By: Chris Winkle
Recently, a reader named Jason wrote us to ask us about character description. Specifically, he wanted to know:
If you’re describing humans, how much is enough for a minor character? For
some books they mention eye color but personally I can’t tell eye color unless
I get creepy-close and check but is it important under normal circumstances?
If you’re describing aliens do how do you do it?
Imagine doing a novelization of the
cantina scene in Star Wars, do you need to describe every species there or just
the two that were harassing Luke?
I can’t quite get the hang of it. I want to be
descriptive but I don’t want to devote a paragraph
describing a throw-away character either.
That’s a lot of questions packed together. I’ll outline some guiding principles to give you a better feel for your description, regardless of the context. When describing a character, here’s what you should consider.
What Is Your Viewpoint Character Thinking?
Most of us are writing in first or third person these days. If that includes you, then your description should reflect what your point-of-view character (POVC) is thinking about in that moment. For instance, if you launch into lengthy character description mid dialogue, it will create the impression that your POVC has become mesmerized by those perfect eyebrows and neglected the conversation.
First Meetings and Strong Impressions
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
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