#LoveOzLit: Charlotte Wood on characterisation

Charlotte Wood, author of The Natural Way of Things, on how to keep narrative interest through characterisation

Charlotte Wood is the author of the acclaimed novel The Natural Way of Things … which absolutely everyone is raving about. Seriously, I have not heard one negative thing about it. It is a commentary on the misogyny women face every day, told through the eyes of two female characters locked up together in a prison for women who have sex scandals in their past.

And that gets me thinking about her quote and the theme at the heart of The Natural Way of Things: sure, sometimes we can see sexism coming a mile away, and other times it comes out of nowhere, surprising us because we just never expected it.

Too much simmers underneath real life for us to take things at face value, doesn’t it? What characters have been a punch to the gut, a surprise (unpleasant or otherwise) in your reading?


  • Wonderful quote! I don’t mind when characters act differently than you expect, but at the same time, it has to eventually make sense. They can’t suddenly change and the author gives no reason for it. Yes, it can happen in real life…but we all know real life is stranger than fiction, right? haha

    • Verushka says:

      Real life is definitely stranger than fiction, lol! But you’re absolutely right, everything has to make sense within the story and for the characters. I wonder if Charlotte meant unconventional? Hm. Even that isn’t the right word, I think.

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