How To Describe Your Characters

Published on 28 January 2022 at 23:10

Imagining what our characters look like is one of the most fun things about inventing people to write about. More often than not, we have an exact idea about what our characters look like. It's not weird if your first instinct is to want to describe every single detail that is a part of your character, but...

Please don't do that.

As much fun as it is for us to see our characters before our eyes, it's the same way for our readers. Just think about it. I bet that if you are anything like me, you've yelled at a film adaptation for not casting the right actor for that one character. Do you know why that is? Because your mind came up with a version of that character all by itself.

If you really want to describe physical characteristics, focus on distinctive features that tell us something about your characters. Like, for example:
• A birthmark
• Scars
• The way they wear their hair, scarf or other headwear
• Wrinkles, pimples or crows feet
• Their posture

Also, remember that physique isn't everything. There are tons of ways to give your readers a clear image of the character you're writing. These are things that you could weave into your story as well:
• The sound of their voice
• How they smile and laugh
• Their scent
• How they use their hands while talking
• How they make eye contact

I promise you, your characters will come more alive once you ditch the detailed physique charts and start envisioning your characters standing right in front of you.

- Pia Sophia

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