What Is Indirect Characterization? Examples
Indirect characterization is a method of indicating what a character is like by revealing their personality through descriptions of their actions, speech, appearance, and interactions with other characters. Indirect Characterization Definition: Indirect characterization is when the reader learns about the attributes of a character through their speech, actions, reactions from other characters, and appearance. The reader draws inferences about the characterТs personality based on this information.
There are two main ways to reveal characters: direct characterization, and indirect characterization. What defines these two characterization types, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Read on for tips and examples from literature:. Woolf explicitly shows what characters think of one another. For example, an artist staying with the Ramsay family, Lily Briscoe, thinks about a man Mr. Bankes who has called Mr Ramsay a hypocrite:.
Ramsay Ч advancing towards them, swinging, careless, oblivious, remote. A bit of a hypocrite? This is direct Ч Woolf describes Mr. What types of indirect characterization are there? For example:. He dragged the last smoke from his raveling cigarette and then, with callused thumb and forefinger, crushed out the glowing end. He rubbed the butt to a pulp and put it out the window, letting the breeze suck it from his fingers. Direct characterization is convenient. You can give readers information about your characters quickly, in a single phrase or sentence.
Its thus fits his persona and backstory. Keep direct characterization, as much as possible, to concise information relevant to your story. Blend direct and indirect characterization to develop your characters. For example, here is bad direct characterization:. What is it this man fears? When introducing characters for the first time particularly, use direct characterization to give readers essential details.
He was a lonely, withdrawn young man with blond moustaches, and was thought to be having difficulty finding himself. This movement Ч from simple, direct characterization to broader character details given indirectly Ч creates a sense of character development.
Because he eventually has a brief but unsatisfying fling with Evelyn. Some physical description is important, especially on first introduction. His eyes were very dark brown and there was a hint of brown pigment in his eyeballs. His cheek-bones were high and wide, and strong deep lines cut down his cheeks, in curves besides his mouth [Е] His hands were hard, with broad fingers and nails as thick and ridges as little clam shells.
The space between thumb and forefinger and the hams of his hands were shiny with callus. The description of Tom Joad is fitting. We see how lined his face is for a man entering his thirties, and the calluses on his fingers attest to a life of hard work. Instead, focus on specifics. The what is a duct in the human body Elaine is remembering her youth through a flashback, in the present tense:.
This small bit of direct clothing description shows us preteen girls who are discovering their independence. Great dialogue tells readers a lot about your characters. Its a useful tool for creating subtle yet revealing indirect characterization.
Stella, Baby! Hi, Mitch. Stanley: Catch! Stella: What? Stanley: Meat! She cries out in protest but manages to catch it: then she laughs breathlessly. Her husband and his companion have already started back around the corner.
Where are you going? Stanley: Bowling! Williams does not need to tell us that Stanley is not a big talker and is a rough type. Indirect characterization here does that for him. This first exchange between Stanley and Stella shows in his short, barked answers that he is a man of few words and some aggression. It would also pre-determine how we read him. Half the joy of reading is discovering the characters.
Before this realization, we see small signs through indirect characterization. For example, when she goes to visit Nanny after getting married:. She just fell on a chair with her hips and sat there. A build up of images of waiting and stasis describe Janie indirectly. Here, indirect characterization details build up to a major character development. One way of thinking of direct characterization vs indirect characterization is to think of cause and effect.
Similarly, when we first meet the fraudulent Mr. Everything from character dialogue and actions to the words you choose to describe settings can deepen characterization. For example, two different characters could describe the same setting completely differently. The way each describes this setting would what is the gross pay key differences about them.
For example, imagine two siblings, John and Sarah, decide to investigate a mysterious abandoned house on their street. I dash back to the gate and look up, squinting into the glare. All I see is the reflection of the sinewy oak in a corner of the weedy, unkempt garden. The fact John is checking the windows for movement, the fact he dashes back to the gate Ч these indirect characterization details show that eerie goings on are on his mind.
They reveal he has a fearful nature, without explicitly saying so. She comes across as matter-of-fact, and maybe even a little closed-minded and judgmental. Create believable, developed characters. Finishing a book is easier with structured tools and encouraging support. Glad you managed in the end. Good luck with your revision! Thank you! First books are hard so much to learn.
I feel like I could have written two other books while fixings this one. I like it way more than the complicated expensive writing programs out there. Where to sign up to get updates for this blog? I need reminders for everything.
A newsletter is a good way to do that. If you sign up for a Now Novel member account, you get subscribed to our blog newsletter too. Can you please ,include a section about dynamic and static characters? Thanks for your precious help. Hi Abdou, thank you for the suggestion! This is such a great website offering very useful tools for writers.
You shared some excellent tips on characterization. I think all writers can benefit from this blog. Thank you so much, Derrick. Thanks for reading.
Your email address will not be published. Read tips for each: Tips for using direct characterization 1. Use direct characterization for key character details When introducing characters for the first time particularly, use direct characterization to give readers essential details. To write good direct characterization, describe details such as: Clothing Ч what does it say about your character? Is their clothing sober, funky, revealing?
Identity Ч does your character identify with a particular subculture e. What does this say about them? Personality Ч is your character mainly cheerful, sarcastic, melancholic? Just make sure to show this quality through events, dialogue and how long to cook pork shoulder in dutch oven indirect means too Tips for using indirect characterization 1. Use dialogue for indirect characterization Great dialogue tells readers a lot about your characters.
Use indirect characterization to show consequences One way of thinking of direct characterization vs indirect characterization is to think of cause and effect. Use emotive what is healthiest sweetener option to characterize viewpoint characters indirectly Everything from character dialogue and actions to the words you choose to describe settings can deepen characterization.
John is afraid. He believes in supernatural forces.
Jul 07, †Ј Indirect characterization is the process by which the writer shows the characterТs personality through speech, actions, and appearance. When you watch a movie or television show, you can usually gather what type of person the main character is based on the characterТs actions and reactions in different situations. Jan 16, †Ј Direct characterization is when the narrator tells the reader something about a character. Indirect characterization is when the narrator shows the reader something about the character through the character's actions, things the character says, or things other characters say. Dec 21, †Ј Definition of Characterization Direct Characterization Indirect Characterization.
Characterization refers to the way in which the author reveals the characters in his work. Characterization can be mainly classified into two types known as direct characterization and indirect characterization. Thus, the difference between direct and indirect characterization is similar to that of telling and showing.
In direct characterization, the writer tells about the character and in indirect characterization, the writer shows us what the character is like. What is Direct Characterization?
What is Indirect Characterization? What is the difference between Direct and Indirect Characterization? In direct characterization, the writer directly comments about the character and his personality and tells the readers what he or she is alike.
This can be done by the narrator, another character or by the character himself. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character.
Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news. So it is important to pay attention to certain factors to know more about characters. These factors include. Thoughts Ч what are the private thoughts or feelings of the character. Effect Ч how the character affects others in the book, and how others react to him or her.
Actions Ч how does the character act and how does he respond to certain situations. A writer uses a combination of both direct and indirect characterization in his work. Direct Characterization: The writer directly comments on the personality of the character. Direct Characterization: The characterization is revealed directly by the narrator, another character or the character himself.
Indirect Characterization: The characterization is indirectly revealed through the thoughts, words, actions of the character as well the reactions of other characters to this particular character. Direct Characterization: The writer tells the readers about the character.
Indirect Characterization: The writer shows us what the character is like. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food. View all posts.
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