In literature, a character sketch is a short story or narrative presented without significant action or plot, as the purpose of the writing is solely to present a character at his or her typical. Character sketches of this sort are also frequently found in journalism and regionalist humor (e.g. sketches of "Big John" or "the country rube" or "the wise Squire"). Each of these attempts to delineate what is believed to be a character who epitomizes a type.
From this typological beginning, the character sketch has come to be any portrait, graphic or written, that is an attempt to preserve the character of an individual. In the graphic arts, character sketches may later be assembled into a composition or simply collected together as a visual diary. In prose and poetry, character sketches can likewise stand alone or, more frequently, be assembled into narratives at a later time.