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“One cannot “make” characters …. They are found.” ~ Elizabeth Bowen.

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Presentation on theme: "“One cannot “make” characters …. They are found.” ~ Elizabeth Bowen."— Presentation transcript:

1 “One cannot “make” characters …. They are found.” ~ Elizabeth Bowen

2 A good story…  tells us more about ourselves – about how human beings feel and behave in any situation  For example…we can imagine how if feels to be a woman who has lived all her life on the prairie … or, how it feels to be a soldier lying wounded on a battlefield.  We connect mentally and emotionally with others in an attempt to understand them completely. In the end, we may sympathize or we may not. Characters  The story’s actors  Influence of characters on readers When characters in a story behave in convincing ways, then we (the reader) believe in them, leading us to potentially love them or even hate them. Characterization  Method used by a writer to develop a character

3 How do writers create characters?  Writers must decide upon the traits (special qualities) they want their characters to possess.  Writers reveal the characters traits directly or indirectly.  Direct characterization – a writer simply tells us directly what the character is like. “Danielle was the most serious person in the school. She longed for fun but was afraid of disappointing her very serious aunt.”  Indirect characterization – a writer does not reveal traits directly. Instead the writer reveals a characters’ traits in five unique ways: Appearance Dialogue Private Thoughts Actions Effects

4  Direct Characterization -- the author directly tells the reader what the character is like (generous, deceitful, timid etc.)  Indirect Characterization – just as we do in real life, the reader has to figure out what the character is like. The author may: ◦ describe how the character look and dresses (appearance) ◦ let the reader hear the character speak (dialogue) ◦ let the reader listen to the character’s inner thoughts (private thoughts) ◦ reveal what other people think or say about the character (effects on others) ◦ show the character’s actions  The reader may have to infer (an intelligent guess based on evidence in the story on what you already know) information about a character based on what the character does and says.

5  Flat Character – like a paper doll, is two-dimensional with only have one or two personality traits and can be summed up in a single phrase. Jared is extremely stubborn ◦ Added to the story because too many round characters would be confusing  Round Character – has three-dimensional qualities like real-life people with many complexities and have many different traits  Stock Character – stereotypical character, fits a preconceived notions about a “type” i.e. mad scientists or the cruel looking villain twirling his waxed moustache

6  Dynamic characters – someone who changes in an important way during the story – gained a new understanding, made an important decision, or taken crucial action. ◦ The change must be believable, not some miraculous, magic-wand transformation that happens and neatly wraps up the plot. ◦ The change will provide a key to understanding the character and lend a clue to the story’s theme (meaning).  Dynamic characters are capable of growing, learning or changing. The protagonist is almost always dynamic.  Static characters – are exactly the same at the beginning of the story and they are at the end. Static characters are almost always subordinate characters.

7  Protagonist – the main character; who the story is focused on. ◦ Protagonists are often realistic, complicated human beings with just enough strengths, weaknesses and contradictions to remind us of ourselves. ◦ Protagonists propel a story’s plot by wanting something and then setting out to get it done.  Antagonist – character or force that blocks the protagonist from achieving his/her goal. Not necessarily evil.  Protagonists and antagonists do not make up the whole story. A story will contain other subordinate characters (neighbors, family members or passing strangers) may help reveal the character of the protagonist or antagonist and may help develop the story’s conflict. ◦ Conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist is what hooks the reader’s interest, creates suspense and moves the lot of most stories.

8  Motivations – what makes the character tick – the needs, reasons or conflicts that drive a character  When a character is motivated to fulfill a certain desire and is prevented from doing so, conflict occurs. ◦ Conflict often arises when people are strongly motivated to influence one another

9  Dramatic Monologue ◦ Found in poetry ◦ Features a single character who addresses one or more silent listeners, reflecting on a specific problem or situation. ◦ From what this character says and the way it is said, we can infer his or her personality traits.  Soliloquy ◦ Found in a play ◦ A character speaks his or her thoughts aloud while alone on stage – often to the audience ◦ Shakespeare’s plays are filled with soliloquies.

10  Disagreements sometimes arise when what we want to do differs from what others want us to do. Think about a time when someone expected you to do something that you didn’t really want to do. Write about your experience and how you felt before, during and after. ◦ Be prepared to share in class!

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