Love me. More Thoughts on Characterization

I’ve been working on deepening my protagonist’s characterization.  Once I’ve set up the basic personality traits, I need to reveal who this character really is to the reader.  If you want your audience to fall in love with your character, you need to give them a reason to do so.  Characterization is more than looks and personality, fiction evokes emotion.  Your reader needs emotional hooks to tie them to your main characters. 
Nancy Kress suggests that there are three ways to portray emotions: through action, dialog, and the senses.  Using actions to compliment what the character is saying (“You beast,” she said, slapping him.) can not only demonstrate the emotion of the moment, but increase the tension in a scene and reveal character.  In the same way, dialog allows a character to voice their true feelings or reveal deeper inner conflict (“You magnificent beast,” she said.  “I don’t deserve you.”).  And unconscious physical reactions also signal emotion (Her heart pounded as the beast neared her hiding place).   
Orson Scott Card suggests a variety of techniques to raise the emotional stakes for characters.  He suggests that the elements of pain, suffering, grief (in the past or present), danger, and the sexual tension between characters can enrich the emotional bond for the reader.  Signs and portents can affect characters by reminding them of emotional memories or triggering fears of what might happen in the future. 
A character’s choices can also reveal character effectively, whether the choice involves something as basic as clothing (She elected to wear the black leather miniskirt to the funeral.  It had always been Edmund’s favorite), or something more specific (The garrote was his weapon of choice; he liked being close enough to feel the victim’s last exhale). 
The more varied and different methods that the author uses (and this is by no means a complete list), the richer and more interesting the characters become.  Populate your stories with characters your readers can really sink their teeth into.  Your readers will love you for it. 
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