1. Dalton76
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    Dalton76 New Member

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    How to Convey a Sense of Unearthly Beauty.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Dalton76, Dec 23, 2008.

    My current project is a short story(which, if it turns out well may turn into a novella), centered around a pair of 17th century vampire hunters, one, a blind man named William, and the second a young half-vampire(for lack of a better term for now) named Angelique.

    Angelique is a woman of extraordinary beauty, unearthly even. The problem I'm having is describing that beauty without making it obvious.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on this?


    Thanks,

    -D-
     
  2. ArckAngel
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    ArckAngel Member

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    I had to write something like that in one of my last WIP short stories.
    What I did, was have other characters seem to go into a daze every once in a while while around the unearthly beauty. Almost as though they were in a trance, watching the beauty. But that's just me.
     
  3. AthenaMinerva
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    AthenaMinerva New Member

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    I would suggest saying "there was a sense of unearthly beauty about her"

    /sarcasm (sorry, it's really late here)

    You could have birds stop singing when she enters a room, people stop in the middle of sentences when she comes into sight (a great way to torture your audience/characters, especially if the sentence contains crucial plot information), and you could also include a scene when she kneels down and asks a flower to bloom for her, and it does (ooh).
     
  4. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    All sarcasm aside, this is probably the best way to do it. If a description of the character's physical appearance doesn't do it, other people's reactions should fill in the blanks. Perhaps have people constantly look at her or compliment her.

    But, seriously, I've never been a fan of the whole "unearthly beauty" thing. Unless there's some sort of magical attraction that makes her irresistible to everyone, I simply can't see how every person on earth will find this woman beautiful. I think AthenaMinerva's post captured the absurdity of the concept quite well. :rolleyes:

    Just my $0.02
     
  5. Dalton76
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    Dalton76 New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Really has my brain working in the right direction now.

    Anonymouse: I agree with you on not being a fan of the "unearthly beauty" thing. Always seems to be pushing it to me.

    With Angelique, it's not so much her physical beauty(I know, should have been more clear, but, I tend to lump physical attraction and non-physical attraction together as beauty) as it is everything about her. After all, everyone knows that vampires have an enhanced natural attraction:p

    But, seriously. The way I see her, and really want to convey her, is she's a physically beautiful woman, but, there's that -something- about her that just grabs people's attention, particularly men's. And that something is very powerful. Perhaps it is due to her vampiric heritage. Perhaps not.

    Thanks,

    -D-
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Show it in the reactions of other characters, rather than try to tell it to the reader. The reader can only react to the words, but the other characters can see her and be stunned by the sight of her, losing their train of thought in mid-sentence, nearly passing out because they forgot to breathe, etc.
     
  7. Ano_Angelus
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    Ano_Angelus New Member

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    I think there's a difference between unearthly beauty and everyone finding her attractive. For example...Angels. They're not of this world and for the most part people find them beautiful, but it's a heavenly quality that doesn't exist in humans, if an Angel walked amongst us not all of us would find them beautiful but we would pick up on an unearthly quality about them.

    For this reason I think it's stupid to try and convey how amazingly beautiful someone is. Describe them as you would anyone else and let the reader decide if that is actually what they concieve beauty to be. Afterall no two peoples idea of beauty is the same.

    Focus more on the unearthly aspect rather than making her beautiful. And for gods sake have some people think she's ok. Not the next Tara Banks or any other model you can think of.

    People will be confused by the eathreal pressence. This alone will convey even the comeliest person into some sort of enchanting creature, if you overplay it then it will blow up in your face. When I'm writing about someone who for some reason needs a similar presence is to describe them as I have done every other character. "There stood a tall figure, dressed from head to foot in black robes" Don't make a big deal of that then I go on to say something like "Yet no one looked in his direction, suddenly the last dregs in a glass and the number of ants on a table seemed the most interesting things in the world and a deadly silence descended as the unknown figure stalked towards the back room. Every footstep echoed in the sudden silence, yet still all eyes remained averted until the soft click of a closing door announced the figures departure. Suddenly all noise returned, laughter and jokes could be heard while bar maids rushed to replace empty glasses for full ones. No one spoke of the cold chill that had recently touched their souls and no one even so much as glanced at the door they all knew contained the stranger." Badly written, I know, but it's just an example.
    Anyway, as you can see, you don't need to play up the physical side of it to make someone seem unearthly, or in this case malevolent. I find malevolence so much more fun. It's conveyed in the world around the character. Your reader will generally follow the perceptions of those in the world they now find themselves in.

    I mean, take Stardust for example, she was an unearthly beauty. I didn't actually find her amazingly attractive myself. In fact I think she could use a make-up, but the whole glowing thing was really played up which gave the effect of an unearthly quality to her which was beautiful. But if you overplay it, you loose the effect, like in twilight where most people over the age of 15 actually wanted both the main characters to die simply because of how overplayed the attraction towards them both was.

    Subtlety is a friend.
     

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