Featured Writing Q & A, Day 4

By | May 23, 2013

Unfortunately I told you a little white lie. I forgot I’m going to be out of town this weekend, so won’t be posting Saturday or Sunday. I promise to catch up.

I’d like to see some comments and questions come in. At least I’d know someone might be getting some good out of this. LOL

Today’s Question: What’s the difference in character traits and character personalities?

Answer: General characterization is the way a character is presented and described. Characterization includes the character’s past and present situations and experiences, plus their future dreams and expectations. It is everything about your character, his/her looks, personality, abilities, what set of ethics they hold true, and by what etiquette they abide. It is anything that makes them who they are. Be careful not to tell the reader too much information at one time. Filter characterization in slowly, a little at a time. A reader does not need to know everything about your character, some things become boring and repetitive, so be selective about what you tell your reader, and why they need to know.

Character traits consist of all those idiosyncrasies, habits, and mannerisms that are particular to only that character. A nervous twitch, stuttering, biting fingernails, compulsive behavior, constantly counting things or straightening things, never looking a person in the eye, always walking with their head down, walking with a limp, or  anything else that one character owns. Character traits don’t usually include their physical appearance, unless they wear a particular item of clothing, or a particular color all the time, or have an odd hairstyle/haircut that makes a statement about them and the way they behave. Be careful not to overdo  character traits, most of the time one is enough to identify them, some may have more, but they can become too much for a reader and spoil the effect for the reader, so add them cautiously.