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Drawing your character

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Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 2505
Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:57 am    Post subject: Drawing your character Reply with quote

Here's a short paragraph introducing a character in a short story. It's a lesson in suggestion - without physically describing this little girl, he makes his reader see her clearly ...

F. Scott Fitzgerald
From “Winter Dreams”

The little girl at eleven

...beautifully ugly as little girls are apt to be who are destined after a few years to be inexpressibly lovely and bring no end of misery to a great number of men. The spark, however, was perceptible. There was a general ungodliness in the way her lips twisted down at the corners when she smiled, and in the--Heaven help us!--in the almost passionate quality of her eyes. Vitality is born early in such women. It was utterly in evidence now, shining through her thin frame in a sort of glow.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
Ernest Hemingway
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Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," by J.D.Salinger:

. . . the girl in 507 had to wait from noon till almost two-thirty to get her call through. She used the time though. She [Salinger describes things she did including tweezing out two freshly surfaced hairs in her mole.] When the operator finally rang her room, she was sitting on the window seat and had almost finished putting laquer on the nails of her left hand.

She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing. She looked as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty.

With her little laqcuer brush, while the phone was ringing, she went over the nail of her little finger, accentuating the line of the moon. She then replaced the cap on the bottle of lacquer and, standing up, passed her left --the wet hand -- back and forth through the air. With her dry hand, she picked up a congested ashtray from the window seat and carried it with her over to the night table, on which the phone stood. She sat down on one of the made-up twin beds and -- it was the fifth or sixth ring -- picked up the phone.

"Hello," she said, keeping the fingers of her left hand outstretched and away from her white silk dressing gown, which was all that she was wearing, except mules [a type of slipper] -- her rings were in the bathroom.
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Paul Grimsley
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 358
Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's like that whole thing with films -- the power of suggestion. Audiences are often treated like idiots nowadays and the punc is telegraphed a long time before it comes. It's that whole tendency to ignore a reader's ability to judge something critically ... who needs to be lead by the hand everywhere?
The word is a prism through which the two beams shot from heart and head are refracted into the colours of the Universe.
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Joined: 29 Sep 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:17 am    Post subject: Characterisation Reply with quote

What does this term mean?

Characterization is a word that describes how the author develops the personality of the story characters in a story.
In most stories the characters seem to steer the events in a story, for a good writer will make characters behave in different ways.

How character’s are described in stories.
How to create our own story characters.
How we can show a character’s personality in our own stories

Characters become real life breathing people to our reader if we describe decisions they make, what they say and how they say it.
Sometimes a writer will reveal also the thoughts which run through a character’s mind.

Top Tips for creating characterization

Tip One
Use an unusual name. Use description, alliteration, nicknames.

Biscuits was too large for the t-shirt he wore. Bits of him bulged out in unlikely places. But he didn’t seem to care. His round, red face grinned at me. “Hiyah!” said Biscuits, thrusting his pudgy hand our towards mine.

Tip Two
A simple contrast is most effective. One character could be gentle, the other harsh.
How do the characters in the text below contrast?

The Grabber stood blocking their way. Tom hesitated, then turned on his heal and rushed back up the corridor screaming. Victor picked up the whalebone wand. He faced the Grabber and without saying a word gazed deep into its eyes

Tip Three
We should be able to describe our character’s feelings by what they do. Take care not to write over simplified sentences such as He was sad. He was angry.

Grandma gently took the box from its secret place in the wardrobe. Immediately her eyes began to prickle. She opened the lid carefully and took in the familiar scent.

Tip Four
Dialogue. To show fear h-h-hesitate, um, er.
Show power, confidence. Begin sentences with imperative verbs (bossy verbs) Or I, I , I.
Use synonyms for said.

The old king stood up and gazed around the room. Everyone fell silent. “I will not wait,” he roared. “I must have porridge! And I want it now!”
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