Monday, April 8, 2013

Are You Using All Five Layers Of Characterization?

In my freshman college writing classes, I ask my students to understand 10 literary terms and identify them in the readings we go through during the term. 

Those basic terms are theme, protagonist, antagonist, character, characterization, conflict, image, symbol, setting, and dialogue. I ask them to read my Mall Demons Urban Fantasy Series, as well as, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

As a literary element, characterization is a powerful tool for writers. I'm convinced that readers will love your story if they understand and appreciate your characters. Readers can't understand or appreciate your characters if you don't do the work to fully characterize them. 

Here are five layers of characterization to help you flesh out your characters whether they are protagonists, antagonists or supporting characters.

First of all, characterization is how you, the writer, describe or develop your characters. The five layers to do that are to show the character's appearance, describe the character's actions, reveal the character's thoughts, allow the character to speak, and display how other characters react to the said character.

What does all that look like? My next blog will provide examples.

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