What is characterization? • Characters are the people or animals in a story. • The main character is the person at the center of the story. Example: Rikki-tikki-tavi is the main character. • Supporting characters have smaller parts in the story. Examples: Nag and Darzee. • Characterization is the way that writers describe characters to make them seem real to readers.
Direct Characterization • Direct characterization is when the author tells you directly about the character. • Examples: • “Old Luther was the meanest cuss in five counties.” • “Little Posy was barely half the size of the other orphans, but she had pluck.” • Captain: Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?Kids: Sponge Bob Square Pants!Captain: Absorbent and yellow and porous is he.Kids: Sponge Bob Square Pants!
Indirect Characterization Indirect characterization is when the author shows you what a character is like by revealing character traits through the response of other characters to character in question. Through the thoughts, comments, words or actions of other characters, the reader draws a conclusion about the character. Plankton: That naive cube! How long must I suffer this? Karen: You're not letting him get away, are you? Can't you see? This is the perfect opportunity for revenge. Plankton: Elaborate. Karen: Befriend the SpongeBob, then, when the timing is just right, take the Krabby Patty. Plankton: Take the Krabby Patty. Karen: Get moving, genius. Don't let him get away. What do we learn about Sponge Bob from Plankton and his wife’s conversation?
Methods of Indirect Characterization: STEAL! Speech: What does the character say, and how is it spoken? Thoughts and feelings: What do the characters thoughts reveal? Effect on Other characters’ reactions: What do the others think about this character? What do they say about the character? How do they act toward the character? Action: How does the character behave? Looks or appearance: What does the character look like? How does the character dress?
Let’s Practice! What does Sponge Bob sound like? What does Sponge Bob like to do? Sponge Bob What does Sponge Bob look like? What do other characters say about Sponge Bob? How does Sponge Bob treat others? What does Sponge Bob think about?
Motivation Motive: the reason for a character’s behavior. Characters are often motivated by basic human needs such as the need for food, shelter or love. Sometimes motivation comes from strong feelings such as love, anger or jealousy. It may also come from peer pressure .