What is Characterization?

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What is Characterization?
Characterization is the process of establishing a character’s personality in a narrative or drama. This can be done in a number of ways, through a character’s actions, speech, appearance, thoughts and what the other characters in the narrative or drama say or think about him. There are two types of characterization: explicit characterization and implicit characterization. Explicit characterization is when the story narrator describes the characters himself, for instance describing in detail the color of a character’s eyes, or directly specifying whether he is honest or deceitful. Implicit characterization on the other hand is when the audience is left to deduce the character’s personality through his actions, speech, thoughts, appearance and interaction with other characters. This can be done by describing how other characters react to his physical appearance, or how the character reacts to certain situations.

Character development is important in a narrative and drama in order to create in the audience a feeling of connection with the characters, as well as a sense of realism. Characterization is an important tool for writers to use in order to engage the audience and create a more believable situation. An underdeveloped character will have an effect on the overall success of a narrative or drama. Likewise, authors must take care not to favor certain characters too much, presenting them without flaws or imperfections which can turn off most audience.

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