1. invisibleink
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    invisibleink New Member

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    Minor historical characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by invisibleink, Nov 3, 2011.

    I'm starting the process of writing my first short story (insert any encouragement here). I'm outlining right now and my story has several minor characters which are necessary, which are historical figures that deal with one particular subject. When I introduce these characters is it assumed what they automatically look like or do I have to give detail on what they look like? Any advice is much appreciated, and I can't wait to get this short story underway once the outline is done (oh, any outlining tips would be good too).
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    First of all, it's "several characters who are necessary" and "who are historical figures". Even fictional characters are people. Sorry, just had to mention that.

    As for your question, unless there is something that is relevant to the story about their looks, I would not bother with any descriptions of looks, particularly in a short story. Stick to the story itself. The short story is a limited format and you need to keep your focus. As for other characteristics, your assumptions of what the reader knows should be based on what you can logically assume is generally known. For example, there are characteristics that most Americans learn about George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, etc. that you need not describe and can make reference to.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. SnappyUK
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    SnappyUK Member

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    How important is their physical appearance to the story? If you're including these people from history because of something to do with their actions or their personality, do you need to discuss what they look like at all? Most people try to fit a face to a voice, or a character in a book, based on what they say and what they do.
    If the people are very famous, then the reader may know what they look like, but I don't think you can necessarily assume that. If you want to add some aspect of physicality, you could sneak it into the way they interact with their surroundings, e.g. "Monsieur Bonaparte climbed onto a bar stool, while Robert Wadlow folded himself through the doorway, took one look at the seating arrangements and decided to stand."

    Good luck with your story.
     
  4. invisibleink
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    invisibleink New Member

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    EdfromNY, no need to be sorry, I should be more mindful of my grammar since this is a writing forum.

    The characters looks are not relevant to my story. The characters that I am using are historical baseball figures. I can't assume my reader knows what they look like aside from Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if not relevant, then their description is a non-issue...
     

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