Characterization 2

I am reading my 7th grade’s class on Characterization and some of them are really going deep and thinking about the way the author creates character and uses techniques to make characters round or dynamic. Some of the students have used excellent examples from their short stories of indirect or direct characterization, and examples of why characters are round or flat, and static or dynamic. I want to be sure, and we 7th graders finish up this section on characterization that you really understand what characterization is, and how important it is to good writing. I also want to invite my 8th grade classes to reflect upon characterization as a review.

I didn’t see a lot in the posts about the motivations of the characters, and why and how the characters do something is actually the most important part of characterization. Yes, it’s important to be able to say, “this is a round character and I can support that statement because …..,” but it is also really important for you to understand that through the creation of this round character, the author has built for the reader a realistic person whose motivations can be understood, because we understand how real people are and the book or story is well-written because it gives us further insight into why and how people do what they do. Does that make sense to you? If you understand something new about characterization (or if you want to clarify a point), please post a comment here.

You can also understand better by watching the linked video by author Lisa Scottoline that is a good discussion of characterization. Lisa Scottoline on Characterization


Our class broke into five groups and each group read a different short story and analyzed the characters therein. In your blog post, compare and contrast the way the authors portrayed characters in two of the four stories. Don’t choose the story you worked on in your group. Do mention all the aspects of characterization we discussed in class. Thanks!

 ”The Luckiest Time of All” – pg. 79

“The Last Cover” – pg. 59

“Amigo Brothers” – pg. 83

“Two Kinds” – pg. 93

“Rip Van Winkle” pg. 133