Write Vivid Character Descriptions and Personalities: Bring Characters to Life | Barbara Vance | Skillshare

Write Vivid Character Descriptions and Personalities: Bring Characters to Life

Barbara Vance, Author, Illustrator

Write Vivid Character Descriptions and Personalities: Bring Characters to Life

Barbara Vance, Author, Illustrator

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11 Lessons (1h 17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Value of Characters

    • 3. POV: First Person Perspective

    • 4. POV: Third Person Limited & Omniscient

    • 5. Plot-Based Descriptions

    • 6. Direct & Indirect Descriptions

    • 7. Internal & External Traits

    • 8. Best Practices

    • 9. Introducing a Character: Literary Example

    • 10. Literary Examples

    • 11. Class Project

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About This Class

This class is designed to help you write realistic, vivid character descriptions throughout your narrative.  This includes long descriptions where you are often introducing a character or describing them at length as well as shorter descriptions that help move the novel forward, often in the form of character action that also reveals who they are. 

Questions we will address include:

  1. What are the various points of view we can write, what are the unique traits of each, and how does each change how my character is described and revealed to the reader?
  2. How do I make my character descriptions narrative-driven so that the plot does not come to a halt when I want to describe my character?
  3. What is the difference between direct and indirect characterization, what are the strengths and weaknesses of each and when should I use them?
  4. How do I have variety in my character descriptions, balancing internal and external traits?
  5. How do I craft compelling character introductions?

We will also look at several literary examples to get you started.

Meet Your Teacher

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Barbara Vance

Author, Illustrator



Barbara Vance is an author, illustrator and educator. She has a PhD in Narrative and Media, has taught storytelling and media production at several universities, and has spoken internationally on the power of storytelling and poetry. Barbara’s YouTube channel focuses on illustration and creative writing.

Her poetry collection, Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain, which she wrote and illustrated, is a Moonbeam Children’s Book winner, an Indie Book Award winner, and was twice a finalist for the Bluebonnet Award. Its poems are frequently used in school curricula around the world.

