Writer's block - Describing a Character

Published by Forinsyther in the blog Forinsyther's blog. Views: 122

Writer's block used to be a really big obstacle for me, but now I've overcome it, and the solutions are actually very simple. So I thought I would share and hopefully help out some fellow writers. There are a few points to address so I'm going to separate these points and give them their own posts.

My writer's block would crop up at very particular points;

-When I'm describing a setting.

-When I'm describing a character.

-When my characters are having a conversation.

-When the plot needs to move forward/the character needs to act.

-When a sentence/paragraph doesn't sound right.

This post is about describing a character
Sometimes you want to say more than, 'He was tall and had brown hair'. I know I certainly prefer to give my readers a fixed image of what my characters look like. However, sometimes it's hard to know what to say, or how to say it.

First of all; a wide opinion is to not give all of the detail in one large paragraph. I would certainly prefer to, but I think it's harder for readers to remember everything when it's unloaded on them in one large chunk. When you think about it, it's easier to remember something if you're offered it one piece at a time.

So, I will generally describe my characters like this; the character comes into the book for the first time, and I will immediately offer a brief description (he was tall and had brown hair ). And then, if there is anything else eye catching about him, I will drop it in when the scene calls for it. For example, if the character wears a brown coat and also has a glass eye, I would say in a later scene that he shrugged out of his long brown coat. And then I could mention that he puts it back on again later, this suggests that he might favour this coat, and the reader will probably start imagining him wearing it all the time.

It's the same thing for the glass eye, during a moment that seems nonchalant, drop in that the character's glass eye is irritating him. You've offered more description without being too obvious.

Also, if anyone read my previous post about describing a setting, they'll know that I have a folder called 'Inspiration', where I save images of settings collected from around the internet. Well the same applies for characters, I have another folder just for outfits. Tumblr and Pinterest are great for finding clothing of all styles and genres. So if I'm ever stuck on what my character would be wearing, I'll have a look through my reference folder and pick out an outfit. Once again, you can easily add more detail to the description if you want.

Here's a few examples of the outfits I have saved for characters.
tumblr_n2hllsem1W1ry5lcko1_500.jpg tumblr_n2k7ilZ1Jw1qbvovho7_1280.jpg tumblr_oeenuoYV161taf2v7o5_1280.jpg
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