Thursday, December 6, 2007


CHARACTERIZATION: The author’s means of conveying to the reader a character’s personality, life history, values, physical attributes, etc. Also refers directly to a description thereof.

They are almost always round or three-dimensional characters. They have good and bad qualities. Their goals, ambitions, and values change. A round character changes as a result of what happens to him or her.

A character who changes inside as a result of what happens to him is referred to in literature as a DYNAMIC character. A dynamic character grows or progresses to a higher level of understanding in the course of the story.

Protagonist: The main character in the story
Antagonist: The character or force that opposes the protagonist.
Foil: A character who provides a contrast to the protagonist.

They are almost always flat or two-dimensional characters. They have only one or two striking qualities. Their predominant quality is not balanced by an opposite quality. They are usually all good or all bad. Such characters can be interesting or amusing in their own right, but they lack depth. Flat characters are sometimes referred to as STATIC characters because they do not change in the course of the story.

POINT OF VIEW: The identity of the narrative voice; the person or entity through whom the reader experiences the story. May be third-person (no narrator; abstract narrative voice, omniscient or limited) or first-person (narrated by a character in the story or a direct observer). Point-of-view is a commonly misused term; it does not refer to the author’s or characters’ feelings, opinions, perspectives, biases, etc.


First Person
The narrator is a character in the story who can reveal only personal thoughts and feelings and what he or she sees and is told by other characters. He can’t tell us thoughts of other characters.

Third-Person Objective
The narrator is an outsider who can report only what he or she sees and hears. This narrator can tell us what is happening, but he can’t tell us the thoughts of the characters.

Third-Person Limited
The narrator is an outsider who sees into the mind of one of the characters.

The narrator is an all-knowing outsider who can enter the minds of more than one of the characters.