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Characters

definition, examples, characterization, character motivation & development
by

Sandy Wood Bairfield

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of Characters

Characters Answer the question "Who?" for the story Characters are the people or animals who take part in the story. Definition: All of these characters are brought to life with all methods of characterization: what they characters say, do, think, feel, look like and based on what other characters tell us.
Am I correct? Both Nemo and his dad Marlin are the protagonists. They are also both dynamic characters. Every story has a hero or character the reader/audience roots for. This character is clearly central to the story with all major events having some importance to this character. Protagonist The hero will deal with a problem, which will usually involve a villain. This is the other main character who opposes the main character. Antagonist Who am I? the change, growth, improvement, or maturity of a character. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT There are two types of characters.
Some characters change throughout or at the end of the story.
Others don’t. These characters that stay the same throughout the story may be minor characters, villains, symbolic characters, or other secondary characters. Character Development occurs when a main character changes throughout a story, learning something about himself, society, his family, etc. DYNAMIC A character who changes behavior or learns a lesson as a result of the story events. He/she has complex personalities that change, for better or worse, by the end of the story. In the "Pirate of the Caribbean" trilogy, Captain Jack Sparrow learns several lessons, including learning the value of friendship and loyalty. This makes him an example of a DYNAMIC character. Dynamic characters are like dynamite. Think of the image of dynamite to help you remember that dynamic characters change. Dynamite changes form just like dynamic characters change. Other characters remain unchanged throughout the story. These characters don't learn any lessons; they stay the same. They have one or two characteristics that never change and are emphasized e.g. evil villian, couch potato, cruel stepmother, etc. STATIC Stagnant water doesn't move, and
Static cling makes materials like fabric stick or stay where they are
just like static characters stay the same. Static characters are like stagnant water or static cling. In "Pirates of the Caribbean," Lord Beckett stays evil and greedy throughout all three movies. This makes him a example of a STATIC character. Both words begin with "dynami-" Notice how the words all begin with "sta-" Think about stagnant water or static cling to remember that static characters stay the same. The characters in a story have motivations – this is what makes a character do what he/she does. It is WHY a character says, does, or thinks anything. We cannot believe in characters if we do not believe in what they do and why they do it. CHARACTER MOTIVATION Answers the questions “WANTS WHAT? WHY?” for the "Who" Think about it. Why do YOU do what you do? Why do you roll your eyes? You’re annoyed or mad and you want to show it. Here are some Internal Character Motivations: People (Characters) are motivated by both Internal and External reasons. Sometimes characters in a story have more than one motivation. •Glory - Character seeks honor and fame in war.
Boromir (Lord of the Rings) •Goal - Character has a specific goal he wants to fulfill. A goal is an objective the character wants to accomplish, like become president, win a game, get a date, etc.
Harry Potter wanted to gain magical powers to defeat Voldamort. •Greed - Character wants money. It’s very simple motivation but also very shallow.
Han Solo (Star Wars) •Knowledge - Character wants to gain knowledge.
Luke (SW), Indiana Jones. •Responsibility - The character feels a responsibility or duty towards someone or something.
Robin Hood felt the responsibility to help the poor. •Upholding the Good - The character is simply a good person who wants to help people; save the day to save it.
Superman saved people from bad guys and natural disasters. •Vengeance - Character “gets back” at the bad guys, makes them “pay.” Batman, Spiderman • Physical Comforts - character wants nice shelter, good food, warmth, good health, etc. Here are some External Motivations: • Survival – the character is searching for safety, food, water, etc.
