Character Descriptions – Physical Characteristics

Hello Internet World,

This segment on Character Descriptions is about the physical characteristics of your character, your baby. Before you begin to write, you need to know what the person you are writing about looks like, correct? (From now on I will be referring to characters as if they are people because if you do not believe they are someone, neither will your reader.) The best way to be able to do such is to write it all down, because most creative individuals are a little…flaky…when it comes to remembering things, at least I am.

Some important things you need to include is the height. You need to know if the person is shorter than another and such, this will help with if they have to look up or down at someone while in conversation, or if they need a step-stool or ladder to reach the top shelf. If you don’t have your person’s height, then catastrophe can and will occur.

The next one that I see on many description profiles for your people is weight. By weight, you don’t necessarily need to know the exact weight. Usually I just use the build of the person instead but if you insist on weight, use a generalization or perhaps a range. (Say Susie is seventeen and is five feet, three inches tall; her weight would be depending on her build. If she is petite or if she’s athletic, the weight can change drastically between the two. Reason I say it’s best to use build with a range for the weight.)

The next point is Race which ties into skin color. This is merely a means to find words to describe a person, because we, as writers, are not too fond of stereotypes for the fact they are extremely cliche. Sometimes, however, we need to create that cliche character to give a comedic sense to our, otherwise, overly dramatic novels.

Eye color is also another thing as well as hair color to be able to describe your people well. I do find that most of these profile sheets leave much to be determined. Shape of eyes, for example. Different nationalities have different shapes of eyes. Also the one I find most left out is length of hair. We, as readers, need to know the length of the hair in order to fully envision the person that you are bringing to life. If we don’t need it to understand the character (because different people like their hair different ways for many reasons), it still is best that you know it for when you describe your character.

The rest of these but a few, I am going to skip by because they’re fairly common and obviously needed. Such as if the person wears contacts or glasses, distinguishing features (what makes them unique), how they dress and their style, favorite sayings and speech patters, disabilities, etc.

The ones I’m going to focus on that I believe are extremely important to know about your people. Mannerisms is a big one that we need to know for the way they walk, talk, etc to be able to tell who the person is to bring out certain characteristics that we’d never be able to fully explain ourselves, no matter how much we see it happening. Habits are a good one as well, because a smoker will act differently than a non-smoker so will an alcoholic.

The biggest flaw and greatest quality are desperately needed in your people to be able to tell your reader that they really are people.

Race/Skin Color
Eye Color/Shape
Hair Color/Length
Glasses or Contacts
Distinguishing Features
How they dress/their style
Favorite Sayings
Speech Patterns
Greatest Flaw
Best Quality

Now you’ve gotten the break down, go create!



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