Brown Hair, Blue Eyes, and Perfect Teeth

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What does your character look like?  How far does your description go when it comes to your character.  Do you just stick to the basics?  Hair color, eye color, height, and skin tone.  Or does more go into your character?

I always have some kind of mental image of my main character before I begin.  I usually know about how tall they are, hair color, eye color and skin tone.  I even go as far as figuring out what kind of wardrobe they would have.  Are they punk, goth, casual, athletic, or business?  I have noticed a lot of my characters have wardrobes that I only wish I had, but end up changing it a little so my characters are different.

But until recently I haven’t gone much further than that.  I mean, how important is it to describe what your character looks like?  I know that some authors leave it rather vague, in order for you to put yourself into the story in place of the main character. The few novels that I have written, I have stuck with hair color and eye color, but I realize now that if I keep it that way, no one will see my characters like I see them.

If you think about it, even when the author goes through the process of describing their character further than the basics, we still don’t see them the way the author sees them.  We will all have our own conclusion as to what this character looks like, so is it really that important or is just more words on the page?

Also, how important is it to describe what your characters are wearing?  I just wrote a scene in my WIP where my character goes into a rave club.  I didn’t say it was a rave club, I just described what my character wore, what others around her wore, and what the club looked like.  So, in cases wardrobe is important, but do I need to know what a character wears every day? As a reader, do you want to know what the character is wearing, or do you prefer to fill in the blanks?

When you are planning out your characters, do you keep worksheets about each character with notes on them?  I like to keep a list in One Note.  Each character has their own section.  This is where I keep track with what happens with the character and the few things about their appearance.

So tell me, how do you keep up with all the characteristics of your characters and how far do you take their creation?  Do you describe their nose, defined chin, high cheeks, and plump lips?  Or do you just talk about their vibrant, crystal blue eyes, and black hair that glistens like stars in the moonlight?

NaNoWriMo Update:  Today I am at 13,000 words.  And still motivated.  Development

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3 thoughts on “Brown Hair, Blue Eyes, and Perfect Teeth

  1. minniex says:

    I haven’t had the experience of creating many characters yet so I wouldn’t know..but in my personal opinion I do prefer those characters that have very specific descriptions and qualities, maybe it’s harder to relate to them but I think those unique things make them more interesting and memorable.

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