Most authors use indirect characterization which includes
- physical descriptions
"The first man was smalland quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose. Behind him walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely."
- characters' actions
His huge companion dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse. The small man stepped nervously beside him.
- characters' thoughts, feelings, and speeches
"'Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys n the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place....With us, it ain't like that. We got a future." [George]
"For the first time Lennie became conscious of the outside. He crounched down in the hay and listened. 'I done a real bad thing,' he said. 'I shouldn't had did that. George'll be mad. An'...he said...an'hide in the brush till he come....'"
- the comments and reactions of other characters
"Crooks interrupted brutally. 'You guys is just kiddin' yourself. You'll talk about it a hell of a lot, but you son't get no land. You'll be a swamper here till they take you out in a box. Hell, I seen too many guys. Lennie here'll quit an' be on the road in two, three, weeks. Seems like ever' guy got land in his head.'"
- Direct characterization occurs with statements by the author, giving his/her opinion of the character(s). [e.g. Steinbeck writes that Slim has "God-like eyes."]
Steinbeck writes that Lennie drags his feet the way "a bear drags his paws."