Characterization Characters • Human beings are drawn to other human beings and the characters in a work of fiction are no exception • We can all learn a little more about ourselves when we look into what makes characters in our novels and short stories tick • When we read a book or a short story, the more we can relate to a character, the more interesting a book can be Characterization • We will watch a short movie clip now. Pay attention to the main character in the clip and how he behaves, looks, and sounds • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds6Gqqxn MOg&feature=related Static Character • A character who doesn’t change much in the story • They usually keep the same behavior, feelings, and act the same Dynamic Character • Usually changes as a result of the climax of the story. • Sometimes a dynamic character can change their way of thinking or how they behave Characterization • Characterization is when the writer reveals or shows us by telling us the personality of a character Ways a Writer Shows Characters 1. Tells us directly what the character is like: humble, ambitious, easily manipulated, etc. 2. Describes how the character looks and dresses 3. Allows us to hear how the character speaks 4. Tells us the character’s private thought or feelings 5. Shows us how the character effects other characters – showing how other characters feel or behave toward the character 6. Shows the character’s actions Direct Characterization “Telling” • The writer tells you directly how a character is. • The writer may say they are anxious, nervous, they hate their life, or even what they might be planning later in the book or story • Example: • Monique was nervous to begin her first day in middle school. She was too tall for her age and already felt out of place. She thought this would be the worst day of her whole life. Indirect Characterization “Showing” • A writer makes us use our own judgment for the character. • We have to figure out, as the reader, what a character is like based on how they behave in the story. • It’s kind of like that in real life too. We have to get to know someone to figure out who they are. We don’t just allow people to tell us about them. Example of Indirect Characterization • Which sentence shows us more about the character? • His mom was really mad. • OR • As her face slowly began to turn bright red, he noticed her taking a deep breath and sucking in her cheeks. Her large brown eyes narrowed into slits, and a hundred new wrinkles appeared on her forehead as her eyebrows scrunched together in a frown. Practice On Your Own • Lucy looked sad. • Now revise this sentence to show indirect characterization. That means you will show(with words) how Lucy looks, acts, thinks, and speaks. Mrs. Gentry’s Example • Lucy’s head drooped so low that her chin was touching her chest. Tears began to roll down her chubby cheeks and a whimper slipped out of her mouth. Her long brown hair became stuck to her face as the tears kept coming. Soon that whimper turned into an ear piercing scream as she shouted, “Give me back my teddy bear! I promise I’ll be good!” Practice • Revise each of the following “telling” sentences by turning them into “showing” sentences 1. Imani wanted that piece of cake.(Revise to show how she looks and acts while she wants the cake.) 2. He was afraid of getting caught. (Revise to show how he was thinking and how he is acting) Mrs. Gentry’s Sentences 1. As Imani’s eyes looked over the cake, she could feel the saliva collecting in her mouth. She was imagining the taste of chocolate melting in her mouth and the crunch of the pecans as she bites down into the moist, chewy, chocolate cake. 2. As his eyes darted back and forth to see who was following him, he turned the corner and jumped behind the trash bin. His fist was wrapped tight around the gold watch he found on the street. He peeked out from behind the bin, and saw the coast was clear. More Practice 3. She waited anxiously to see if she won the contest. 4. The crowd was joyful when their team won. 5. Aaron tried to think of a solution. Mrs. Gentry’s Sentences 3. As Monica tapped her foot and bit her nails, she realized that the strap on her heel had broke probably during the tap dancing portion of the contest. She sat at the edge of her seat as the judge began to walk to the microphone. 4. The stands began to roar with screams and whistles. A chant began at the west end and slowly trickled to the east, “We are the champions….” 5. Aaron sat in his chair methodically tapping his pencil. He began to chew his fingernails until he realized how simple the answer was!