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Rated: 13+ · Message Forum · Writing.Com · #100931
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Jan 2, 2018 at 6:44am
#3152428
3 Like
Edited: January 11, 2018 at 9:49am
Re: What is a "Character review"?
by Zen
Everything Northernwrites said is true, so I won't repeat it.

A character review is where you examine a character and determine whether the author has created that character well. Things to look out for are:

1. Is the character portrayed well?
- it doesn't matter how well crafted the character is, you can still portray them as two-dimensional cardboard cutouts. The author has to bring them to life on the page.

2. Does the character have a set of abilities and skills, a flaw (or several), and an internal struggle?
- the internal struggle is usually defined as a desire blocked - or opposed - by a misbelief, fear or prejudice.

3. Does the character have both character (e.g. strength in adversity, loyalty etc.) and a personality?
- character is usually defined as attributes you are born with, personality as both a disposition and something they have progressively nurtured throughout their lives.

4. Is the character portrayed consistently?
- if the meek, scared-of-everything character suddenly becomes the strong, commanding, know-exactly-what-to-do person, it just doesn't seem right. Equally, the bully who is helpful and friendly to his victims is quite incongruous (subject to the evolution, see next item).

5. Does the character go through some kind of evolution?
- usually this means the POV or lead character (may not be the same) resolves their internal struggle and becomes stronger because of it. Typically this means them becoming a 'better person', but sometimes it means them becoming several shades darker in the good-evil spectrum.

6. Is the character unique?
- you must make the character an individual - not a cliche and not highly predictable.

In its simplest terms, a character must seem 'real', like they are a person the reader might know or at least believe in. To do this, you must step away from your story and create the character in isolation. You can assign certain attributes because your story calls for them, but as much as possible, you must ignore the story. It is helpful, and indeed often essential, to create backstory for them that never makes it into the story, but nevertheless helps the author understand the character better, so when they write about them in the story, they are both confident and informed.

No matter how well a character is crafted though, they must be brought to life on the page (see item #1), else it will all be for nought.

At the end of the day, if a character seems both real/believable and unique, then the author has done their job.
MESSAGE THREAD
What is a "Character review"? · 01-01-18 5:24pm
by Alan Carl Nicoll
Re: What is a "Character review"? · 01-01-18 5:34pm
by Northernwrites
Re: Re: What is a "Character review"? · 01-02-18 2:58pm
by Alan Carl Nicoll
*Star* Re: What is a "Character review"? · 01-02-18 6:44am
by Zen

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