I’m baaaaaaaack!: Now let’s talk about characterization!

Sorry for my long hiatus! My father was in town visiting for a little over a week, and then as soon as he left, I had a minor family crisis I had to deal with, so I have not been able to write or blog.

But everything has been somewhat taken care of, and I am somewhat back to a routine, so hopefully I should be back to blogging regularly.

And today I want to talk about characterization.

I finished reading John Green’s Paper Towns, and although I have mixed feelings about the book, one thing I think he does a great job with is characterization. He includes really specific anecdotes and details about his characters that make them feel unique, and real.

For example, Quentin tells the anecdote of when he was younger at a dance class and a bully tells all the girls to say no to him when he asks them to dance, even though they aren’t allowed to say no, so when they do, he is so shocked and hurt that he starts crying to the teacher. I mean, that is SUCH a specific anecdote that really reveals a lot about the character, don’t you think? And then there is Radar, Quentin’s friend, whose parents have the largest collection of black Santas. Yeah, that’s right, BLACK SANTAS. How does he come up with this?

This is the kind of thing I need to work on with my own work. Making the characters more specific and real. But like I said, how does he come up with this stuff? Does he base it off of his own life, or real people that he knows? Is he able to just literally make the stuff up as he goes along? Does he draw from inspiration in movies and other books? I. Need. To. Know.

So what about you guys? How do you work on specific details for your characters? Is is experience, divine inspiration, or borrowed from other things?

Let me know in the comments!




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