Thursday, February 5, 2015
He's handsome and she's sexy but what are they like?
You can describe a characters physical appearance in order to give your readers an image of him or her. Hair color, eye color body build and facial descriptions all let your reader know what your character looks like.
None of those things tell what the actual character is like. Simple things like their preferred dress can help. A character that traditionally wears dark or black clothing might indicate that the character is a ‘dark’ person. If a woman repeatedly dresses in flowery dresses or frilly clothes, she might have a fun, flirty personality. Or if your female character usually wears sophisticated business suits, then she must be intelligent and business like. If she adds a blouse the shows a little and pairs it with a smart skirt with a slit, then she’s also has her feminine side.
Facial expressions often indicate characters traits. Men leering, women walking provocatively, smiling, sneering, etc. all give clues too a particular characters personality. Help the reader understand what your character is all about by using clues.
Provide some background information. Maybe your character has flash backs to an earlier time in their life or a particular event. This can help the reader understand your character better, help them understand why the character acts the way they do. Perhaps they had a devastating or traumatic event that made them completely opposite to what you’d expect.
The protagonist in a series of books by one of my favorite authors is an Italian female. She loves to cook, especially if she’s under stress. You can often ‘see’ her shopping for select ingredients for a meal later that night. The character is under stress a lot. While she’s a chief medical examiner, she’s almost always in the middle of a dangerous situation, coming close to being a victim herself.
So beyond the physical descriptions let your reader know what each particular character is like through their mode of dress, facial expressions, how they carry themselves, and language use or dialogue.
Finally, if you’d like to be a featured author on this blog find me on Facebook and PM me.