Character Description question

Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Gammer, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Not the Admin

    Not the Admin Banned

    Aug 9, 2011
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    In my experience, I never even bother to remember what the character looks like. I even change names if they are hard to pronounce. I usually just try to drop hints here and there to refresh the reader's memory on what the character ACTUALLY looks like in my writing. ;D
  2. J.P.Clyde

    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

    Jun 19, 2011
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    I agree with this. But I prefer detail to be filled in with me. See I really have a hard time in stories if they don't give out details. If they don't describe details about the characters I imagine them as faceless blank people with mouths. It's also why I need some context of what the room they are in or else I just sit in a blank empty room with faceless people.

    I prefer at least knowing, hair color, eye color, height, old or young, handsome or ugly. Plus I like to determine who they are by the clothes they wear.

    Don't give me an infodump. But enough info that I can fill in an image.
  3. AmyHolt

    AmyHolt New Member

    Jun 22, 2011
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    Warsaw, IN
    I think a little discription about what the person looks like should be slipped in but my favorite discriptions define personality - little gestures or body language that help show who they are. When you can discribe your characters with personality, you help the reader identify with them. That is far more imporant than what they actually look like.
  4. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributor Contributor

    Jul 27, 2011
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    Compare these to the examples Chickenfreak gave. In those, we're getting 'atmosphere' with bits of character description cut in. The character description is used as part of describing other things. Even the girl with pigtails, though detailed, made me think more of her personality than her physical looks. And I think that's what Clumsywordsmith was looking at with Dickens, as well (forgive me if I'm misinterpreting you-all).
  5. DBTate

    DBTate New Member

    Aug 10, 2011
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    There are no specific rules as to describing characters. It differs between writers, and some things work, some things don't.

    In any case, I agree that the description should have relevance to the story!

    In my current novel, I have described four of my central characters mentioning their hair colour and eye colour.

    The reason this is important in the context of the story is

    A) Eye colour is an indicator of magic / no magic. Different colours divulge information about a person's race, magical ability, and persona (though persona is more for reader's sake). For example, one character has 'dark, impenetrable eyes', because he hides his true feelings. Do you understand what I went for there?

    B) It deals with some of my subtle story elements such as family genes and heritage etc etc.

    So, though typically unnecessary information, I have found my own way of making the physical appearances of my characters very important to the plot / character development.

    Hope I've helped :)

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