Brian Robeson (Hatchet) • Recognition – character wants acknowledgement, power, social standing, respect. An author uses characterization to create characters in a story who come alive, who become “real” people. In order for a story to seem real its characters must seem real. CHARACTERIZATION Herman Belsher awoke with a start, his face against the high arm of the old chair he was sitting in. His eyelids heavy, he blinked once, twice, trying to focus, first on the ragged, stained fabric against his face, then on the television set. Some info-mercial selling a useless product, he thought. A warm wetness seeped through his trousers, trickling down his out-stretched legs. Herman swung his focus to the empty Coke lying on his lap. Jerking himself upright, he tried to brush some of the soda from his trousers, but it was too late. He belched, wincing as the fabric clung to his leg. Picking up the empty can and crushing it into a small missile, he launched it in the general direction of one of the various piles of empties scattered around the room. “Wonder who won the game?” he groaned and settled back into the chair, wiping his hands on the fabric. He glanced out the window. It was dark. “Better turn off the TV and go to bed.” Herman shrugged and, rather than going to bed, turned his face back onto the arm of the chair, then, stretching again, he fell asleep. Read this character sketch of Herman Belscher as an example of a believable character. In your own words, briefly describe Herman and the setting (including his chair) that you “saw” but which the writer did not “tell” you. Traits or characteristics are the elements of a character's personality that define who the character is. Character Traits For example, Shrek is grouchy and irritable, but kind-hearted; these are his character traits. In the Spider-Man movies, Peter Parker's character traits are his intelligence, his shyness, and his cautiousness. Consider PERSONALITY traits: Consider PHYSICAL traits: height & weight hair & eye color clothing style kind or cruel? patient or stressed? outgoing or shy? helpful or rude? These are the 5 ways to bring a character to life without boring telling. Bring characters to life!
As an author, you should not list your character’s traits, but rather show them to create a realistic character.
Characterization is the information the author gives the reader about the characters themselves. The author may reveal a character in 5 ways. CHARACTERIZATION
(Character Development)
"How To" 1. what a character says Reveal a character and bring him/her to life by including... 2. what a character does 3. what a character thinks and feels 4. what a character looks like 5. what other characters tell us about the main character "You're flat! You're not reaaaallll! No one has used characterization to bring you to life yet!" When describing a character, be sure to SHOW the character with these methods. “Showing” uses description and sensory imagery. “Showing” allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusions about the character. (This is what the GREAT stories do!!) SHOW, DON’T TELL with Characterization Example of SHOWING: Shannon smiles, says hello to everyone, and helps anyone in need. Example of Telling: Shannon is friendly. Don’t “tell” when describing a character. “Telling” directly states a character’s traits, like saying directly “Suzie is nice,” rather than show Suzie being nice. “Telling” is often used for minor characters. Friendly how? Friendly like Casper the Friendly Ghost? Friendly like someone who frantically shakes your hand? "Hi! Let me help you out there. I'll carry those books for you!" You can get to know a character through…the way he/she speaks:
•ex. “Yes, M’am.” Or “No, you jerk!” More Examples of Showing Characters with Characterization You can get to know a character through…the way he/she behaves:
•ex. Shelly smiled. Right then, she slowly walked over to her father, rested the palm of her hand on his cheek, and thanked him for being her father. She knew he hadn’t meant to hurt her feelings. You can get to know a character through…what he/she thinks:
•ex. Tim wondered if he should tell the teacher he forgot to do his homework or make up some story about his cat tearing it to shreds. No, he thought to himself. A little honesty goes a long way. You can get to know a character through…what other characters say:
• Ex. “Well, I know Shelly, and I know she’s a snob and a gossip,” Sue whispered. I'll use the characters from the movie "Finding Nemo." So, let me see if I understand Characters. The dentist and his niece Darla are the antagonists. They are also both static characters. Dory and the sea turtles Crush and son Squirt are all static characters. Good Job! Yes!!! A little birdie told me there's one final note before we review... Sometimes one of the characters in a story is the story's narrator. A narrator is the person or voice who tells or narrates the story. Learn more about Narrators and their different Points of View in Ms. Wood's Prezi "Elements of Fiction - Part 2" Narrators are special and can have various Points of View, or perspectives, on the story's events and characters.
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