One of my biggest hangups is that I don't want to do it using words that aren't commonly used, because if I have to learn a bunch of new uncommon words to describe somebody, how am I supposed to expect my readers to understand my descriptions? Wasn’t that a lot more fun to read? Harry. There are endless ways you can describe characters, and I’m not going to walk you through how I would describe every single possible human feature (or humanoid, animal, alien, etc). You could maybe get your characters to describe them for you. You should describe your main characters as early on as possible, preferably in the first chapter. Something that you have to keep in mind is that there are positive and negative things that you can say about someone’s personality and appearance so I strongly advise to be cautious when using some of the words presented here. Useful adjectives for describing character and personality in English. If you'd like to learn more about me, take a look at my "About Me" page! Atwood creates a clear sense of Laura’s troubled personality by describing her clothing:‘I could picture th… You can describe a person’s physical appearance by saying things like: She is really tall; She has brown eyes ; She has black curly hair. You could take the objective approach, which would do just fine in most cases, or you could toy with your readers’ perceptions. No one wants to read a 7-page summary of every detail of a character’s appearance. I’m an impressionistic writer myself. Are they bushy or thin? It is usually best not to do it in the middle of an action scene, concentrate on the action, then let us know how they look later. You shouldn’t rely on the character’s race or ethnic background alone to be the basis of your description. Sure! People will not forget five pages later if your character has blonde hair or whatever. Additionally, using words like “lanky” and “blush” suggests that the character is awkward or shy, saving you the time of having to spell that out for readers. Physical characteristics are what you see with the naked eye. Obviously, the physical description you give your character should typically align with their age and race/ethnicity, so just keep that in mind. The content provided in these posts is for informational purposes only. These images will engage readers in the plot as they watch a movie inside their … For example, instead of “Asian” eyes, use “almond-shaped” or “mono-lid.” Not all Asian people have mono-lids, so simply using the word “Asian” to describe the character’s eyes doesn’t actually narrow down what they look like. I am writing a story and I need help on describing a male charcter. I have only covered the things you can say to describe someone’s physical appearance — their body, their face and their body language. cute - That guy is really cute! These images will … Hairstyles and facial features play a big role, but aren’t the main ones. OR say the character is tall, instead of saying so, make them have to duck while another character just barely get's under. “His hair was red and curly. Character description examples from major authors give us useful lessons in how to write characters. Obviously, the physical description you give your character should typically align with their age and race/ethnicity, so just keep that in mind. That can make them stand out more, and it can be a really clear indicator that they are special. If you describe WHO they are, the reader will build their own picture; the hair color and eyes can come up casually if they matter to you, but I hate hate hate authors who start the first chapter by having the character do a once-over of all their physical attribute. Personality Adjectives! It’s important to be able to describe your own personality or someone else’s. Strong character descriptions work on multiple levels. The appearance of a character is important, but remember as a writer you are describing the appearance and much will be left to the readers' imagination. In many cases this will be immediately obvious, and will likely be the first thing you’ll take note of. The reader needs some description to envision the story. This post may contain affiliate links. Just take a look at this list of descriptive words for appearance. Creating vivid visual descriptions for your characters is incredibly important for a number of reasons. Is it possible to describe everything in the world around us? You could describe one as looking like “porcelain” and describe the other one as “pasty,” depending on their other traits. Because describing your characters with a checklist is BORING: Her eyes were brown; And her hair was brown; Even her teeth were brown; She really should brush more often; If you want to describe the physical appearance of your characters, go see how J. K. Rowling does it. Probably the most important rule, is don’t overdo the description. Avoid infodumping (ie: With calloused fingers, I tucked my shoulder-length platinum blond hair behind my ear, navy blue eyes staring back at me in the mirror.) They looked divine… like I wasn’t even worthy to look upon them. hair – les cheveux Later on, occasionally appearance descriptions are relevant (odd example - say a blonde character got paint in her hair. It might look something like this… Don’t describe the physical appearance of a character right away, like in the first paragraph of the story. Posted on October 6, 2009 by Jacqui Murray 3 Comments. 5. But even more frustratingly, she didn’t really need it. In all truth, how a character looks is not the most important thing about them. Particularly distinctive features - scars, tattoos, major deformities - are good to mention early, too. Saying that a character is Japanese or Jamaican without giving other details doesn’t do any more for the character’s description than saying they are European or white. How to describe physical appearance. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'allwritealright_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_13',111,'0','0'])); I’ll start out with a word of caution. Describe characters’ personalities using appearance. Some readers want to know exactly what a character looks like—from hair and eye color, to the size of their hands and the color of their shoes. Here are just a few general tips before we dive into some more specific techniques for describing different parts of a character’s appearance. Let’s Get Physical–The Problems. He looks like his … Too many times, I’ve seen unrealistic descriptions of characters’ bodies. Is their skin soft and smooth, or rough and leathery? Come up with a list of movements and behaviors that are typical for the character, and utilize those movements to make dull scenes and conversations more interesting. Other people staring at the character or nudging and whispering to each other about them would help your reader understand that the character is good-looking, and alter their mental image of them accordingly. When introducing a character, there are a few basics most stick to: sex, hair, eyes, build. He was tall but very thin.”. He has a muscular build. Describing How People Look / Seem . Describing People and Physical Appearance Adjectives List ... His character is terrible. ‘He was a blue-eyed surfer’ doesn’t tell the reader much about the character other than the surface physical appearance. Where are they from, what are their hobbies, do they have a skill and how did they learn it, what and how … The charcter is an African American with an olive skin tone. One of my fears is that even though I know they're all different and I know how they look, I'll describe them too similarly and they won't come off as different. Pin that … Harry is a native English teacher with over 10 years of experience both online and in face-to-face lessons. 