Characterization in Short Stories

Fully developing characters in a novel is really quite easy. There are innumerable opportunities for description, for their thoughts, and, of course, their actions and statements. In a short story, however, space is truly limited, and characters must almost always be developed through words and actions. With such limited space (usually about ten pages), the author must present a conflict, develop a plot, provide setting, and create a rising action, a climax and a denouement.

It is a challenge for the writer to give the reader a thorough physical description of a character, and, as well, it is often boring and ineffective to write such descriptions. Rather than simply state that the heroine is long-legged, it is far better to include this characteristic in an action, such as, “Realizing that she had just stumbled upon two decaying corpses, Susan sprinted through the squishy goo of the land fill, her long legs giving her strides of a marathon runner.”

Developing personality and character traits in literature, and especially in short stories, must be accomplished by their words and their actions. Dialogue is critically important, for it can reveal volumes of information about a character. If, for example, a character needs to be unrefined, rough, and uneducated, it will be important to use incorrect grammar in his speech; if it is important to show setting, a Southern accent in speech will do the trick. Age can also be revealed through dialogue. A teen will use age-appropriate slang while his/her grandmother may speak quite differently. Emotions, such as anger, anxiety, fright, and joy are also demonstrated through conversation. There can be no question, when someone says, “Shut up, you piece of trash,” that s/he is angry or that the phrase, “uh…uh…uh…I was only on my way home” denotes nervousness. Actions also convey emotions. Consider the different images that are portrayed of a character walking down a street. Such a person may run with long hair flying, attempting to flee from someone; another may slowly amble with head to the ground, indicating sadness; still another may take strong definite strides, indicating assertiveness or determination.

If you must write a college essay that is in the form of a narrative, what initially appears to be relatively easy becomes suddenly difficult. Students are experienced with formal college papers with definite topics that can be researched. They have plenty of experience writing college papers that require a presentation of information, reflection on content read or viewed, and theses that are academic in nature. Writing a short story, however, is a wholly different matter. The academic format and style must be discarded. In its place must come figurative language, creativity, budgeting of words, a literary theme, and full development of characters that are credible.

Students who experience difficulty with short story writing will find that online custom essay services can help. Such services offer custom written essays, essays papers, students’ essays according to the student’s criteria and at a reasonably cheap essay price. You can buy essays of any type, including short stories, and you can provide your own plot outline and character summaries, so you get what you want. Custom written essays may be the answer if one is not “into” informal writing. Professional writers can give your characters life through words and actions, and can create a dialogue and descriptive language that effectively carries your plot and keeps a reader interested. Buy our services right now!