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How Characters' Actions Affect a Story

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Team Digital

Basics on the topic How Characters' Actions Affect a Story

Join Ernie and Jane and see how a character's actions affect a story.

How Characters' Actions Affect a Story exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video How Characters' Actions Affect a Story.
  • What aspects of characters do authors include in their writing?


    Plot is the sequence of events in a narrative.

    Think about which answers would contribute to decisions characters would make.

    There are four correct answers.


    Characters are made of their:

    • traits
    • emotions
    • actions
    • motivations
    These parts help to move along the plot logically and help you predict what will happen next.

  • Define aspects of characterisation.


    Here is an example of how an author describes a character's emotions:

    Terrance was feeling nervous before the test.

    Here is a sentence that describes a character's traits:

    The kind old man adopted a puppy.


    An author must connect a character to the plot. This is to ensure the actions in the story make sense. When writing a narrative text, an author must include a character's traits, emotions, actions and motivations.

    1. Traits are words that help you understand a character's personality.
    2. Emotions are words that tell you how a character is feeling.
    3. Actions are what a character does or does not do.
    4. Motivations are the reasons for a character's actions.
  • Make a prediction based on a Ernie's traits.


    Ernie practised his spellings plenty of times so he feels like he knows the words well.

    When you succeed, you feel proud.

    • I predict that Ernie will be confident while taking the test.
    • I know this because he was prepared. After the test, I think Ernie will feel proud.
    You can predict a positive, successful outcome, based on these actions of Ernie:
    • He practised a little bit each night.
    • He goes to bed early, not late.
    • He eats a healthy breakfast.
    • He gets to school on time and feels ready.
  • Determine characters' traits based on author's descriptions.


    There are three traits of Bertha's in the story.

    A character's traits can be seen in how they treat others.


    Green highlights:
    Koko lit a fire for everyone so they did not get cold. She also kept telling the story even though Bertha wanted her to stop.

    Yellow highlights:
    Pip is so excited for the trip. Later on, he knows he has to do something to save Bertha from the story so he puts out the fire with his tail and winks at Bertha.

    Blue highlights:
    Bertha wants to toast marshmallows as she is hungry and is a kind friend who shares her snacks. She is also afraid of ghost stories.

  • Recall how characters' actions and traits affect a story.


    Jane doesn't notice her lace is untied because she is in a hurry. Why might someone be in a hurry?

    Another word for leisurely is slowly.

    Watch the video again and think about the traits of each character.


    In the story, Jane is careless and excited.

    These traits cause the action of her taking off quickly. She doesn't notice her skate is untied and crashes.

    In the story, Ernie is careful and slow. These traits cause him to move leisurely. He tries to warns Jane, but it is too late.

  • Analyse how a character's actions affect a story.


    Piano keys are pushed or pressed to make sound. This is an action.

    When you are nervous you may sweat.


    When the author says Ginny is "practising every day", I can tell that Ginny is determined.

    When the author says Ginny "paced up and down the hall", I can tell that Ginny is nervous.

    When the author says that Ginny "took a deep breath and pressed down on the keys," I can tell that Ginny played the piano.

    When the author says that Ginny could be "accepted to Dryfuss School for the Arts," I can tell that Ginny is motivated by passion.