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1. Introduction: Hello, everyone. And welcome to this course on writing vivid character descriptions in your narratives. My name is Barbara Vans. I am an instructor off creative writing and communications, and it is my great joy to bring this course to you when we were writing. We often have to components with which we think about crafting a character we have the initial stage. Where we are developing who are character is was sort of thinking about the character traits that our characters are protagonists are supporting. Characters are antagonised are going to have. Then we have to take all of those decisions and then actually put them into our writing. And that is what this course is all about. I do have a course dedicated to crafting and thinking about what character traits your characters should have, and specifically choosing traits that will help advance the plot so that your characters and a plot are inextricably linked. Ah, highly recommend that you take a look at that class. That course, in conjunction with this course will help you not only therefore brainstorm and think about who your character is, but then actually go about the business of writing that character into your stories. When we think about character descriptions, what usually comes to mind first and foremost or sort of blocks of descriptions where it sort of like she with this dress? And she had this color hair, etcetera, just sort of superficial descriptions of an appearance. But a character description is so much more, which we want to look at. A good character description is not a chunk of riding that you can sort of pull out of the story and that stands on its own. It is woven into the story itself, so that when you're describing your character, you're also telling me about the plot. You're also telling you about the setting you're telling me about other characters. It's not just dedicated to one thing, so we want to look at that and look at How do you right in the description that advances not only the reader knowing more about the character, but the reader understanding much more about the story world and indeed the story itself. To that end, we're going to be looking at character description from several vantage points. First and foremost, we are going to look at how your character description absolutely depends on the point of view that you have chosen in writing your story perspective. Point of view Authority Voice has everything to do with the way will describe your character and, indeed, how the reader interprets those character descriptions. We will also be looking at the plot and how you make those character descriptions in a way that actually does advance the story line so that you're maximizing that description. You don't want superfluous riding in your stories. You want every single word to account for as much and to serve as much purpose as you can. So we want to think about character descriptions that are going to advance the plot as well . We're going to look at several kinds of character descriptions, specifically direct character descriptions and indirect character descriptions, because you want to have a variety of ways and angles in which you are actually describing your character. Think about it this way when you go into a fun house or a house, that sort of the kind of all where there are a lot of mirrors all around you and some of them are funny and they're woven and so ever mirror that you look in your getting a different vantage point on yourself. All of those mirrors are reflecting you, but each one is reflecting you in a unique way. This is very important when we're writing. We want our character descriptions to be fleshed out from a variety of angles. We want to look at, how do we do that? So when we look at those angles, we want to think about the character as a truly dimensional figure, which means that we are not only looking at how they appear, what they're wearing, but we're also looking at what's going on in their heads. How are they situated in the community? What's the history? What so future, What are their goals? All of these things are part of your character descriptions. We'll also get just nuts and bolts with it. In terms of sometimes you have long character descriptions. Sometimes you have short character descriptions. And indeed, throughout your narrative you have character descriptions just in the actions that they are doing. The words they are saying so character description is actually something that's happening all of the time. When you're writing your story, it's happening throughout the novel. So how do you. How do you balance that? And how do you make sure that the reader has what he needs, what she needs to deeply connect with the character? Because, remember, you want your readers to really connect with your characters. That's what's going to make us care about the plot. If we don't care about the characters, we don't care about the plot. So these character descriptions are incredibly important. I have several literary examples that we will be going through when we do this, so you are going to get a lot of great inspiration. And indeed, I am sure you have your own writers whose work you tremendously love. If you've watched any of my other courses, then you know I am a believer and not just teaching rules. I think it's good to look at best practices off great writers in our past, But my goal is to teach you how to read like a writer, how to analyze works that you love so that you can break them down, understand them and then take the things from the old is that inspire you and work those into your riding coming up with your own style. This is a much more independent way to be a writer, and that is my aim for you in this class. I hope that all sounds of interest. If it does stick around and let's start to talk about the purposes and the importance of character descriptions in your writing. 2. Value of Characters: story is all about characters. We love a good story because we care about the people in it. Most of the time, when people talk about writing, they talk about two things. You talk about character and they talk about plot. And both of these things really are completely linked in a solid story. Your character and plot are not broken apart. They are so tightly woven together that the traits of character has absolutely pushed the plot forward. And in watching that plot play out, we learn more and more about the character himself, the character herself. And indeed, we become more invested in who that character is, watching someone go through difficult times. Watching someone go through challenges and have to respond to those challenges and act as an agent in their world is what helps us actually get to know them and connect with them. If you just described someone and gave me a description of them, I might say to myself, Well, that sounds like a very nice person or she doesn't sound very nice, but that's not the same thing as my seeing that person go through those actions and become invested in that person because, in a way, as a reader, I'm going through the actions with them. So this is one of the key things that we have to think about when we're thinking about actually writing out our character descriptions. We can't just have descriptions that we consider separate from the narrative itself, because what's really going to connect the reader to the character is going through the narrative with the reader, which means that as you're describing the action that's happening, you have to think at every moment what am I teaching my readership about this character? This might seem obvious, but we have to think about what is it that's going to make my readership connect with my character? We connect over a common humanity, and so we have to think about the core traits, the core experiences of being a human, that allow me to connect with a character who's going through experiences that I probably haven't been through or I have been through, and that helps me connect with them. MAWR. If I've never been a superhero who has special powers and it's flying all over the city doing things, obviously I can't connect the hero on that level. So how do you make your reader connect with a character who is so different than then she is? Then he is. You have to look to the core traits, things like envy, things like desire, disappointment, love, thes central human experiences and emotions. You have to drill down and find those. And when you're thinking about your story, you want to say, OK, what are the key things that I want my readership to feel about? The character You don't want to just say? Well, my character looks like this, and he was sad, etcetera. You want to always be thinking about the emotional impact that you want that scene to have in the emotional connection you want the reader to have at that moment with that character , because we can describe a lot of things about someone. But we want to choose the traits that are going to engender in the reader certain kinds of emotions. Remember that as a writer, you are there to manipulate your reader. There's a story and there's plot, and a story is more of a description of events. If you've watched my mother story courses, you know that I've gone into this, but a plot is something where you have orchestrated a series of events in a way that is going to build. It's going to create tension and release regularly in the reader. And so you're you're working to actually tweak and manipulate the characters emotions through the plot that you're making when you're doing the exact same thing with the readership connecting with your character. When do you want your readers to not like your character? When do you want your readers to be disappointed in your character? When do you want them to be afraid for your character To love your character? You have to decide in your scenes what you want to have happening, and you have to think Justus, when you're writing a plot, you are thinking about the overarching plot, and then you're thinking about all the little steps that are going to get you to that climax and then down to a daily walk, right. So is when you're thinking about plot. You're