What is characterisation?
Characterisation is a method of describing and introducing the character to the audience by the writer or director. It is the conception of creating a character for a narrative and contains literary elements. There are two types of characterisation and they are either directly or indirectly.
- Direct characterisation means what the author tells you about the character. For instance: “Tom is very strong.”
- Indirect characterisation means what the author shows you something about the character through describing their actions or what they said etc. For instance : ” Tom is carrying five heavy boxes with him.”
Conflict can either be Internal or external.
- Internal conflict means the mental struggle which happen to the character.
- External conflict means the struggle which happen maybe between a character with another character or an event.
Styling is very important as it will help the actors to get into the character. When we look at the script and design a character, we need to consider the character’s:
- Words (Speech)
- Writer descriptions
On below, I have created two spider diagram about what we need to consider when designing a character. On the first spider diagram, I have focused on developing on the character.
- Age – Young, Old?
- Occupations/ Career
- The way they speak? – Loud? Talkative? Quiet? Accent?
- Relationships – Friends? Family? Partner? – what kind of people he/ she gets along
- Name – Gender, nickname, nationality
- Incidents happened him/ her
- Religious – Strong belief?
- Food habits – Vegan?
- Daily habits- thoughts, lifestyle
- Social class/ wealth?
- Perceptions- what is important to them?
- Actions -Body Language?
- Lifestyle choices – Like traveling? Alcoholic? Music Taste? What he/ she use?
- Culture- where he/ she lives? Accent?
- Interest & hobbies
- Body art – Tattoos?
On the second spider diagram, I have focused on looking at the appearance of the character.
- Accessories – Fashionable? Marriage? Wealth?
- Age- Old? Young?- Can look at their skin conditions as well
- Nails – Colors? Bite their nails?- habits
- Skin tone- Nationality? Suntan – Fake? Go on holiday? Beauty? Wealth- Historical (for instance: Elizabethans, alabaster white means wealth)
- Social class/ wealth – Jewelleries
- Body Hair or hairstyle – Well groom? Beard? (Period and fashion) Style? Accessories?Color?
- Body shape?
- Job title – Clothing
- Teeth – Braces? Missing teeth?
- Style – dress code? Hair? Accessories? Piercings? Body Art -Tattoos, etc – culture?
- Wearing glasses?
- Make-up – Period? Show their character? For special events?
- Religious? – Clothing
Through the two spider diagrams from above, it helps me to understand more about how and what I should decide and think of when I design for a character. By looking at details of the character on the script, it gives me understanding about the character’s background, appearance, personality, etc, which do help a lot when developing the characters’ styles.