Wednesday, August 7, 2013

characters vs. CHARACTERS

Since in the title of this post it may be hard to differentiate between the two types of "characters" I'm talking about here it is again:

characters vs. Characters

You may notice that in my posts I vary between referring to characters with either a capital or a lowercase "c." I will, in this post, define what I mean by either, because, yes, there is a difference.

By the way, before we begin, I am not even addressing the definition of "character" as, "moral or ethic quality," as in "he was a man of strong character," or the topic of those "character building courses." Here, I'm only talking about a character as in a character in a story. I hope that makes sense.

We proceed.

When I say, "I don't like the character of Javert," for an example of the lowercase version, I mean that I would not like to hang out with him, because he's not a nice guy. It's what people mean when they say, "He's an evil character," or, "She's a funny character," or "He's a calm, sweet character." It's the conventional use of the word.

When I use a capital "C," however, it means something entirely different. Though I may not like the Javert's character, I do like his Character. Character with a capital "C," has to do with Characterization, how the author portrayed the Character. Javert is an awesome Character. Look at his depth! Look at his transformation! In fact if you want a good example of a Character, choose any from Les Miserables. They are all spectacular Characters - though only some are nice characters.

To be able to produce good Characters in your writing, you have to practice. The opposite of a good Character is a flat one without any depth; the opposite of a good character is an evil one.

I hope this makes at least some sense.

See you in the next post.


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