thinking about the whole big thing, but then you're thinking about all the little pieces build into that. You have to think the same way when you're thinking about describing your characters. There's the overarching plot that the characters going through. But there's an overarching impression that you want your Regis to think about and relate to with your character. And how are you going to get me to see a lot the three dimensional, fleshed out pieces of this character in a way that makes sense. Which means you have to think not only about what are the traits you want to share, but what's the order in which you want to share these traits, And how do you want those traits to be manifested through the plot? So there's actually a lot to think about when we're thinking about character development, and it is important as we start to go through this, that we understand that this actually very complex thing to be thinking about, and it has a lot of different angles at which we must look at it. So what I'd like to do is start at what I think is one of the base sort of foundational things that you have to be considering when you are writing your stories and not is perspective point of view. So let's look at that in the next video 3. POV: First Person Perspective: point of view. Authority voice. Why do we have to begin here? This is such a critical place to store it, because once you've chosen, and by the way, we're assuming at this point that you thought about your character trades. As I mentioned in my intro video, If you have not watched my course on writing a good character profile, I highly recommend that because that's going to help you sort of decide who your character is before you start writing. But once you've made those decisions and you're thinking about how to manifest your character, you have to know what the perspective of your story is because this influences everything. Always remember that your authority voice is a character, even if you're just looking to have 1/3 person omniscient, where it's not a first person perspective. That authority voice is a character in and of itself. There is no such thing as a story that can be told without a filter, a story that can be told that's not told through a lens. Every story you tell will be told through some kind of lens, and so you have to know what is the lens? What what is the lens that I'm holding up that we're looking through. So, for example, if your story is first person perspective and your protagonist is the same person who is narrating the story, you've got a unique challenge because you do not have the luxury of just sort of being removed from that character and saying, Joe Schmo looked like this and he felt like that and he went and he did this and he had great trials on etcetera. Yeah, that's that's taken away from you. When you have a first person perspective, most first person perspective characters are not going to say. I walked into a room with a radiant green dress that had gold trimming on it. My hair pulled up into a beautiful bun, and they're not going to go into that kind of character description that we would go into. Perhaps if we have 1/3 person perspective so immediately have taken away some of the visual sort of experiences that a reader could have. Now we're seeing everything from the main characters eyes right, so they're not probably going to be describing themselves physically as much. They're going to be describing everything that they are seeing, which means that as you're describing the lamp in the corner or how the school room looked to her when she walked in, that description of the school room when she walked in is in fact, part of your character description. Because what you're doing in describing the school room is describing to me, her mental state, how she feels about school, how she feels about the school room. So in first person perspective. And there is a way in which everything you're describing is telling me something about the psychology and the emotions of the character. Which means, basically, or your whole story is character description. In its own fashion. First person perspective has its own unique, um, challenges. It also has the benefit off, always being able to tell us what the character is thinking if the character so chooses to share that information with us. So you have this perspective in which, depending on who your character is, they're going to be honest with you. And I would say that a couple things here about the perspective and in perspectives, of course, all of its own. But when you're thinking about first person perspective, right think about a Charles Dickens novel where, for example, great expectations. Pip is narrating the experiences he is going through. We read great expectations, and we trust Pip. We don't think Pip as the protagonist is actively lying to us. So we have faith in hip. We have every reason to trust him. What isn't necessarily always true is that remember Pip is looking at his life through his perspective. And so, as is as a reader, we will look at Pepin Pit might say, Well, I was terribly afraid of Miss Havisham in the scene. I was frightened, etcetera, and that's fine. But we have to look at Pips limitations because, right, that's how Pip feels. But we then have to analyze Pip. Outside of his feelings were to say, Well, I understand that Pip feels like this, but that really shows me x Boise about him. The fact that Pip went to London and was spending all of this money etcetera says something about Pip. So we have Pip describing how he feels describing the actions he is going through. But just like any one of us, we have our own interpretations of our lives and very often If you were to ask Estella or Miss Havisham or Joe or any of the other people of surrounding Pip in his life to describe Tip, we would probably get something different than what Pip gave us. We'd start to see. We'd see some similarities, but we would see lots of differences. So we have to remember as a reader, when we're reading a first person perspective, that, in fact, that perspective, even as honest as the character might feel he is being is limited. It's through his own lenses, his own perception of himself and often our perceptions of ourselves. It's just not what other people's are. So we take that into account as a reader when we are reading that kind of perspective, what does that mean for you as a writer? It means you have this wonderful opportunity as a writer to think not only about okay who is pit to me as a writer but who is pipped to himself, and that will be a very essential question for you to answer so that you can write the right character descriptions for your story. In first person perspective, you cannot just know who you as the author things the character is. You have to know who the character sees himself or herself as, and that means thinking about the blind spots in that character. So it's a really unique challenge. So you have this way that you have to say, Well, I have to tell the story honestly, in the sense that I have to tell what's happening. Why'd I have to tell it through the Limited and the sea? Certainly, you know, opinionated perspective off my reader of himself off herself. So you want to make sure that you're thinking about that when you're writing a first person perspective. Now, sometimes first person perspective people lie to the reader. But don't tell the reader things or leave things out purposefully. And that is something important to think about as well. You know, you would be very, very careful about lying to your readership or having your readership feel like they cannot trust the author to a degree. There's it's okay to have a sense of I'm not so sure about this character. I think they might not be telling me something, or I noticed that my character didn't mention that whole conversation that I would think would have been important, and I wonder why It's OK to have things like that because that can help actually enrich our experience of story as a reader and make us able to be more objective about the character. But you have to be very careful about doing that. What's important to remember is that everything the character doesn't not say is as important as what the character does say. And as a reader, we'll be looking at those things we willen, observant Region will notice if a character doesn't say something that we think would be important to notice. If you've built me up to a scene in which a young man is going to meet the girl of his dreams of this bull and he knows she's going to be there, we expect that when you get there, he's probably going to talk about how beautiful she is. He's probably going to notice exactly who she's talking with. He's going to notice all of these things. If he is really descriptive for a time and then they start to have a chat and then suddenly he withdraws and he doesn't tell me as much. I'm going to notice that I'm going to say this character is not telling me something, this cactus leaving something out. What does that say about how this character feels? And in doing that in in making those choices as an author, you're putting the reader deeply in that perspective of feeling like that character is actually talking with us because the character leaving things out just like you would if you were telling a story to a friend and choosing not to say certain things. So you really want to make sure that you're thinking creatively about how you use that first person perspective when you're thinking about actually describing your characters? 