How an author chooses to tell you (the reader) about characters Authors may choose to tell you directly about a character. or Authors may give you clues about what the character is like.
Direct Characterization The author tells the audience what the personality of the character is. EX: The patient girl sat quietly while waiting for her mother. What word describes the girl? EX: Tom’s violent behavior made everyone afraid of him. What word describes Tom?
More Examples of Direct Characterization Joe was motivated by money. He had no use for love or family. This sentence directly states the character of Joe by telling us what motivates him: money.
While Jill loved Bradley, she knew she was not the marrying kind. This sentence directly tells us that Jill is not the kind of person to make a long-term commitment.
Indirect Characterization The author shows things that reveal the personality of a character.
Methods of Indirect Characterization (STEAL) S peech (something the char. says) T houghts/feelings E ffect on others, what they think/say A ctions (something the char. does) L ooks (the character’s appearance)
Speech “I will get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” cried the witch.
Indirect Characterization Example: Joe’s friend Tom laughed a lot. He always had a smile on his face. Tom is a ___________ person. surprisedsillyhappy
Indirect Characterization Example: Lisa’s little brother hid her skates under the bed. He hid her favorite book. He was always hiding something from her. He is ________________. calmsneakyrude
Indirect Characterization Example: David read all the books about the forest that he could find. He also talked with the forest rangers to learn more. David was ____________________. gentlecuriousscared
8. Every summer, Gina works at the local Boys & Girls Club.
9. When Tommy hurt Selena’s feelings, he couldn’t have cared less.
10. Kendra picks up stray animals and takes care of them.
Character Types: Flat and Round Flat character –Embodies 1 or 2 qualities, easily summarized; –Not complex and thus easily accessible to the reader; –Can be stock or stereotype a character who possesses the expected traits of a group rather than being an individual
Round –Complex and multi- dimensional –Inconsistent and unpredictable –Hard to summarize and understand –Display internal conflicts found in real people
Character Behavior—Do They Change or Not? Static character –Doesn’t change as a result of what happens to him in the story; –The reader’s knowledge of him does not grow.
Dynamic Character –Undergoes some kind of change as a result of action in the plot; –Must be an important change rather than a mood change.