Writing Character Descriptions.

Writing Character Descriptions.

11.8K Reads 519 Votes 1 Part Story
Ctyolene By Ctyolene Updated Mar 04, 2012

I'm just back from P-Con, where the amazing Juliet E McKenna gave a masterclass in how to write character descriptions. I'm going to try to get the high points across here.

No Crime Call Descriptions.

Do not describe your character as if they were wanted by the police. "6 foot tall, with brown hair and blue eyes, wearing torn jeans and brown sneakers" is someone who is wanted for armed robbery, not your hero.

Think of what you do when you meet someone new. You tend to make a snap decision about them, based on one particular feature, and afterwards you think of them as "The tall boy with floppy hair" or "the man with the comb-over" or "the woman with with baby puke on her clothes". Chances are, if you someone has asked you to recall height, weight or eye colour after that first meeting, you wouldn't be able to. But you would have a sense of personality from things like the baby puke or the comb-over.

As a writer, you give your reader a quick one line description to hang a character ...