What is the difference
between direct and
We directly told this information. We draw our own conclusions
about this character from
4. Additional Notes:
There are FIVE different methods of
1) SPEECH (dialogue) of the character
2) ACTIONS of the character
3) THOUGHTS & FEELINGS of the
4) through the thoughts, feelings, and
interactions with OTHER characters
5) PHYSICAL looks of character
5. Indirect characterizations are like
clues about the characters. There is
no mystery with direct characterization
because the author gives us the
information we need to know!
6. Direct or Indirect?
The patient boy and quiet girl were both
at the game.
The author is telling us that the boy is
patient and the girl is quiet.
7. Direct or Indirect?
“Hey, we can have lots of fun at camp
this summer! I love being outside!”
Speech- What does the character say?
How does the character speak?
This shows us the character is upbeat
8. Direct or Indirect?
He was bored. He was tired of waiting in
The reader doesn’t have to guess (or
infer) how the character feels.
The narrator tells the reader how the
9. Direct or Indirect?
I wish it would stop raining. I am tired of
Thoughts- What is revealed through the
character’s thoughts and feelings?
This shows us the character is not
happy about the situation.
10. Direct or Indirect?
I am beautiful.
The narrator tells the reader that he is
What do we learn about the character
through this internal thought?
He is vain? Confident? Stuck up?
11. Direct or Indirect?
The boy glared at his sister as she ate
Effect on Others- What is revealed through the
character’s effect on other people? How do
other characters feel or behave in reaction
to the character?
This shows us that the character is upset
about his sister’s behavior and inability to
think of others.
12. Direct or Indirect?
The girl rode the lawn mower through
the house and into the garage.
Actions- What does the character do?
How does the character behave?
This shows us the girl is not concerned
with rules or safety.
13. Direct or Indirect?
The little girl left the game with slumped
shoulders and a frown on her face.
Looks- What does the character look
like? How does the character dress?
This shows us the little girl is not
enjoying herself and is upset.