All terms

"What is Characterization?"

The art of creating and developing a fictional character.

Characters are People Too!

Characterization is the art of creating and developing fictional people that have unique personalities, traits, and backstories that readers can connect with on a personal level.

Through vivid description, dialogue, and internal monologue, writers can build complex characters that leap off the page and resonate with their readers. Characterization helps to make a story more compelling by allowing readers to empathize with and understand the motivations, desires, and flaws of the people who inhabit the world of the story.

Characterization in Action

Here are two examples of how skilled authors have used characterization to bring their fictional characters to life:

Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield is a masterfully crafted character who embodies all the angst, confusion, and disillusionment of post-war America.

Lucy Honeychurch from A Room with a View

In E.M. Forster's classic novel, Lucy Honeychurch is a young Englishwoman who must navigate the labyrinth of social conventions and expectations in Edwardian England to find her true self and her place in the world.