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What Makes a Character Believable? Feature Menu Character Traits Characterization Characters and Motivation Types of Characters Characters in Conflict.

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Presentation on theme: "What Makes a Character Believable? Feature Menu Character Traits Characterization Characters and Motivation Types of Characters Characters in Conflict."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Makes a Character Believable? Feature Menu Character Traits Characterization Characters and Motivation Types of Characters Characters in Conflict Your Turn

2 Character Traits A trait, or special quality, defines a persons character. A person might be studious athletic shy What additional traits might describe someone? hardworking artistic

3 Character Traits A storys characters, like the people you know, also have traits. [End of Section] daring funny strong

4 Characterization A writer shows you what characters are like through characterization. There are two kinds of characterization: direct characterization indirect characterization

5 Characterization In direct characterization, the writer tells readers what a character is like: Evan was an original. At the age of sixteen, hed started his own Internet music business. He was ambitious and had good business sense. In this example, the writer tells us directly that Evan, unlike many kids his age, is interested in running a successful business.

6 Characterization In indirect characterization, the writer shows what a character is like. The writer describes: appearance, dialogue, private thoughts, actions, and others responses. When a writer uses indirect characterization, we see the character in action.

7 Indirect Characterization: Appearance A characters appearancephysical features, clothing, and general behavioroften provides insight into the characters personality. Characterization relaxed, fun-loving professional, serious artistic creative

8 Indirect Characterization: Appearance Characterization A figure appeared at the edge of the park, a boy none of the regular players had seen before. He stood there, watching the group on the basketball court. The new kid wore an old jersey and baggy shorts. His basketball shoesthe expensive kindwere scuffed and worn. He watched the players closely, bouncing the ball hed brought with him with a rhythmic thud, thud, thud. In the following passage, notice details about the characters appearance. What does his appearance suggest about the new kid? A figure appeared at the edge of the park, a boy none of the regular players had seen before. He stood there, watching the group on the basketball court. The new kid wore an old jersey and baggy shorts. His basketball shoesthe expensive kindwere scuffed and worn. He watched the players closely, bouncing the ball hed brought with him with a rhythmic thud, thud, thud.

9 Indirect Characterization: Dialogue Dialoguewhat characters say to each otherreveals a lot about their personalities. Pay close attention to what characters say, as well as to how they say it. Characterization What a great idea! What a silly idea! How would you describe each of the characters above? What clues tell you about what each character is like?

10 Indirect Characterization: Dialogue Read the following passage, noticing both what the characters say and how they say it. Characterization Isnt it great? Kate said, her eyes shining. I made the lead in the spring play! Of course, I knew I would. Congratulations, Maria said. She smiled at her friend. Kate smirked. Youre not jealous, are you? Of course not. Im happy for you, Maria replied. Besides, Im going to help design the costumes. Whatever, said Kate with a shrug. What does this dialogue show about Kates character? What does it show about Marias character? Isnt it great? Kate said, her eyes shining. I made the lead in the spring play! Of course, I knew I would. Congratulations, Maria said. She smiled at her friend. Kate smirked. Youre not jealous, are you? Of course not. Im happy for you, Maria replied. Besides, Im going to help design the costumes. Whatever, said Kate with a shrug. Isnt it great? Kate said, her eyes shining. I made the lead in the spring play! Of course, I knew I would. Congratulations, Maria said. She smiled at her friend. Kate smirked. Youre not jealous, are you? Of course not. Im happy for you, Maria replied. Besides, Im going to help design the costumes. Whatever, said Kate with a shrug.

11 Indirect Characterization: Private Thoughts Characters private thoughts can reveal a lot about who they are. Characterization Im really nervous about this interview. Id love to go to this college. I just know Im going to get in!

12 Indirect Characterization: Private Thoughts As you read the following passage, pay attention to the characters private thoughts. Characterization Alex sat in the hard plastic chair, waiting for his name to be called. He clutched a drivers manual. I know all the rules, Alex thought. Ive almost memorized the whole manual. Ill do fine on the test. Still, his foot tapped nervously. Alex didnt like tests. What if he was the last of his friends to get his learners permit? What do Alexs thoughts reveal about what he wants and what he fears? Alex sat in the hard plastic chair, waiting for his name to be called. He clutched a drivers manual. I know all the rules, Alex thought. Ive almost memorized the whole manual. Ill do fine on the test. Still, his foot tapped nervously. Alex didnt like tests. What if he was the last of his friends to get his learners permit?

13 Indirect Characterization: Actions Characters actionsthe things they do and how they do themsay a great deal about them. Characterization helpful competitive adventurous

14 Indirect Characterization: Actions As you read the following passage, take note of the mans actions. Characterization The man wore jeans and a black turtleneck. He ran along the darkened street, darting from one shadow to the next, avoiding the streetlights beams. When the courthouse clock struck midnight, he froze, pressing himself flat against a wall. The last chime faded. The man crept along the side of the building until he came to a window. What do this characters actions suggest about him? The man wore jeans and a black turtleneck. He ran along the darkened street, darting from one shadow to the next, avoiding the streetlights beams. When the courthouse clock struck midnight, he froze, pressing himself flat against a wall. The last chime faded. The man crept along the side of the building until he came to a window.

