#atozchallenge: C is for #Characterization #fiction #writing #quotes

A to Z Challenge Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing
We’re off to a great start on the A to Z and I’m continuing with my mad rush of visiting other blogs! Today, I continue my theme with one of the most important skills of writing fiction: characterization.

Characterization is the
concept of creating characters for a narrative. It is a literary element and
may be employed in dramatic works of art or everyday conversation. Characters
may be presented by means of description, through their actions, speech, or
thoughts.” ~Wikipedia

Here are the writing quotes for today: 

  1. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  2. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  3. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters,
    make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what
    they are made of.
    — Kurt Vonnegut

 “When writing a novel a writer should
create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“But if you don’t understand that story is
character and not just idea, you will not be able to breathe life into even the
most intriguing flash of inspiration.”
― Elizabeth George

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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  1. Andi-Roo TheWorldForRealz

    That last quote makes me think of the title of Blake Snyder's book, SAVE THE CAT. Because even villains need some redeeming quality! No one is all evil. Likewise, no one is all good, so the hero should have some character flaws. This is what I try to keep in mind as I write my people.

  2. Heather M. Gardner

    I should really be more aware of creating the character. Sometimes I find them flat after I write the story.
    I always think the comic relief character is the best in a book or movie.

  3. Inge H. Borg

    Great post to remind us. I think, every reader wants to identify himself at least with part of the protagonists, part of the time – even if he wouldn't admit it. It gets him involved in the story. (You may, of course, substitute "her" for "him" – I am just tired of all this politically correct nonsense….)

  4. Anna Tan

    "My theory of characterization is basically this: Put some dirt on a hero, and put some sunshine on the villain, one brush stroke of beauty on the villain."–Justin Cronin

    I agree with this quote! It makes the heroes more human and the villains more likeable. Or at least more sympathisable (if that's a word)

    Deeply Shallow

  5. Jemima Pett

    I like the O'Connor one and the Vonnegut one too. I suppose that's why my characters always surprise me when I'm writing their story.

  6. Sheena-kay Graham

    Juliet's quote is my fave and most true to characterization to me. Also Kurt's #3 is so me, I do awful things to lovely characters. Even in my fan fiction my fave characters from shows get put through so much. Sometimes I feel bad. Character I love, Carlisle Cullen from the Twilight books and movies. Hate? A new one is LC Karla from the novel Inside by Maria V. Snyder that I'm currently reading.

  7. klahanie

    Hi Damyanti,

    Just checking your list of blogs you love. I promise not to shed any doggy tears….Creating my characters was very simple. One of my main characters, a fictional, deluded human named, Gary, is very simple. I have dialogue with him within my stories. The bottom line is that the reader should feel like they are part of the story. I even try to involve the reader as one of my characters. How about that.

    I'm getting very stressed from spending several hours pawing away to about 100 bloggers. I do hope this is the last year of the A to Z. Thank you, I beg you, make it STOP!

    Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

  8. Michelle Stanley

    Good quotes that I like and agree with. Characters should be believable, so should the dialogue. My characters form naturally as I type, since I seldom make notes, and work on impulse.

  9. Tina

    I like the part about crawling into someone's skin. When I write a character, I get to know them as the story unfolds. I'm a pantser…if you can believe that, what with all my organization and planning, yet that's just how it turned out. Kinda like the mathematician being a writer. I'm just weird I guess 😉
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

  10. Li

    I relate to Hemingway's quote. I love when I'm reading a story and there's a moment when I think "Hey! That's ME! (or someone that I know)

  11. Mason Canyon

    From a reader's viewpoint, I agree with Hemingway's quote. When the characters seem like real people, I enjoy the book more and want to continue reading about those people in future books.

  12. Sophie Duncan

    I do agree with these points, but without a plot to go with them, characters can get lost 🙂 Having said that, I recently saw Only Lovers Left Alive and the plot for this is fairly thin, but it just doesn't matter, because the characters are beautiful and subtle and they were so well crafted they made me want to pick up my pen and try to be that good.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX – A to Z Drabblerotic

  13. Rajlakshmi

    The third point strikes a chord… because whenever I write a sad story or poem, readers relate to it more.
    Excellent points 🙂

  14. Richa Singh

    Out of all the quotes the one I loved the most was that to be a sadist because honestly real life is also like that! No too sweet amazingly happy people can survive long. I enjoyed all the quotes 🙂


  15. Alex J. Cavanaugh

    I relate to O'Connor's quote. Characters usually come first for me. I see them in a situation, usually the ending, and then I create a story for them to reach that point.