Posts from the ‘Characterization’ Category

  • Characterization

    September 19th, 2012 | Characterization, Literary trivia | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    If plot is the skeleton upon which the meat of your story hangs, then characters are surely the heart and soul. Characterization is the art of presenting the people who populate your story. Characterization is, in essence, nothing more — or less — than the depiction of motive (a word, incidentally, that comes from the […]

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  • How To Begin Your Story

    How To Begin Your Story

    August 17th, 2011 | Beginnings, Characterization, Plot | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Establish your setting early on. Give us The When, The Where, The Weather — the overall tone. Is your story happy, soft, somber? John Steinbeck does this so well in the beautiful opening of Of Mice and Men: A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and […]

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  • Climax: Bringing Together The Essential Components Of A Novel

    Climax: Bringing Together The Essential Components Of A Novel

    August 11th, 2011 | Characterization, Climax, Plot, Storytelling, Style | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    A good novel consists of four primary components, all of which interact in an almost symbiotic way. Those elements are plot, character, theme, and style. (The recapitulation of theme-and-plot combined is what I call The Situation.) Of those four components, the first three are primarily concerned with subject-matter, and the last — style, which is […]

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  • Characterization (Part 4)

    Characterization (Part 4)

    July 29th, 2011 | Characterization, Plot | journalpulp | No Comments

    In the previous post, I said that to create convincing characters, the writer must first understand what motivates the people she or he is creating. This means that the writer must understand what moves the actions of his or her characters. The term “actions” in this context refers to plot — though it bears repeating […]

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  • Characterization (Part 3)

    Characterization (Part 3)

    July 27th, 2011 | Characterization, Literature, Plot, Storytelling, Style, Theme | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Characterization is a presentation of the personality of the people who populate a story. Characterization is primarily a depiction of motivation and motive. The reader must understand what makes the characters act in the way that those characters do. It’s been said that one of the truest tests of good literature is when you can […]

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  • Characterization (Part 2)

    Characterization (Part 2)

    July 25th, 2011 | Characterization, Dialogue | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    [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 […]

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  • Characterization (Part 1)

    Characterization (Part 1)

    July 22nd, 2011 | Characterization, Literature, Storytelling | journalpulp | 1 Comment

    If plot is the skeleton — that vital framework upon which the rest of the body is built — then characters are the soul. Characters are the reason we ultimately love or hate a story. “I’m sick to death of the inarticulate hero,” said John Fowles. “To hell with the inarticulate.” Characterization is in essence […]

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