15 Indirect Characterization: Others Responses How other characters react also helps readers understand what a character is like. Characterization approval disapprovalmistrust

16 Indirect Characterization: Others Responses Notice how the characters below react to each other. Characterization Mr. Lopez strolled through his neighborhood on his way home from work. Mr. Adams, who was sitting on his front porch, smiled and waved. At the corner grocery store, old Mrs. Ortiz was struggling with two big brown bags. Mr. Lopez, she called, would you mind helping me? Mr. Lopez took both bags in his arms and walked Mrs. Ortiz home. Thank you, she said, patting his arm. Youre a life saver. What do the reactions of Mr. Lopezs neighbors suggest about him? Mr. Lopez strolled through his neighborhood on his way home from work. Mr. Adams, who was sitting on his front porch, smiled and waved. At the corner grocery store, old Mrs. Ortiz was struggling with two big brown bags. Mr. Lopez, she called, would you mind helping me? Mr. Lopez took both bags in his arms and walked Mrs. Ortiz home. Thank you, she said, patting his arm. Youre a life saver.

17 What does Gabys appearance suggest about her? Characterization Quick Check Gaby looked up at the steep, high cliff. Her eyes widened. Are you okay? asked Mark. You look like youve seen a ghost. Im fine, said Gaby. I cant wait to climb up there. She glanced at the cliff again and shuddered. Youd better put on your equipment then. Everyone else is ready to get started. Ill do it right away, Gaby said, but she stood where she was, staring at the cliff. What does Gabys speech indicate about her? Gabys speech doesnt agree with her appearance. What might this suggest about her character?

18 What does Gabys appearance suggest about her character? Characterization Quick Check Gaby looked up at the steep, high cliff. Her eyes widened. Are you okay? asked Mark. You look like youve seen a ghost. Im fine, said Gaby. I cant wait to climb up there. She glanced at the cliff again and shuddered. Youd better put on your equipment then. Everyone else is ready to get started. Ill do it right away, Gaby said, but she stood where she was, staring at the cliff. Gabys appearance suggests that shes afraid.

19 Characterization Quick Check Gaby looked up at the steep, high cliff. Her eyes widened. Are you okay? asked Mark. You look like youve seen a ghost. Im fine, said Gaby. I cant wait to climb up there. She glanced at the cliff again and shuddered. Youd better put on your equipment then. Everyone else is ready to get started. Ill do it right away, Gaby said, but she stood where she was, staring at the cliff. Gabys speech suggests that shes brave, even eager to make the climb. What does Gabys speech indicate about her?

20 Characterization Quick Check Gaby looked up at the steep, high cliff. Her eyes widened. Are you okay? asked Mark. You look like youve seen a ghost. Im fine, said Gaby. I cant wait to climb up there. She glanced at the cliff again and shuddered. Youd better put on your equipment then. Everyone else is ready to get started. Ill do it right away, Gaby said, but she stood where she was, staring at the cliff. Although Gaby talks bravely, she appears to be afraid. Perhaps shes someone who worries about what people think of her. Gabys speech doesnt agree with her appearance. What might this suggest about her character?

21 Characterization Quick Check Gabys hands shook as she put on her rock-climbing harness and helmet. She imagined how it would feel to be high above the ground, clinging to a cliff. She felt sick to her stomach. Shed told her friends shed love to go rock-climbing with them, but now she was wishing shed stayed home. What do Gabys inner thoughts suggest about her? [End of Section]

22 Characterization Quick Check Gabys hands shook as she put on her rock-climbing harness and helmet. She imagined how it would feel to be high above the ground, clinging to a cliff. She felt sick to her stomach. Shed told her friends shed love to go rock-climbing with them, but now she was wishing shed stayed home. Gabys inner thoughts suggest that shes afraid of heights. What do Gabys inner thoughts suggest about her?

23 Writers make characters believable by revealing what motivates them to act as they do. Characters and Motivation If youve ever wondered... youve thought about motivation. Why did the character do that?

24 Characters and Motivation Motivation comes from a characters desires or goals. goal + = motivation desire

25 What does the character want? Characters and Motivation To understand what motivates a character, answer this question:

26 Characters and Motivation Character motivation often involves other characters. Friends might motivate each other to study. A cheering crowd might motivate an athlete. A mother might motivate her child to do chores.

