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Character. Character = a person or animal in a story. Characterization. The methods used by the author to create or reveal the characters in a story. Direct Characterization. The author simply says what the character is like.

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Character = a person or animal in a story


The methods used by the author to create or reveal the characters in a story.

direct characterization
Direct Characterization

The author simply says what the character is like.

For example, “Miss Alice was the nicest person you would ever want to meet.”

indirect characterization
Indirect Characterization

The author presents the character’s personality through the character’s words, actions, and thoughts, along with how other characters relate to him/her.

You must then draw your own conclusions about the character.

indirect characterization1
Indirect Characterization

Indirect characterization is the most similar to the way we learn about people in real life.

example of direct or indirect characterization
Example of Direct or Indirect Characterization?

(A) James was one of those people who was constantly angry. He looked for trouble wherever he went, and he usually found it.

description a is an example of direct characterization
Description A is an example of direct characterization.

The author comes right out and tells you that James was always angry and that he was looking for a fight almost constantly.

example of direct or indirect characterization1
Example of Direct or Indirect Characterization?

Stanley’s eyes blazed as he surveyed the room. The corners of his mouth pointed in a decidedly southerly direction. Carol moved aside as he stalked past her.

“Look out for Stan,” she whispered to Bart. “He’s in another one of his moods. I’d stay far away if I were you!”

description b is an example of indirect characterization
Description B is an example of indirect characterization.

We can tell from his angry eyes, frowning mouth and the way he walked that he is angry.

We can also see that others are somewhat frightened of him by observing their reactions. Carol moves aside and warns Bart to avoid Stanley.

example of direct or indirect characterization2
Example of Direct or Indirect Characterization?

When she was 17, Linda dropped out of high school and married a 39-year-old painter.

example of direct or indirect characterization3
Example of Direct or Indirect Characterization?


Linda is independent and maybe reckless. She doesn’t do what people expect.

types of characters
Types of Characters
  • The protagonist (or main character) is the central figure in the work.
  • The antagonist is the character or force pitted against the protagonist.
more types of characters
More types of characters…
  • A static character stays the same.
  • A dynamic character is one who does change.
round character
Round Character

A round character is a complex, fully developed character.

flat character
Flat Character

A flat character is a one-dimensional character, typically not central to the story

the protagonist is usually
The protagonist is usually…
  • The central character
  • A character the reader can identify with
  • Has a rounded personality (we hear what they say, what others say about them, we know what they think and how they feel)
  • A character with a dynamic personality
character motivation
Character Motivation

A motive is a reason that explains or partially explains a character’s thoughts, feelings, actions, or speech. If the motives of a main character are not clear, then the character will not be believable.

character motivation1
Character Motivation

Characters are often motivated by needs, such as food and shelter. They are also motivated by feelings, such as fear, love, and pride. Motives may be obvious or hidden.

character s qualities or traits
Character’s Qualities or Traits

The personal traits that make up the character’s personality.


Dialogue is a conversation between two or more people. Dialogue is usually set off by quotation marks to indicate a speaker’s exact words.