4. POV: Third Person Limited & Omniscient: Another common, very common perspective in writing is going to be third person limited. And 1/3 person limited is where you have that sort of authorities perspective that says, Sandra walked to the beach, right? So we're not getting it from Sandra Sanders Not saying I walk to the beach, the author saying Sandra walked to beat. But what makes it limited is that we are actually still in San Drahs head space. So we're not in the head space of the author because we are strictly seeing everything through the lens of Sandra. Now, sometimes you'll have stories that are more or less third person ah, mission, which we will get to but that go in and out of 1/3 person Limited. But many, many stories are really, for the most part, 1/3 person limited perspective. And when you're writing Third Person Limited, it's sort of it understood rule that what we're seeing is the the opinion of the character who's your protagonist. This could be true of things like very often that Harry Potter novels or things like that. We're we're following Harry. We're following Harry through this story. We don't have a bunch of scenes where we go off and Harry isn't there were really always where various seeing what Harry seeing and being told how Harry feels not makes it 1/3 person limited perspective. We're not jumping around being told how her mind he feels, how his friend wrong feels or anything else. It's always Harry, but where we are in the position of looking at him. So in some ways this has similarities to the first person perspective in that you always have to think about Okay, I have to look at my entire world and everybody in it through the lens of Harry's mind that stays the same. But what's different is that you are also allowed that extra piece of being able to describe how hurry looks and what he's doing and what he's wearing and things like that. Now, in a way, you can really say, Well, then, that's actually not just Harris perspective. It's this author's perspective looking at Harry. But really, it's it's the thoughts of the character we're connecting with is Harry is his thoughts. And so in that kind of riding situation, you just really have to make sure that you know always that This is how Harry feels this, what Harry's going through. So is a writer. You don't get to sit there and just say, Well, this is what I think of Hogwarts. This matter what you think park words. What does Harry think of Hawk Wards? How does Harry feel about Hogwarts? How does Harry feel about being an orphan? You're always thinking of everything in terms of the character. This really means you have got to know your characters, emotions and opinions about things. Everything you describe is going to tell me something about Harry. If Harry goes to Diagon Alley to buy his school supplies and he says, And we the description we have of Diagon Alley is that it was just dark and dirty, and it just was There's this sense of mood, of despair and just sort of depression that we're going to say. Harry's down on tying on Allie. Harry is feeling depressed. Harry might, on a different day, walk down Diagon Alley and think it was bustling and over wizards everywhere. And there were all these kinds of exciting new sites. And then you say Harry is excited. Harry's got energy, So when we watched in the first Harry Potter book and how you first goes to Diagon Alley to buy school supplies. And we are given these descriptions of the bustle and the people in the excitement. J. K. Rowling is an order doesn't have to tell me Harry was excited. We know it because of the way Diagon Alley was described. So it's a wonderfully one of a way to indirectly tell me things about Harry Potter. So that's another perspective that you can look at. 1/3 perspective that is often used in writing would be your third person omniscient. And what this means is that the author can jump around into anybody's head. Who wants to be into that? In a given scene, we might be told how Harry felt and will told how Ron felt and were told how his friend her Miami, felt. So we're popping in and out of everybody's brains. What that means, however, is that when I'm describing her Miami, if I'm saying her mind, he looked beautiful in a dress. I, as the author, have to tell you who thought her mind. He looked beautiful. If it was third person limited on, I described her mind is looking beautiful in a dress. I would know that it was Harry saying it. He's the protagonist, but once you go to 1/3 personal mission now you have to say, Harry thought my and he was beautiful in a dress because we understand it's the reader that the author is popping in and out of so many people's heads that we have to be told who is thinking What if we're not told who is thinking what then? The author, himself or herself is the character telling it, and that's the key thing. With something like a third person omniscient in third person. Amish in your author is going to be more of a character than in any other kind of plot. Where s it when it's separate, separate from any of the actual characters acting in the story. So you'll have an author who can have quite an opinion and be very opinionated about you know, the personality, traits or whatnot of the variety of characters. And in that way, the author, himself or herself is an actual character. But what this means that as a reader, is that we know everything's going through the lens off that author. So always remember you are Hold your telling me a story, but you have to tell me that story through a lens, and the lens that you choose is going to tell me a lot about the character. I cannot know who your character ISS unless I know the lens that I'm looking through. If I'm looking through the first person perspective lens that I'm going to assess everything in that story as that's a character, that's the character's perspective. If it's 1/3 person limited, I'm going to assess things in that story as that person's perspective, with a touch of the authority voice put it. If it's 1/3 person omniscient, I'm going to assess things through the lens of the author himself or herself, which means I will. I will navigate my opinions about those characters in a different way. So as you can see, there are just so many things we have to think about when we think about point of view. But it's one of those decisions that you really have to decide up front before you start writing, so that you are actively making the proper choices in how you choose to then go about just literally putting pen to paper words, writing your characters in the next video. I want us to talk briefly about plot and how plot and character descriptions are connected . 5. Plot-Based Descriptions: It's so important as we're writing our character descriptions that we do not think of them as something that you could easily pull out or pop into this story. You really want everything that you write to be pushing the plot forward and also deepening my connection with the characters. So don't think about your character descriptions. It's just OK. I was doing the plot thing. But now let's throw in some character description, and then we'll get back to the plot. You want to weave the character descriptions into the plot so that they're both growing together. What this means is that you want to make sure that you're choosing character traits that highlight and push the plot forward. You should have designed your character to have traits that actually pushed the plot forward again. I have a class on this, so I'm not going to get into it here. What's important is that justice, when you're crafting your plot right and you're thinking about your scenes, you've just think about well seen. This scene needs to come before that scene because I'm trying to build to a certain point. Each scene builds on the one that came before it and act as a stepping stone for the one coming after it, so that they're like a little training. You can't just switch the cars around. They all follow each other well, you want to think similarly about your character traits and how you choose to reveal your characters to your readers. How do you want your reader to feel about the character in the beginning of the story? Sometimes you want to introduce your character in a way that has someone likable traits. And then we warm to the characters. We get to know him or her. Sometimes you want us to love the character right away. Most of the time in writing, it's pretty important that you give me some redeemable traits for your protagonist. Even if your protagonist is tremendously flawed, you want to give me some redeemable traits to latch on to to make sure that I do in fact, like your protagonist and I care about him. If I don't have some things I can connect with in a positive way that it's going to be difficult for me to care about the challenges your protagonist is going to go through throughout the rest of this story on what this means is that there really are some that there really is a sense in which you have to think about the order in which you are revealing certain things to to us about your character. You have to think about what are the traits that I want my readership to know about my character. I want them to know he's hardworking. I want them to know he's a good father. I want them to know that he tends to be a little bit proud and that he contend to be hard on people. Okay, great. You want me to know these things? How are you going to reveal those to me? And in what order are you going to do that? So that's where again you have You got a plot. You're trying to put plot points in an order, but then you have to do the same thing with emotions. You don't want to give me three scenes in a row that say James was a good father. James was a good father. James was a good father. I'm going to get board. Even if those three scenes have different action points happening in them if my take away from each about James is exactly the same thing, that I'm going to get board. So not only does the plot itself have to be varied from scene to scene and tell me new things and make me feel like I'm going somewhere so to the things that I learned about a character have to change from scene to scene. So you have to think about that. You also have to think about where is my character at the start of the story? And where's my character at the end of the story? And how do I get my character from Point A to Point B? How do I get there? Because the main character has to change. The main character doesn't change, then we're not terribly invested in them in the same way now as I have said. And I always say, in my courses, there are always exceptions to this. Everything I'm saying you could find a great story that has does. It doesn't follow this Alice in Wonderland. Great example. The Odyssey. Great example. Odysseus does not really change. Alice does not really change. Both of these stories are