Action is Character
“Stories have a power, a magic all their own. Consider the fact that the actions, thoughts and feelings of people who have no existence in reality can make you laugh, make you weep. That's the art and that's the magic.” anonymous
“Action is Character.” F. Scott Fitzgerald from Notes for The Last Tycoon
“I don't know where people got the idea that characters in books are supposed to be likable. Books are not in the business of creating merely likeable characters with whom you can have some simple identification with. Books are in the business of creating great stories that make your brain go ahhbdgbdmerhbergurhbudgerbudbaaarr.”
― John Green
"If you will practice being fictional for awhile, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats." Richard Bach
“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” Ernest Hemingway from Death in the Afternoon
“I will go to my grave in a state of abject endless fascination that we all have the capacity to become emotionally involved with a personality that doesn't exist.”
― Berkeley Breathed
Talking to Fictional Characters
Interview with a Character
Shared Folder for 6th Grade
Character refers to a person, animal or object in a story. Characters are well-developed, believable and consistent. At the beginning of a story a conflict is presented for the main character to resolve. By the end of a story, a character should change or grow somehow. This could be by learning something new or by growing in understanding of self.
Ways to Know a Character
- how the character looks
- how the character dresses
- Thoughts and conversation
- what the character says, thinks, or feels
- what others in the story say or think about the character
- what the character does
- what the character chooses not to do
- what others in the story do to the main character
Good characters are:
- multidimensional, that is, not stereotyped
- grow or change over time
Readers who want to understand character can ask:
- Are the characters believable? Have you ever felt like this character, or have you known anyone who felt like this character? What about the character seemed real and true?
- Is each character’s behavior consistent with what we know about him or her? Does the behavior remain consistent throughout the book? Is the change that occurs in the character (reasonable)?
- Does the character’s behavior show that the character is a unique individual (or is the behavior stereotypical)?
- Do you identify with the character? How would you have reacted if you were the character?
- Does the character change or learn as the story progresses? Does the character reach a new understanding about the situation or about life?
- Is the character memorable? Will you remember this character in a month?
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
Kansas Career and College Readiness Standards grade 6