How do you refer to characters in writing?

How do you refer to characters in writing?

If the character is important enough that readers should pay attention to him or her, refer to him or her by his or her most common nickname employed in dialogue or by his or her first or last name. Whatever you want him/her to be known as, in other words.

This can be done either directly through text or indirectly through markers placed in the scene so the character knows he or she is being referred to. Readers understand immediately when a character's name is mentioned and they make their own assumptions based on previous knowledge of the character. For example, if I mention "Joe", you might guess that I'm talking about Joe the bartender because we've never met but have only spoken on the phone several times. If I had described him with some detail perhaps you would know that this was not Joe the bartender but rather some other Joe who looks just like him.

In addition to a character's name, writers often use descriptors to further explain who someone is. These descriptors can be physical (e.g., "the man with two left hands") or personality traits (e.g., "a man who loves his daughter dearly"). Descriptors help readers understand who is involved in the conversation and they also provide information for future references to these people or events.

What is a good character reference?

They should be familiar with the individual, be able to speak positively of them, and have current understanding of their personality and talents. A character reference, on the other hand, should not be written by a close friend or direct relative (such as a parent or brother), because their opinions may be skewed. A character reference should be obtained from a person who knows the applicant well but is not related to them.

A good character reference should:

Show an understanding of the applicant's personality and behavior issues

Be specific in terms of the positive and negative aspects of the person being referenced

Not contain any derogatory information about the applicant

Come from a reliable source

Who is capable of giving objective opinions?

People who have known the applicant for some time can provide valuable information about their personality and behaviors, which may not be apparent to those who know them only peripherally. For example, someone who has worked with an applicant for several months but is not related to them by blood or marriage would be a good candidate for a reference. Similarly, someone who has been taught by the same teacher for many years but is not related to them by blood also makes an excellent reference, as they have had the opportunity to learn about their strengths and weaknesses over time.

How to get your readers to identify with your characters?

Make your character a good-hearted, caring person. Demonstrate that the other characters in your narrative like them. This is most likely the most prevalent approach for authors to encourage their readers to identify with their primary character (s), and it works! If you can make your reader feel sorry for your character, or at least understand his/her situation, then they will be more interested in what happens to him/her.

Also, try not to make your character too good-natured. You should give him/her some flaws or problems in order to make him/her more realistic. For example, if your character is very kind but also naive, then he/she could easily be tricked by someone who wants to harm him/her.

Last, but not least, demonstrate that the other characters in your story have opinions of their own. Let them speak up sometimes! Give them goals of their own, even if your main character knows what he/she wants already. Have them struggle with temptation or fear just like everyone else do. The more real your characters seem, the more likely your readers are going to want to learn more about them.

About Article Author

Irene Barnhart

Irene Barnhart is a freelance writer and editor who has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She also has an extensive knowledge of grammar, style, and mechanics.

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