tremendously wonderful so it can be done. But those stories are different because they're episodic in nature. They are not your traditional building story that builds to a climax and therefore that effect the character again, character and plot totally linked. But in a traditional narrative, like most people want to write in which you are building to a climax, you then have to build to that character change. So you have to think about balancing for me scenes in which the character is demonstrating his or her strengths and scenes in which the character is demonstrating his or her weaknesses. And often a scene will do both. It doesn't necessarily do one, but when you're assessing your scenes and you're thinking about building that out, you really want to think about Am I providing a three dimensional view of my character? Am I demonstrating a lot of different aspect over the course of the narrative? And is it important for my readership to understand that my character is a really good father before my readership understands that my character has some real issues with anger management wishes more important for me to know first, and that's that's for you to decide But you have to think about that because that's going to change my experience of your character. I experience first his anger management issues, and then I see he is a good father. That's going to change how I relate to him as opposed. If you put it the other way around again, a really solid story, everything in it. You can't just pull it out, put it somewhere else and be like, Well, it doesn't not aware, I put it as long as it's in here. No, A really tight plot means that that scene that moment was designed for that point in the plot, and you can't just pick it up and move it. Nor can you just decide to mid writing, change a trait about the character and then have that somehow not affect the plot. That's not going to happen in a really tight story. So you just really want to think about not only how do I build my my plot points and that kind of tension release, but what are the emotional connections that mental connections my reader is making with the character throughout the plot, so that by the time I get to that climax. I deeply cow about that character, and I feel like I'm really know him all right. Now that we have talked about sort of thes two theoretical components of perspective and plot, let's talk about some of the specific ways that we then get into the actual writing of our characters. 6. Direct & Indirect Descriptions: There are two primary kinds of characterization that you will use in your stories, and these depend on the perspective that you've chosen. But the first is direct characterization. Direct characterization is when the author to straight Up tells me about the character. She was proud. She was the most likable girl at school. She was beautiful. Those are direct characterizations. You're not showing me anything. You're not showing me her doing anything. You're just telling me that this is how it is. Indirect characterization is where your character reveals who she is through the things that she does. We see her be very kind to someone. So we say What she's kind or we see him be short and abrasive with someone. And we say, Well, he is a bit difficult to work with. So in direct characterization means that the reader makes determinations about your character based on the words your character says. The things your character does, the way your character sees the world, those air, your indirect characterizations. Ah, good story, for the most part, is we'd have a farm or in the way of indirect characterization than you do direct characterizations, and so you you want to have a balance, but really try to make sure that the majority of what you write is in fact an indirect characterization, because it's those characterizations that are really linked to the plot and that are going to push the plot forward and allow the story to move without feeling like I was reading the plot. And then suddenly we had to stop and get a this chunk of character description, and now we're like, Okay, but now we can move again. You want to avoid those stops in your stories, So let's get some examples of this. I want to show you a few description of the character Daisy and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Now this story is narrated by her cousin. So just briefly, what you need to know about the plot is that Daisy and Gatsby sort of have a love relationship. But her cousin, as we will see through these descriptions, has his own decisive opinions about Daisy. Now in The Great Gatsby, the protagonist narrator he's really telling the story of Daisy and Gatsby. He's telling his own story, but it's really about Daisy and Gatsby. That's what he's focusing on but for our purposes. He is the main character because we see everything through his lens and we're following him around. So he is, in fact, the protagonist for us. So what I want you to notice in these just based on everything that we've talked about right now is how he uses his descriptions of Daisy and what these descriptions tell us. Not only about Daisy, but more importantly about him. The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise. She leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression. Then she laughed on absurd, charming little laugh. And I laughed, too, and came forward into the room. So let's look at that. Here he is, described what she's doing. He hasn't said that she's absurd. He hasn't said anything's direct. There's nothing really direct in this description, the soul in direct that's happening. So let's look at this. There is what we're really looking at. Here are daisies actions, and we are going to make judgments based on those, he says. She leaned forward with a conscientious expression. Now he can't say whether she's actually conscientious or not, because we're not in Daisy's head, so all we know is that her expression looked conscientious to him, and she laughed on absurd, charming little laugh. Let's think about that. So here she is. She she's looking concerned, but then she makes this laugh, which he calls absurd and yet charming. So there's an attraction there, but he doesn't say a charming laugh, he says, absurd. And as a reader, accidents, they will. Well, what? What makes the laugh absurd? Is it absurd because it's not appropriate to laugh at that time? Is it absurd because it just sounds silly. The laugh itself, we don't know. But this is a sort of thing that we would then think about as a reader. Thes is the sorts of things that make us engage with story. Remember that if you tell everything to your readers in a way that doesn't ask us to sit and interpret anything for ourselves, that does allow us to invest ourselves as much in your story. What makes us really start to invest is when you have things that aren't necessarily always quite so clear that we actually have to contemplate and decide. What does the author mean by that? Let's look at another description. I looked back at my cousin, who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely, with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright, passionate mouth. But there was an excitement in her voice that men who cared for her found difficult to forget a singing compulsion. Ah whispered listen, a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that they were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour. Now this descriptions more of a direct one. We don't actually see Daisy engaged in anything. This is strictly her cousin describing her to us. But what do we really learn? We learned something about Daisy, but we also then a whole lot about him. We see how sort of deeply he just she is radiant to him. She is attractive to him. She is mesmerizing to him. So we learned so much about him. But but notice the creativity with how he describes her. He doesn't just say she had a lovely voice, said, Oh, she's got a lovely voice, but he doesn't. He describes her voice like music. The voice of the ear follows up and down, as if the speech is an arrangement of notes. And And when you think about that and you think about following a speech up and down, you would think about somebody's always going louder and softer and and all of the variances in our voice. If we're literally following her speech up and down, that we're not just investing in what she's saying, we're totally taken in by her voice itself and how it sounds like we would be music that doesn't have words. So there's a way in which he's telling us the level of which one gets just drawn in to Daisy. He just and describing her face is sad and lovely with bright things in it. There's such a juxtaposition there. He's saying Yes, she has a beautiful face, but she has a sad face, but it's a face that says I've done gay happy things that I'm going to doom or gay happy things. Well, how does a face that say I have done all these fun things that I'm going to go do all these of the fun things. And yet it's sad face and it's a sad face with bright things in it, like her eyes and her mouth was a bright. But there's a sadness. So he's thinking very. The author and the descriptions are so creative and and thought out in terms of their variances and how he chooses to convey those things. Even in this paragraph, that's direct description of days. A direct characterizations, it's creatively told, and it's told through imagery. And this is so important. Do not let your direct descriptions be boring. What makes a direct description truly interesting? Something that we we enjoy reading. The words off is that it has this kind of creativity. It has this, this sort of descriptive imagery twit. I've done a course on imagery, riding on simile and metaphor. If you've not watched it, I highly recommend you do, because that course gets into how to do language like this. And how do you come up with the analogies and the similes in the metaphors? Four things you want to tell your readers. Like how Daisy looks, how her voice sounds, but note here that even this direct description is so creatively told. Let's look at one more description of Daisy. Tom's getting very profound. To sit Daisy with an expression of unbolt