Characterization (Part 2)
  • [Note: I’ve updated this post and changed the dialogue example]

    In Part 1 of this post, I mentioned that a fictional character is shaped by his or her words and actions, and that for this reason, plot and dialogue are the sine-qua-non of character development. The following, then, taken from an actual book (written in first person), is an example of how this is so:

    I drove us to my trailer in Metairie.

    “This is where you live?” she said.

    “Shut up.”

    That’s how it actually appears in the novel. Now read it this way:

    I drove us to my trailer in Metairie.

    “This is where you live?” she said.

    “Yes.”

    It’s only a one-word difference, but note how much that one word changes your view of the character.





    July 25th, 2011 | journalpulp | 2 Comments | Tags: , ,

About The Author

The sawed-off shotgun of literary pulp.

2 Responses and Counting...

  • Lynn Kelley 07.25.2011

    Both posts on characterization are excellent. I love the way you changed the dialogue. Quite a contrast, and your point is well taken. Hmm, which movie? I have no idea, but I knew it wasn’t Top Gun!

  • […] Here’s how you develop your main character through dialogue: […]

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