top of page

2. Characterization

A narrative with a context describes a character, emotion, feeling, or a situation much better in a relatable way with an appeal to senses, than a one-word adjective. Following examples show by describing what can be otherwise be told by usung adjective. Good writers always choose to show than tell, by describing body language, behaviour, context, examples, causes etc. Characterizing someone anxious: She twisted her fingers in her hands and bit her lip. Her leg jiggled quickly, and her eyes darted from side to side. [Instead of saying : She apeared anxious.]

Characterizing someone apologetic:

Her eyes pleaded with him to understand what she was trying to say, her breath slow in frequency but intense with each inhale. Her quivering mouth revealed the shame she had for what she had done.

Characterizing someone embarrassed:

He dropped his eyes toward the floor, and his face burned crimson red. His shoulders hunched over, and he pursed his lips, clearly attempting to fight back tears.

Characterizing someone gruff: "Look here," he said. "I'm not about to take guff from anyone. I've been around the block a few times, and I'm no one's doormat. I don't care who you are or where you're from. I don't want to hear what you have to say."

Characterizing someone inconsiderate:

After he arrived 25 minutes late for the date, he proceeded to honk the horn from his car, forcing me to scamper across the ice-covered steps in my stilettos.

Characterizing someone kind:

She gently knelt down and stretched out her hand to help her friend return to her feet after she fell on the field.

Characterizing someone messy:

She answered the door in a hurry, putting her earrings on, while telling me to come in for a moment. I entered what looked like an abandoned war zone. Clothes and shoes were scattered across the floor. Dirty plates with hardened fettuccine noodles were piled on the table while magazines were spread haphazardly across the floor.

Characterizing someone rich:

He chortled heartily before deeply puffing on his Cuban cigar, briefly glancing at his Rolex. He announced his driver would arrive any moment, then tossed back the rest of his whiskey.

Characterizing someone stingy:

Crinkling his brow and wrinkling his nose, Deepak cringed when he saw the bill for dinner. Clearly displeased with the cost of his dosa, idli, uttapam, and coffee, he yanked open his wallet, tossed a coin haphazardly on the table for tip, and went to the counter to pay for the meal.

Characterizing someone thankful:

She couldn't stop telling him how much she appreciated the small loan he was giving her. Hugs, cheek kisses, and an offer to make dinner ensued, with gratitude oozing from her every word and motion.

Characterizing someone skilful:

He pulled the arrow back on the bow until it would go no further. When it left his hand, the arrow glided gracefully through the air and into the centre of the target.

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

An Introduction to Vocabulary

What determines anyone’s vocabulary is one's existing repertoire of words (also known as 'lexicon') and one's ability to use the right word with ease – almost instinctively – to convey exactly what on


bottom of page