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Characters



Characters
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.87

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    flat-we, protagonist, realism-that, showing, antagonist, characterization, dialogue, royalty, internal, disposition, society, unavoidable, memorable, directly, writing, purpose
     content words:    Brave Little Toaster


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Characters
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Memorable characters come alive for us while we read a good story. Sometimes they seem to step out of the pages and live in our hearts and minds. We cannot forget them. Yet, they are fictional; they don't really exist. Good writers create "real" characters through the art of words.
 
2     Characters may be rich or poor. They may be young, old, or somewhere in between. They are male or female, happy or sad, royalty or commoners. How do we get to know the characters of a story? Readers can get to know characters in many ways.
 
3     We get to know them by their actions, their dialect (the way they talk), their thoughts, and by the way they are described to us. By learning about their physical traits, we get to know how they look. By learning about their behavioral traits, we get to know if they are shy or outgoing, happy or depressed, confident or timid. Their dialogue with other characters shows us their opinions and attitudes. It may show us their state of mind and disposition, as well. We also learn about a character by observing the way that he interacts with other characters.
 
4     Be alert to characters in a story in the same way you are when you meet someone. Observe their actions. Listen closely to what they say and how they say it. Notice how they relate to other characters and how other characters respond to them. Look for clues as to their purpose and significance in the story.
 
5     The main character in the plot's conflict is called the protagonist. The protagonist may be a person, an animal, or a personified object. A personified object is an object that has been given thoughts and feelings like a person. An example is the Brave Little Toaster.

Paragraphs 6 to 12:
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