Which Description is an Example of Direct Characterization

Which Description is an Example of Direct Characterization

Introducing and describing characters are primal parts of the storytelling procedure. Read 6 tips for describing characters using straight label, with examples:

Tips for direct charactization:

  1. Write clear and concise introductions
  2. Give specific context
  3. Use precise adjectives
  4. Give meaningful details
  5. Utilize occasional epithets or phrases
  6. Combine multiple descriptive elements

Start: What is direct characterization?

Put just, straight label
while indirect characterization

Direct characterization describes characters by stating their feelings, world-views, personalities, weather or situations.

Indirect characterization

a character’s personality, mood or situation past
rather than being explicit.

Direct vs Indirect characterization: Ii examples

Direct characterization: ‘The merely affair that made him a conman was that he’d conned himself into believing he had a hope in hell of stealing the Van Gogh.’ This tells us
about the grapheme’due south flaw, his delusion well-nigh his thieving ability.

Indirect characterization:
‘He felt all around the window with ungloved hands.
Gloves are for amateurs, he thought, while leaving a mess of fingerprints. He landed on the gallery floor with a heavy thud. Immediately an alert rang out.’ This shows united states of america the thief’south persona through his
choices, without explicitly proverb what a bad thief he makes. Nosotros can deduce that much.

Let’s explore direct characterization examples and tips:

6 Tips for direct characterization

1. Write clear and concise introductions

Directly characterization oftentimes
introduces, while indirect characterization

In other words, a first line in a scene might tell u.s. who a grapheme is, explicitly. Following lines prove us actions, thoughts, movements, dialogue, that further substantiate a statement such equally ‘She was an angry woman.’

Take this example, the opening of the get-go chapter in Kent Haruf’s

They came up from the horse barn in the slanted light of early on morn. The McPheron brothers, Harold and Raymond. One-time men approaching an sometime house at the end of summertime.

Kent Haruf,
Eventiddue east (2004), p. 3

Here Haruf introduces the aging McPheron brothers in simple, explicit description. He tells u.s. manifestly that they are old. Key facts about them – e.g. the rural setting unsaid by a equus caballus barn – are mixed in with unproblematic telling.

Another example of straight characterization that introduces characters swiftly:

Everything had gone incorrect in the Oblonsky household. The married woman had establish out about her husband’due south relationship with their quondam French governess and had announced that she could not go on living in the same business firm with him. This situation had already continued for 3 days and was having a distressing effect on the couple themselves, on all the members of the family, and on the domestics.

Leo Tolstoy,
Anna Karenina
(1954), trans. Rosemary Edmonds, p. five

Tolstoy’s narration patently explains the situation (marital infidelity) and the effect it has on Stiva Oblonksy’south wife and their household.

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Constructive direct characterization thus may introduce:

  • Primal facts about characters
    (where they live, their historic period, their current emotional land or situation)
  • Context for farther indirect characterization: When we afterward see Stiva, the cheating husband, sleeping on a burrow in his study, nosotros know why

two. Give specific context

Leo Tolstoy’s example of direct label in a higher place is an example of how
straight label supplies immediate context.

Considering we know Stiva is a philanderer, and take been told how angry his wife is, nosotros have context for his next actions (sleeping on a couch in his study).

Context is crucial in storytelling. Without understanding a graphic symbol’s situation at present or their backstory, nosotros can’t understand why they brand the choices they practice. We don’t know what options they have, or where they’re heading next.

Context you can supply through direct characterization includes:

  • A character’s ascendant traits
    (e.g. whether they’re mostly optimistic or pessimistic, happy, melancholic or neutral, uptight or easygoing, etc.)
  • A characters feelings, desires or motivations
    (i.e. stating directly what a character feels or wants)
  • Bones ‘ID’ facts almost a grapheme
    (their age, gender identity, relationship status, appearance, and annihilation else that may supply context for what volition happen during their story)

Here’s an example of directly characterization from Barbara Kingsolver’s
The Poisonwood Bible:

We came from Bethlehem, Georgia, bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle. My sisters and I were all counting on having one birthday apiece during our twelve-calendar month mission.

