Monday, April 11, 2011

A to Z: Identity

Identity, a person's sense of self. It can be seen as how someone defines who they are. In the interest of not letting this post get to long I'm going to touch briefly on a few components of identity.
  • Different people focus on different attributes/traits for their identity.
  • Culture tie in - what is important to a culture influences what traits/attributes individuals within the culture use to define themselves.
  • People don't exist in a  vacuum, identity also has a self verses others. People compare their self to others and see who others are and who they are.
  • Sometimes occupation can define a person, which can have a greater or lesser influence on the person's identity depending on the individual and the culture. It can be seen as a bad thing if their occupation is their whole identity.
  • And identity is comprised of a mix of attributes. For example someone can see them self as a compassionate generous person who is cleaver and creative and outgoing.

How do your characters identify themselves? What is important to them in said definition for them. While identity can be useful for characters of any age it is especially important in young adult (YA) fiction. In YA the main characters are in the process of figuring out who they are. They are moving away from their parents' idea of who they should be and flexing their own sense of who they are. Of course peer influence can play a part in the process.


Anonymous said...

Identity is extremely important in characterization because it makes them real people!

I'm studying gender identities in 18th century Britain.

I really connected with your main points. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I did think about these things but in a roundabout way, while doing my characterization. Thanks for putting them in specific points...very helpful!

Also I adore you for those prompts, I can think of several ways I can use them!

Marie Anne said...

I can't figure out real teenagers so I couldn't imagine writing for YA and having to create identities for fictional characters.

Popping in by way of the A-Z Challenge. I’m blogging at:
Write, Wrong or Indifferent
Marie Anne’s Missives
In the Garden With Sow-n-Sow
Every Day Crochet

Misha said...

Great post!

I have five main characters, of which two are pretty sure of who they are. But all of them will find themselves tested and all of them will discover something new.


K.C. Woolf said...

Great 'I', and an important one for all of us, not just as writers. The battles that have been fought over identity ...

Thanks for this post!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Helpful post, especially the detail about identity being important in YA. Very good point!

Good luck in the rest of the A to Z Challenge!