ful sadness. He reads deep books with long words in them. Now here this is more than indirect character description, because what we're seeing is Daisy acting, and we're making decisions about her. And what we get from this is that there is a fly itchiness to Daisy. She is Joey reads big books of long descriptions in them and, her expression were told, is sort of unthought feel sadness. So in this way, this is a short one. But we're getting this sense of Daisy through seeing her act and through her words, all right, now that we've looked at briefly just the idea of being able to describe your character both directly and indirectly. Let's take a moment and look about the variances of the ways in which we can describe our character both in terms of what they're thinking inside their heads, as well as those things external to them. 7. Internal & External Traits: When we think about riding our character descriptions there to sort of aspects of our character, we can talk about, we can talk about their internal life and internal thoughts, and we can talk about things external to them, and you want to have a variety of both of these things in your writing. So let's take a moment and look at the variety of things that you can say about your character so that you have very flushed out character descriptions. It is so important that when you're describing your character, you're connecting your reader with his or her internal life. What's going on in his head or her head again? This is what's really going to allow us to connect with your character. Yes, we have to look at all the externals, but we want to know what he's thinking or what she's thinking. We don't constantly want to be wondering. We want to have a sense of who this person is, and that's how we feel like we know them. Think about re ally. You know some things about the people you work with every day. Well, you see every day of your job, but if they don't sit down and ever tell you how you feel. They feel you really going to know them to a certain degree. That's posted a few people in your life you really have conversations with and really tell you what they're thinking and what they're feeling, etcetera. Those people you feel like you really know Well, the same thing is going to be true of characters you read about, and so you want to make sure that you have that kind of balance in your character descriptions throughout your stories. What that means is that when you have an action happening or a plot point happening, you just you want to say to yourself, Well, is it important for my readers to know how my character really feels about this? For example, say your character gets kicked out of private school. You might be thinking to yourself, Well, I don't really have to tell my readers that this is totally devastating to my protagonist because it's just kicked out of private school. You should know that. But no, maybe your protagonist is relieved. Maybe your protagonist is dreading having to tell his parents. Maybe your protagonist is devastated because they want to go on to an Ivy League uni, and I think she never will. There are all kinds of things your protagonists might think about getting kicked out of private school. What are the important ones that we need to know that will help us further the plot again? It's always connected to the plot. But this is where it becomes important for you to tell me something about the inner or external life of your characters. Because you need to sort of direct me. You need to guide me. You need to say, Yes, this plot point happened. But look over here, this emotion of the protagonists, or look over here, this one. So you really want to think about that when you're doing and thinking about your internal characteristics? Make sure that you know that the reader is on the same page that you're on and that the character is on. So what are some of these internal characteristics that you might be revealing? Internal characteristics are going to be. Emotions are going to be thoughts, goals, dreams that your characters have. What do they want out of life? How do they feel about things? What are their emotional and mental responses to the things in their lives to their past. How is their past haunting them? How is their past helping them? What are their goals for the future? All of this? Everything up in here is your internal characteristics of your readers. What is their mood at the given moment, Right, Your your character might overall be a really happy, positive person. But in this scene you're character is blue and sad, and at the moment their emotions are down. So there are not only the overarching characteristics of your character in general, But then there are the immediate characteristics of your character in this situation, and this is what becomes so important about developing your character over the whole novel over. The whole story is that you might have that character who is on the whole, very upbeat, but in this scene happens to be uncharacteristically sad. Well, how do how are you going to make it so that as a reader, I know that this character's uncharacteristically sound right now, as opposed to just this is a sad character. You have to set me up for that. You have to write enough of a variety of traits in enough of a variety of situations and then reinforce the important trades in various different ways. So then I understand that this character is on the whole, very upbeat, and that what we're seeing right now is an immediate emotion. That's not really her character persona as a whole, but that is something very focused on this moment, and that might not really jibe with the rest of who she is, which makes me go. What's going on here? So think about that. I think about no, only okay, who is my character, in a broad sense. But what is the immediacy of my characters, Internal state in this scene? And then how is this going? How are the issues of the things that my character needs to grow and change with over the course of story? How do I start to tweak that throughout the story? So if your character is someone who has anger management issues and this is a big piece of your narrative, let's say, and in the beginning, there really bad at the end. There is so much better, Okay, but how internally am I seeing these changes? Sort of tweaked throughout the story. How internally am I seeing and change? It won't do to have him just suddenly go anger issues throughout and the okay, button eyes Great. No, we want to see him changing in different ways, struggling in different ways throughout. So you want to build that internal end in a slow way that grows to that climax and that we see the negotiations of those emotions inside of him or her outer characteristics are going to be things, obviously, appearance. So just how they look, how do they sound? What is their speech like what? The words that they use. What are the behaviors that we would see? What what are their names? Names are certainly a place where you can be creative to others who come to mind as being authors who really do think creatively about names. B. J. K. Rowling with names like Severus Snake, which sort of sounds slippery and sneaky and seems to fit his characteristics. And certainly someone like Charles Dickens, who is very creative with names and names like your I a Heap, which just sounds like this strange, odd person who is, in fact the righties personality. So think about the names of your characters. Also think about not just names, appearance, how they speak and and sort of their actions in general and how they move or all of that. But think about their situation in the community because that would be an external thing as well. Is she popular at school? Is he wealthy and respected in his community, or is she just really gracious and everybody loves her? What, What is their stance in the world around them? Always remember you. You. I can only tell me so much about character by focusing on that character. That character is in a specific situation. Here she is in a specific historical moment, even if the fantasy novel, it's a specific moment in time in a specific community with specific people around him or her, in which he or she is acting. So you have to flesh all of that out to tell me something about the character. Otherwise, the characters just kind of floating in this nebulous place, and I don't I'm not able to know much about him. What's going to really tell me about the character is seeing how that character compares with people the place and the situations around him or her. So you've got to make sure that you're setting and all of that is really solid and that you are making sure to connect your character with it so that I understand a lot more about him or her. In this next video, I'd like us to just go over a variety of sort of tips and pieces of advice about character development and about actually writing your character into your stories, things that you should be thinking about for your writing. 