AUTHORS: A Quick Guide to Character Description

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

silhouette-1180300-mYesterday we discussed how important a character’s physical appearance is or isn’t. Today I want to continue that discussion and take it to a final conclusion: that sometimes you have to stop thinking about what you’re writing and how you’re writing and just let yourself WRITE.

To start off, I think to say, “let’s talk about a character’s appearance” can be misleading. It simplifies a complex subject to a large degree.

Much more than we realize goes into the appearance of a person and the first impression he or she makes. This is also true for characters. We’re dealing with:

  • gait and how someone walks
  • posture and how someone holds oneself.
  • clothing, both what it looks like and how it fits. Clothing can give away everything from a person’s occupation to religion, as well as income level.
  • skin and skin tone. color? freckles? moles? scars?
  • hair: color, length, style. straight…

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