A strong narrative does more than tell a story: it also enables readers to understand the emotions, personalities, and attributes of its characters. This writing strategy, often referred to as characterization, is identified in Common Core State Writing Standards W.3.3.B, W.4.3.B, W.5.3.B, W.6.3.B, W.7.3.B, and W.8.3.B as an important component of narrative writing. In this chapter, we’ll examine the following: what “incorporating characterization” means; why it is important to effective narrative writing; a description of a lesson on this writing strategy; and recommendations for helping your students incorporate characterization into their own writings. We’ll also explore published examples of characterization, and discuss what the authors of those works do to make their passages effective.