Barbara Kingsolver,
The Poisonwood Bible
(1998), p. 5

This straight characterization gives us immediate context. We know:

  • We’re reading about a family from the USA inbound an unfamiliar setting (‘the jungle’)
  • There is a grouping of sisters
  • The sisters want to all the same relish the comforts of abode in a new environment (altogether cake and celebrations)
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The context supplied suggests the girls’ privilege, too as the unknown chemical element of their habitation for the next twelve months. Their wish to gloat their birthdays clearly shows their attachment to their lives before their present situation.

This direct characterization creates a sense of the girls’ wide-eyed naivety and their determination to maintain their own traditions.

3. Apply precise adjectives

In indirect label, you might bear witness a character is old via their thoughts. For example: ‘I remember way back in 1920s how nosotros used to scroll our hair’.

In direct characterization, you could state a character’due south age using an adjective, every bit Haruf does when he simply calls the McPheron brothers ‘erstwhile’ in the above example.

When writing direct characterization, try to find an adjective or synonym for a more mutual describing word that fits the paragraph. For instance:

To teenage Joseph, the couple looked ancient; antediluvian (had they been on the ark?) however the woman’s confront lit upwardly like a young girl’due south when she passed him a toffee with a sly wink.

Here, the give-and-take ‘antediluvian’ (meaning ‘belonging to the times before the biblical flood) works well for describing the couple, as information technology’south paired with Joseph imagining they might have been aboard Noah’s Ark.

Keep a good thesaurus or use a website such as thesaurus.com. When choosing an describing word (for case, ‘young’) see if there isn’t something that fits the situation
descriptively, such every bit:

  • budding
  • dark-green
  • youthful
  • fledgling
  • puerile [for negative connotations of immaturity]

[Brainstorm graphic symbol description and develop your story using our piece of cake, step-by-step outlining tools.]

four. Give meaningful details

Writing a succinct, specific clarification that captures a grapheme’s personality is difficult. Information technology’s piece of cake to focus on details that don’t tell us much, such every bit a character’due south eye colour.

Retrieve to show your reader what is
about a character in description.

For example, instead of ‘she had blue eyes’, could this description do more work introducing the character?

For example:

  • ‘She had blueish eyes – a pale, rare blue that made her gaunt confront appear about supernatural, more than ethereal’
  • ‘His blue eyes had a calorie-free, lively intelligence backside them’

In the showtime case, describing a graphic symbol’s eye color leads the states into more facial details that brainstorm to create a more specific, directly mood.

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In the second case, eye colour leads to the ways the centre surface area suggests a person’s personality.

Direct characterization - JK Rowling on naming characters | Now Novel

v. Use occasional epithets or phrases

Straight label is useful for creating an impression of a character via another’s words.

For example, a character may use an epithet (a characterizing word or phrase) to depict some other.

Have, for example, the epithet ‘dirty’. If a character describes another as a ‘dirty old human being’, this suggests a lewd nature. He may exist the type to make lewd, inappropriate, harassing comments.

Call back of common epithets and phrases people might employ to depict others, for example:

  • ‘The lights are on but no-one’s home’ (suggesting a vacant/dumb nature)
  • ‘They’re a existent jack of all trades’ (suggesting a person dabbles in things without developing truthful skill)

Epithets offer a creative, metaphorical way to give straight characterization.

half-dozen. Combine multiple descriptive elements

Successful direct label combines multiple descriptive elements to create a full, vivid image.

A classic example of direct characterization is Charles Dickens’ brilliant label of Pip’s mean sister in
Great Expectations:

My sister, Mrs. Joe, with black pilus and eyes, had such a prevailing redness of peel that I sometimes used to wonder whether information technology was possible she washed herself with a nutmeg-grater instead of soap. She was tall and bony, and almost always wore a coarse frock, attached over her figure behind with two loops, and having a square impregnable bib in front, that was stuck total of pins and needles. She made information technology a powerful merit in herself, and a strong reproach against Joe, that she wore this apron so much.

Charles Dickens,
Great Expectations
(1861), full text bachelor here.

Dickens combines the irritation of Pip’due south sis’s skin (how it looks like she washes with a grater) with details of apparel (her apron ‘stuck total of pins and needles’ and the disgruntled way she wears it) to create the impression of a flustered, grumpy person. Mrs. Joe’due south clarification is full of prickliness, from the epitome of the grater to the pins and needles.

Demand help developing memorable characters? Utilise the ‘Characters’ section in the Now Novel dashboard to create detailed grapheme profiles and develop your story.

Which Description is an Example of Direct Characterization

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