Character Moments An Explanation and Some Examples

A ‘Character Moment’ is a demonstration of who a character is
through their words or actions. Through their dialogue or what
they do, the audience is shown who this character is, as opposed
to being told who this character is.
For example:
Jane gave her last five dollars to the homeless man at the train
Despite being troubled financially, Jane was very generous.
Briefly, let’s analyse the difference between these two statements:
the first explicitly mentions that these ‘five dollars’ are her ‘last’,
which suggests that she is in financial trouble herself, and yet,
she still gives it to the homeless man, who she perceives to be in
greater need of the money than she is; the second delivers this
same information but it does not give an example of her
generosity - it just blankly tells the reader ‘trust me bro, she’s
generous fr fr’.
Jennifer was incredibly naive.
As the dark, black car pulled over, a husky voice came from the
window: ‘get in the car; I’ll take you to McDonald’s’. Without
hesitation, Jennifer opened the back door and hopped in.
As discussed, character moments can be shown through dialogue
as well as action, which can be shown through both what they say
and how they say it:
‘Only someone like you would try and make a profit from a charity’
Through this example, we learn both about the speaker and the
listener: the speaker is singling out the listener and their intentions
from normal society, which is seen through ‘only’; the listener is
clearly willing to indulge in immoral actions as they seek to ‘make
a profit from a charity’.
The way that someone says something can also have a dramatic
effect on the way we see a character:
‘Sit down on the sofa’ she ordered.
‘Sit down on the sofa’ she mumbled.
How are these different?
Let’s try and think of ways to show the following characters
through dialogue or action:
1. Shy student on the first day of school
2. A man on a train who doesn’t care about what the other
passengers think of him
3. A parent who enjoys disciplining their child
4. Someone who is cheap with their money
5. Someone who takes good care of their guests