8. Best Practices: when the rubber hits the road and you're doing your writing, always remember that sort of has been looked at before. You might have some long descriptions of your character, and you'll have short descriptions of your character. You might very well have moments in which you just sit down and we're meeting your character or something, or it's important scene, and you want to just take some time to describe how she looks or how she looks or how she's feeling in which you might have a description that goes on for a while. I have a description in your readings often except from Washington Square on. What you will see in that description is that it really focuses on Catherine Sloper and what we look at this in a bit, but it focuses on her. Andi, do we spend quite a bit of time on her now? Through that description, plot moves forward, and we learned a lot of back story, but it is also just a very significant chunk that's describing her. But you'll also have moments like we saw with Daisy, where it's just a brief lying. It's just describing an action and maybe a brief thing about how she looks or sounds, and that's it. And so think about that. When you're writing that you're going to have some long descriptions, you're going to have short descriptions and that you want that variety of both throughout your stories so that again it's all about variety, variety of seen variety of characteristic variety of how things are described. You want to keep all kinds of things moving because that keeps the reader interested. This also means that in the point of keeping the reader interested, you want to think about sensory variation. Don't just describe physical things. Don't just describe auditory things. Think about how something might taste, smell, feel. All of these things can be important. Character descriptions Now you might think to yourself. Well, my character isn't going up and touching Daisy, so we can't describe how she feels physically like, you know, soft or hard. But you can, because you could say that her voice was soft and again. This goes back to the whole idea of of just rich descriptions and sensory imagery. But you could describe her voice as being soft. You could describe her skin a seeming soft. You could describe her voice as sweet or tart orbiter, so you could describe it in terms of taste. So it doesn't have to be a literal thing where well, I can only use visual to describe what I'm seeing. No, you can describe what you're seeing in terms of taste, and that's what's going to help give you these really creative character descriptions that make the reader actually have. Think about the character because you're not just saying she was bitter. You were saying she was like, Ah, cup of cold coffee that's been sitting out for two days. Well, cold coffee sitting off two days isn't just bitter, it's stale. So I mean, you know, it was all those kinds of things that you want that variety, and you want that beautiful imagery in your character descriptions. I would also say that when you're researching your character, descriptions take time to really research their experiences. Who they are, their traits, their emotions. It's particularly true of historical writing, but what's going to make a character come alive is if if you're really true to them. So if someone's gone through a terrible situation like the death of a husband, take time to research that take time to find out. Go in the Internets. Amazing. Get online, Read or tickles. Do your homework. Talk with people. Find out what it was like for them the first few months of being without their spouse. If you've not lost your spouse and you're going to write about someone who has, don't just trust your imagination to come up with something, really, really, because the bits that are going to make it just truly come to life are probably going to be things you had never fought about. But going and doing some homework and finding people who've gone through it and hearing their stories will help inspire you and give you the meaty things that really count. You have to take time to really investigate and invest yourself in these experiences that your character has so that you can write them in the most genuine way possible. One final thought something that I see often happening and that you want to be very careful about avoid over saintly protagonists. You want your protagonist tohave floors. We cannot connect the protagonist who does not have his or her own issues because we have our issues as well. And so it's great to have a likable character and you want us to like your protagonist. You want us to care about them. But we have to see that that character needs room to grow. We have to see that that character has issues of her own off his own, because that's what's going to actually help us really connect with them. It's very hard to connect with someone who doesn't seem to have any floors. We we want to connect, we go. I relate to that. When we see somebody's flaws, it's but tartar for us to relate to someone who's always succeeding and doing everything perfectly because none of us do. And so we might say, Well, they seem really great, but we're not going to connect with them in the way that we would if they did have some floors, so you want to make sure that you're thinking about that as well 9. Introducing a Character: Literary Example: Well, I'd like to do now is just take a look at a couple of examples that sort of go over everything that we've been talking about. So we're going to just look at a couple of sort of stretches of character description and see how all of these things that we've talked about come together in these pieces in your class documents. I have the's for you. We're not going to. I'm not going to put all of the text up on the video screen for you, but I would recommend that you go and you read these so that you can then appreciate most fully thes descriptions that we will go through. I'd like to start with what is, without a doubt, one of just truly fantastic character description. This is by Jane Austen and this actually the opening paragraph of the story. So we are being opened up with a character description of Emma Woodhouse, who is the protagonist of this story. So let's look at this. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence and had lived nearly 21 years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. She was the youngest of two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father and had, in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house for from a very early period. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as a governess who had fallen a little short of a mother in affection. Let's just pull us right there, all right. What? We've set up this total description, and we're taking the author for her word. At this point, this is an author who is just kind of our mission. She's out of Emma's head. She's got opinions. Emma's Emma's pretty. She's smart, She's rich. She lives in a happy home. She's had a very blessed existence. She's 21 years old. She's never really been distressed. She has one older sister, a totally indulgent father, and she's kind of in mistress of the house since her sister moved out. So what? What we have here is this just it's we haven't even seen Emma act, but We're just getting this sense of Emma. That's just a very privileged pretty girl who hasn't ever been terribly stressed out. And she has a governess. 16 years. Had Miss Taylor been in Mr Woodhouse is family less as a governess than a friend? Very fond, both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between them, it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governors, the mildness of a temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint on the shadow of authority. Being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend, very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked highly, a steaming Miss Taylor's judgment but directed chiefly by her own. That's pause again. So we've opened it up. We've talked about Emma, and then we say Emma had this governess that we place to mother. Then we switch, and now we're going to talk about the governess because this is so important. This is this. This description is going to set us off into the story, and the governess is important. Now we've switched over. We talk about Miss Taylor, and we get this back story on Miss Taylor. She's been with the family. She was fond of both daughters, but mostly and Emma. She had long since stopped being even thought of as a governess was now more of a friend was you know, of a good disposition and what not and offering advice to Emma. But Emma, back to Emma here, likes to have the advice, likes to have a nice friend that sort of goes out and does precisely what she wants. So what we get from this is that Emma is. She likes to have her own way, and we're not told that. But we are told that just simply by the fact that she kind of goes off and does her own thing, let's turn to the third paragraph of this description. The rail evils indeed, of Emma situation with the power of having rather too much of her own way and a disposition to think a little too well of herself. These were the disadvantages which threatened to alloy toe many enjoyments. The danger, however, was it present. So un perceived that they did not by any means rank as misfortune. With her sorrow came a gentle sorrow, but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness. Miss Taylor married. All right, so finally we get to wear this reader is very direct to what's inside, right? The first start of this there was a lot of externals, but now we're totally internal, and she's basically saying, Look, here's the bad part of them and what gets her own way too much, and she thinks very well of herself. But life is so wonderful right now. She doesn't even really conscious that these are her dumps. Downsides. So here's Emma. Pretty wealthy, has friends. Everything's going great. But what is she? She likes having her own way. She's a bit proud. And what the authors doing here in giving us his wonderful description of Emma is setting us up for the whole story. We know going into this that we're going to see Emma pretty Emma have to deal with the fact that she likes her own way, and she's proud. Basically, we know that what's going to happen. She's not going to always get her own way, and she's going to have to have a comeuppance with her pride. We're going to see that this young woman is going to trip up in these ways. The authors set us up for this, and then we get right into the plot, and this last sentence is is plot directed. Sorrow came a gentle sorrow that but Miss Telling Married and Miss Taylor marry is the thing that sets us off into the story. Everything else that follows in this story happens because Miss Taylor got married. This is such a wonderful description because the author has the office totally her own personality. Here she has clear, decisive judgments about Emma, and she seems very content to tell us the audience what they are is Emma's pretty. She's this. She's this, But is it? Even when you read these descriptions had some clever rich. It's not the kind of description that just says Emma was so kind and so beautiful It there's a there's a sort of a sarcastic nous. There's a bite to this offer. So you really see here that the author herself or himself is its own character, is her own character. So we really