We are learning to: * Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) Students will be successful when they: * Use key details (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions) to describe the character.
What is Characterisation?
Characterisation is the way an author or an actor describes or shows what a character is like. It helps to make the characters seem believable or life-like to the reader or audience.
5 Methods of Characterisation
Physical descriptions: This is where the physical appearance and features of the character is described. This could be their height, hair colour, eye colour, clothes, etc. If your students are unsure where to begin, why don't they use their own physical description to build their characters?
Actions: Characters can be motivated and built through what they do rather than what they look like. Try adding dramatic events and actions to teach your reader a little more about the character. How a character reacts to an action or event, can tell us a lot. What the character does tells us a lot about him/her, as well as how the character behaves and his or her attitude. Is the character a good person or a bad person? Is the character helpful to others or selfish?
Inner thoughts: Use inner thoughts as a way to describe and build a detailed character. A character's inner thoughts include the thoughts and feelings that they may not share with the other characters in a story.
Reactions: How does the character make the other characters feel? Do they feel scared, happy, or confused? This helps the reader have a better understanding of all the characters.
Speech: Finally, speech is all about what their characters say rather than what they do. It can also refer to the tone and way they say. For example, the character might speak in a shy, quiet manner or in a nervous manner. The character might speak intelligently or in a rude manner.
When designing characters, they might think about questions such as:
What is the character's name?
How does the character behave? (Do they behave differently alone than when around people?)
How old are they?
Where are they from?
Direct vs Indirect Characterisation
When we describe them directly, we simply explain what they're feeling to the audience.
She was feeling nervous.
When we describe them indirectly, we give the reader an impression of what they're feeling through descriptions of their appearance and their actions.
She bit down on her lip, her thoughts racing through her mind. Her hands shook as they held the interview notes.