27 Characters and Motivation What does Levon want? What are his motivations? Quick Check Levon stood in the wings, waiting for his cue to go on stage. His heart pounded, and his stomach felt like it was turning somersaults. His mouth was so dry that he knew the words would never come outif he could remember his lines. When hed heard that Deb was trying out for the school play, hed gone to the auditions, too. Then he got a part and she didnt. It was too late to back out. Everyone in the cast was counting on him. [End of Section]

28 Characters and Motivation Quick Check Levon stood in the wings, waiting for his cue to go on stage. His heart pounded, and his stomach felt like it was turning somersaults. His mouth was so dry that he knew the words would never come outif he could remember his lines. When hed heard that Deb was trying out for the school play, hed gone to the auditions, too. Then he got a part and she didnt. It was too late to back out. Everyone in the cast was counting on him. Levon wants at least two things: He wants to be close to Deb. He doesnt want to disappoint the other actors in the play. What does Levon want? What are his motivations?

29 The protagonist is a storys main character, the focus of a readers attention. A protagonist Types of Characters often is complicated and contradictory, like a real person, has both strengths and weaknesses, and drives the storys action.

30 The antagonist blocks or tries to block the protagonist from getting what he or she wants. The antagonist may be a nonhuman forceanother character Types of Characters

31 Critics often refer to fictional characters as flat, round, or stock. Flat characters have just one or two traits. grumpy grouchy They can be described in a word or two. Types of Characters

32 Round characters have many different traits. studious stylish mischievous shy Like real people, they have more than one side to their personalities. Types of Characters

33 A stock character fits our preconceived notions of a type. Stock characters are often familiar to us: mad scientists whacky professors meddling neighbors clumsy sidekicks Types of Characters

34 Sheila paused, lifting her oar from the water and into the canoe. Seated behind her, Twyla coughed. Whats wrong now? Sheila muttered, We should head back to where we started. No, Twyla said sharply. We need to paddle over to where we had lunch, so I can find my camera. Sheila snorted. I dont see whats so important about that camera. [End of Section] Which character is the antagonist? How do you know? Quick Check Types of Characters

35 Sheila. Shes trying to prevent Twyla from getting what she wantsthe missing camera. Quick Check Types of Characters Sheila paused, lifting her oar from the water and into the canoe. Seated behind her, Twyla coughed. Whats wrong now? Sheila muttered, We should head back to where we started. No, Twyla said sharply. We need to paddle over to where we had lunch, so I can find my camera. Sheila snorted. I dont see whats so important about that camera. Which character is the antagonist? How do you know?

36 Characters in Conflict Conflict is the struggle at the heart of every story. Many conflicts result from the opposing desires of a protagonist and an antagonist. To understand whats behind a conflict, answer this question: What do the characters want?

37 External conflict occurs between a character and some outside force: Characters in Conflict a force or aspect of nature. the society in which the protagonist lives another character or group of characters

38 Internal conflict occurs when a character must make a difficult decision or wrestle with his or her own feelings. The character may struggle with opposing Characters in Conflict needs desires emotions

39 Characters in Conflict With what internal conflict is Hannah wrestling? [End of Section] Quick Check Hannah, are you coming with us to the movies on Saturday afternoon? Linda asked. I cant, Hannah said, I have to visit my grandmother at the nursing home. Oh, come on. Itll be fun. You can visit your grandmother some other time. Hannah felt torn. She enjoyed spending time with her grandmother, and she knew how much Nana looked forward to her weekly visit. Still, she didnt want to miss out on having fun with her friends. What external conflict does Hannah face?

40 Characters in Conflict With what internal conflict is Hannah wrestling? Quick Check She wants to visit her grandmother, but she also wants to go to the movies with her friends. Hannah, are you coming with us to the movies on Saturday afternoon? Linda asked. I cant, Hannah said, I have to visit my grandmother at the nursing home. Oh, come on. Itll be fun. You can visit your grandmother some other time. Hannah felt torn. She enjoyed spending time with her grandmother, and she knew how much Nana looked forward to her weekly visit. Still, she didnt want to miss out on having fun with her friends.

41 Characters in Conflict Quick Check What external conflict does Hannah face? Hannah plans to visit Nana, but Linda wants her to go to the movies. This creates an external conflict between Hannah and Linda. Hannah, are you coming with us to the movies on Saturday afternoon? Linda asked. I cant, Hannah said, I have to visit my grandmother at the nursing home. Oh, come on. Itll be fun. You can visit your grandmother some other time. Hannah felt torn. She enjoyed spending time with her grandmother, and she knew how much Nana looked forward to her weekly visit. Still, she didnt want to miss out on having fun with her friends.

42 Think of a famous person. Write a paragraph describing him or her, using at least three methods of indirect characterization. Analyze Character speech Describe the persons appearance, actions, speech, or effect on others. Do not use the persons name. Your Turn appearance actions effect on others

43 After youve finished writing, exchange your character description with a classmate. Analyze Character Do you recognize the person your classmate has described? Why or why not? Based on your classmates response, would you change your own characterization? Your Turn

44 The End


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