get a sense not only of Emma, this is totally set us up for Emma with Emma's backstory. We have Emma's personality and we see where the train is going. We know what, in a sense, what is going to face. It's a very rich character description in this way and just a great model, not only for the story to a story, but what would be kind of a longer character description that actually tells us a tremendous amount of back story and sets us off on to the plot. 10. Literary Examples: Let's look now and a description of Lebanese air screwed that Charles Dickens skins in his story A Christmas Carol. Oh, but he was a tightfisted hand at the grindstone Scrooge, a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner, hard and sharpest flint from which no steel ever struck out. Generous fire, secret and self contained and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze. His old features, nipped it, pointed, nose shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gate, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. Ah, frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows and his wiry chin, he carried his own low temperature about always about with him. He ized his office in his dog days, and he didn't fought one degree at Christmas. So what you have here is this is also an author in which there is a decisive opinion about Scrooge, and we're not seeing this from Scrooges perspective receipt from the authors, and this is tremendously emotional. I mean, there's just so much emotion in this author about this, and we are not mincing words. There is no where is with Emma It was sort of this polite way of saying that she had these character traits. It was it was a politeness to with this sort of well, let's let's do this in the proper way. That's not here. This is He's squeezing, is reaching his grasping, screeching coaching, Um, and then noticed how we get the character descriptions and how the internal affects the external with the cold inside of him. That heartless is inside of him froze his features. We get this pointed nose in these shrivelled cheeks, and he has the stiff gait. His red eyes is thin blue lips, and all of that seems totally connected with his personality, so that when the older describes those features, we also know that we're getting a description of what's inside of his heart. So you have this kind of marriage of both internal and external here that's just really rich and and just deeply, deeply emotional and pushing the story forward. I mean, we really get this sense. This is a bad person, and he sums us up so quickly, and it's very expeditious that lets us just sort of get right into the story. But this would be an example that is just just deeply sort of here screws. And here's how it is. We don't really get a lot of plot here, as we did get with the the M example. This really is all focused writing on Scrooge, but it sets us up to go forward, totally understanding who he is. A brief example here from To Kill a Mockingbird and this is just a ISS sentence of two, but it tells us so much now. This is coming from scouts perspective and to kill a Mockingbird Scout. This the now Ritter. She's a young girl. We would call her, I would say, the main protagonist. And this is just in the first descriptions in which she's describing Maycomb County, in which she lives. Notice. Here, she says. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three Clark naps and by nightfall were like soft tea cakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum. So here she's just describing the people who are living in her town, the men and the women living in her town. But what she really describing here is the heat. She's describing the town itself. And she's doing it through character descriptions by saying that men's stiff starched collars, because of the heat and the humidity were totally wilted by noon and that women were basically going through the day they would take a bath. They put on more powder, they would take a bath. They put on more powder, but they sweat so much, and it would be so humid that the powder basically turns toe icing on their skin and their life with tea cakes. Onda. What makes this so wonderful is not only the imagery itself, and but she tells us sort of the daily habits of these characters and what they do. She tells us how they look. Indeed, we can think about how they smell, if you would imagine someone who's put a lot of powder on themselves, how they might smell. But it also tells us something about what these people do in their day to day lives and again, Scout's perspective because she describes them soft tea cakes with these are the sorts of women who have had soft tea cakes. So simply Scout. Using that description of tea cakes tells us something about her understanding and her experiences as a child. She isn't going to connect sort of talcum powder on a women melting as the same way that a soldier might have been through a war. He might make a totally different association, but because she's a young girl and they have tea cakes, often that's the analogy that she makes. And therefore we're learning something about these women and these men. We learned something about the setting itself in the heat. We also understand something about Scout and her perspective. Always be thinking about that perspective. Your child is the perspective and tell things from a child perspective. Don't give me analogies. Don't give me descriptions that are too mature for your narrative. Always want to respect the history and the characteristics of the narrator, himself or herself. The final example I have for you. I am not going to read it all because it's long, but it is a wonderful description of Catherine Sloper from Henry James Washington Square, and I highly recommend that you read it. What you'll get from this description is a tremendous amount of back story. You will find in it that you'll walk away knowing a lot about Katherine Ah, lot about her father. Something about her aunt's a lot about her history, where she came from, how she grew up, how other people perceive her. It's a long description, but it really is all, actually, car character description for Karen Sloper. It's just that Henry James works so much narrative in and work so much description of other characters that you walk away with just an absolute wealth of information about her. Also, when you read that description, note the author's own perspective about Katherine. This is a This is an Amish int author, and so we jump around into different people's heads. We get different people's perspectives of Catherine, but the author also has one, and the author really can describe her sometimes and not the most flattering of turns. And truly, sometimes that it's a judgmental way. For example, when he talks about her mind, he says, Catherine was decidedly not clever. She was not quick with her book, nor indeed, with anything else. She was not abnormally deficient, and she mustered, learning enough to acquit herself, respectively, in conversation with her contemporaries among who It must be avowed, however, that she occupied a secondary place. It is well known that in New York it is possible for a young girl to occupy the primary one , so just in that description is really very demeaning. I mean, he just flat out says she was not clever. She was not quick. And but he goes. But she wasn't totally stupid. She was not normally deficient and even his language like she mustered learning enough. He didn't say she learned enough to have. She knew enough to have decent conversation. She mustered up way. Get this sense of Catherine having really, really try just to learn, like she mustard it up. She had to really try. Just here she is. She's not even terribly smart. And the smarts that she's got she really had to work for, is what he's saying. And even then, he says, even for all of that, she's just like everybody regards her. It's sort of secondary. So just in those few sentences we get of the olders opinion of Katherine, we get information about Katherine and indeed her own thoughts, his idea of having to muster up the energy. But we also get the community's perspective upper just in those few sentences This is how tightly Henry James packs in information. The description itself goes on and on and on. But when you read it, there is every sentence packs so much description in it, which is why I've included it here and again. I really do recommend that you take a look at the whole thing. Having said all of that, let's take a moment and talk about your class project and the final thoughts about the course. 11. Class Project: the class project for you, for this course, is to write a Siris of character descriptions for one character. I recommend that you try writing your character from a variety of different angles based on the things that you have read about and heard about in this class. The goal is to just to try an experiment with riding in different ways. You have other the worksheet for you to fill out for this, and you will know that the work she asks you to consider what is my perspective? What are my goals for this scene? What are my goals for this description? What are the internal and external things that I want to it describe and then to then go about actually writing that description so that the worksheet actually sets you up to answer certain questions? And that set you off on the part of writing that actual description? I hope this class was helpful for you. If it waas, please do Look at my other courses. I have a variety of classes that all would help bolster your character description writing . So I encourage you to take a look at those. I'm also on YouTube. I want it scrapped. And I have a website, barbara vance dot com. So I hope you will check those things out as well. I would ask that if you enjoy this question, please, please leave a review. It helps me continue to make courses for you. It helps me to come up with the new things that I want to teach. And it helps your fellow students make good decisions about the courses they want to watch . Thank you so much for watching. I hope you having a wonderful day. And just always I wish you the very best of luck with your writing. Thank you, but fine.