Text of Connecting with Characters Main Characters Subordinate Characters Flat Characters versus Round...
Connecting with Characters Main Characters Subordinate Characters Flat Characters versus Round Characters Dynamic Characters versus Static Characters Conflict Motivation What Characters Tell Us Direct Characterization Indirect Characterization Dramatic Monologue and Soliloquy Character Interactions
What draws readers into a story? Connecting with Characters Vivid, complex characters whose problems and triumphs draw forth our emotions and reveal some truth about humankind.
The action of the story revolves around the protagonist and the conflict he or she faces. Main Characters Protagonistthe main character of a story. Antagonistthe character or force the protagonist struggles against and must overcome.
Subordinate characters add depth and complication to the plot. Subordinate Characters Main character Friends
Flat characters have only one or two character traits that can be described in a few words Flat Characters versus Round Characters have no depth, like a piece of cardboard
Round characters have many different character traits that sometimes contradict each other Flat Characters versus Round Characters are much like real people, with several sides to their personality
Dynamic characters change or grow as a result of the storys actions Dynamic Characters versus Static Characters learn something about themselves, other people, or the world as they struggle to resolve their conflicts The changes that a dynamic character undergoes contribute to the meaning of the story.
Static characters do not change or grow Dynamic Characters versus Static Characters are the same at the end of a story as they were in the beginning Subordinate characters are often static characters.
External conflictstruggle between a character and an outside force. character versus character Conflict character versus society character versus nature
Conflict Internal conflictstruggle between opposing needs or desires or emotions within a character. character versus himself character versus herself
What type of conflict does the character face? Conflict Quick Check Yall git some stones, commanded Joey now and was met with instant giggling obedience as everyone except me began to gather pebbles from the dusty ground. Come on, Lizabeth. I just stood there peering through the bushes, torn between wanting to join the fun and feeling that it was a bit silly. from Marigolds by Eugenia W. Collier [End of Section]
Conflict Internal conflict. She has to decide whether to join in or not. What type of conflict does the character face? Quick Check Yall git some stones, commanded Joey now and was met with instant giggling obedience as everyone except me began to gather pebbles from the dusty ground. Come on, Lizabeth. I just stood there peering through the bushes, torn between wanting to join the fun and feeling that it was a bit silly. from Marigolds by Eugenia W. Collier
Motivationwhat drives a characters actions. It Motivation explains behaviors is often based on characters fears, conflicts, needs Motivation can be inferred by observing characters behavior, speech, actions. reveals personality
Think of a story youve read in which the protagonist faces powerful conflicts. Use a chart like the one here to map out the conflicts and their resolutions, as well as the protagonists motivations. Practice Protagonist Motivation Internal Conflict Resolution Motivation External conflict and antagonist Resolution [End of Section]
What Characters Tell Us Direct Characterization Indirect Characterization Dramatic Monologue and Soliloquy Characters
What can we learn from fictional characters? What Characters Tell Us We can learn about encounters with discrimination conflicts between old and new traditions struggles for independence and acceptance triumphs, fears, and love
Characters are the actors in a story. When they behave in convincing ways, they make us believe in them and draw us into their fictional worlds. What Characters Tell Us By reading about their struggles, we often learn something about ourselves.
Direct Characterization Direct CharacterizationThe writer tells readers directly what a character is like.... he was a simple, good- natured man; he was moreover a kind neighbor and an obedient, henpecked husband. from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Indirect Characterization Indirect CharacterizationThe writer reveals characters traits through appearance dialogue private thoughts actions effects on others
Appearance The way writers describe characters appearance physical features, clothing, and general demeanorprovides insight into their personalities. Indirect Characterization (After his twenty-year nap) The appearance of Rip, with his long grizzled beard, his rusty fowling piece, his uncouth dress,... soon attracted the attention of the tavern politicians. from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Dialogue Dialogue can reveal a lot about characters. Pay attention not only to what characters say but also how they say it. Indirect Characterization (Entering the village after his twenty-year nap) God knows, exclaimed [Rip]..., Im not myself.Im somebody elsethats me yondernothats somebody else got into my shoesI was myself last night; but I fell asleep on the mountain and theyve changed my gunand everythings changedand Im changedand I cant tell whats my name, or who I am! from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Private Thoughts Characters private thoughts can reveal what they think, feel, want, or fear. Indirect Characterization (Rip learns that friends have passed away in his absence) Rips heart died away, at hearing of these sad changes in his home and his friends, and finding himself thus alone in the world... he had no courage to ask after any more friends, but cried out in despair, Does nobody here know Rip Van Winkle? from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Actions Characters actionswhat they do and how they do ittell a great deal about them. Indirect Characterization He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and told them long stories.... from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Effects on Others The effect a character has on others also helps readers understand what the character is like. Indirect Characterization The children of the village... would shout with joy whenever he approached.... Whenever he went dodging about the village he was surrounded by a troop of them... and not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighborhood. from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
In what indirect ways does the writer reveal character in this passage? Indirect Characterization [End of Section] Quick Check [Rip] would never refuse to assist a neighbor even in the roughest toil, and was a foremost man at all country frolics for husking corn, or building stone fences; the women of the village too used to employ him to run their errands... from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Indirect Characterization The writer describes Rips actionshe always helps others. In what indirect ways does the writer reveal character in this passage? Quick Check [Rip] would never refuse to assist a neighbor even in the roughest toil, and was a foremost man at all country frolics for husking corn, or building stone fences; the women of the village too used to employ him to run their errands... from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Characters are also important in poetry and plays. One way that poets and playwrights can develop characters is by letting them speak for themselves. A dramatic monologue is a poem in which a single character talks to one or more silent listeners. Dramatic Monologue and Soliloquy A soliloquy is a scene in a play in which a lone character tells his or her thoughts directly to the audience.
Flat, Round, and Stock Characters Flat characters have only one or two character traits can be described in a few words are usually minor characters
Flat, Round, and Stock Characters Round characters have many character traits are complex, like real people are often major characters
Flat, Round, and Stock Characters Stock characters fit readers preconceived ideas about types, such as mad scientists or nagging wives are not complex like real people [Rips] wife kept continually dinning in his ears about his idleness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on the family. Morning, noon, and night, her tongue was incessantly going.... from Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving [End of Section]
Pick a character in a short story you have read. Review the story, and identify two or three of the characters traits. List details in the story that illustrate those traits. Then, identify which