6. Introducing a new character to your story can be difficult. How does your character stand? Does your character have perfectly plucked eyebrows, or a uni-brow? So don’t feel rushed to describe their appearance right away. A person’s body, personality, and mood will all influence how they move. These words can be categorized into words that describe a person’s general appearance, eyes, ears, face, nose, arms, hair, height and build, etc.In this ESL lesson you will learn how to describe people and their physical characteristics.. Identify them as male or female when appropriate. Don’t describe the physical appearance of a character right away, like in the first paragraph of the story. If you’re writing a novel, you’ve probably created an awesome, vivid protagonist in your head: motivated , quirky , maybe even memorably named . In fact, with the main character, I often do not describe them until the … If you’re writing a novel, you’ve probably created an awesome, vivid protagonist in your head: motivated , quirky , maybe even memorably named . Compare that to a description that varies how the information is provided: “His hair was like a massive red bush surrounding two wide, green eyes. So here in this article, let’s learn how to describe people’s looks and personalities in German! View all posts by misty0004. When describing a character’s face, the easiest way to do that is to first break the face down into its essential parts: the eyes, the mouth, the nose, and the facial structure. Character traits are qualities or characteristics that describe what a person is like. eval(ez_write_tag([[970,250],'allwritealright_com-medrectangle-1','ezslot_15',113,'0','0']));report this adCopyright © 2020 All Write Alright. Usually about three sentences, up to a paragraph is plenty. Question: I've often been told that the most cliché way to describe a character's appearance is opening the story with him or her looking into a mirror and commenting on what they look like. When you describe how a character looks, think about how appearance illuminates personality.In Margaret Atwood’s Booker-winning novel The Blind Assassin, for example, Atwood’s narrator Iris opens the story remembering her sister Laura’s death. Opposite to the point above, you shouldn’t make your introductions too short. Worse still, they won’t stand out from the protagonists of every single young adult novel out there. When you introduce a character for the first time, you should focus on the things a person would naturally notice first, such as their face, hair, clothing, voice, and general energy. That character could become iconic. Rely on that to make the description fit into the story more organically. Useful descriptive adjectives list for describing someone's physical appearance with pictures and examples. Did he pick that shirt on purpose? Freckles faintly dotted his cheeks, but they were only really visible in the sunshine. Remember, people will usually picture a beautiful person in their head until they know different, so make your character stand out by giving them features that make them more memorable to your reader. Strong character descriptions work on multiple levels. The words you use to describe the character’s hair will be subliminally applied to the character themself. His long, lanky body and large hair made him look a bit like a big red lollipop—which was only heightened by his tendency to blush often.”. While I agree with this piece of advice, I'm also at a loss of another way to get a person's appearance out of the way that doesn't seem too jarring or … His eyes were large and green. (Psst! For example, two characters might both be tall, but one would be described as “awkward and long” while the other is “towering.” In this case, the characters’ levels of confidence impact how they are perceived. I … Describing an attractive character isn’t all that different from describing any other character. To some extent, it can be good to leave some parts of the character’s appearance up to the reader’s imagination. I think it sounds boring. Try to avoid obvious clichés and metaphors when you describe someone. The question is, how much to define. We use the word handsome for men.To describe beautiful women, we also have the words pretty, lovely, gorgeous, and stunning – “stunning” means extremely … He had freckles, but they weren’t that noticeable. I want a well described appearance of the character. Like a well-described setting, vivid characters can help immerse readers into the world and make them part of the story. And I mean real flaws, not fake flaws that are actually just endearing traits packaged like flaws. Question: I have all my characters pictured perfectly in my mind but I'm not sure how I would describe them when writing. Although I do want to help you write your next masterpiece, my real goal is to inspire you. List of 40+ common adjectives to describe people! Personalities and appearance How To Describe Your Character’s Appearance in a Phrase. When you want to describe their age, maybe have someone say something like, “So how old are you tomorrow?” if their Birthday is coming up. She didn’t even wear any makeup! This page covers hair, facial appearances, body size, weight and age. They were short and stocky, but they could still probably beat me in a fight. Physical attributes You should decide the physical attributes of your character. You need to make them distinct, and to do that, you need to give your characters flaws. One of my fears is that even though I know they're all different and I know how they look, I'll describe them too similarly and they won't come off as different. When meeting new people it’s very important to be able to describe yourself. ), Show, Don’t Tell: What It Is and How to Use It (With Examples), Horror Story Writing Prompts: Chilling Ideas for Your Next Creepy Story. How To Create A Character Profile The Ultimate Guide With Template. Scatter physical descriptions throughout the prose. A character’s personality can have a large impact on how they are perceived, and therefore should alter the words you use to describe them. Are they tall or short, thin or fat, muscular or curvy? Instead of just dialogue, you can give readers more to imagine as your character shifts their weight, runs their hand through their hair, or twists the hem of their shirt. Their voice, their actions, their wants and values – those are the important parts of a character. While some people may not care if you describe your character’s appearance, there are many readers that will struggle to picture a character in their head, without at least a little bit of description. You probably learned the basic adjectives when you were studying English in school. Those two descriptions create very different perceptions from each other. Character traits are qualities or characteristics that describe what a person is like. Not only does it make the character description more interesting, but it also influences a reader’s perception of what the character is like. Physical description doesn’t need to be a dry, tasteless blob of facts to help the writer see our character. Hair can be curly and blond, sleek and black, coily and auburn, and even dyed wild colors. In fact, with the main character… And any tips on how to describe their own appearance in 1st POV? It’s important to be able to describe your own personality or someone else’s. One of the ways you can do this is by giving them a distinct appearance, but many writers tend to fall short of describing appearance well. How do they emote? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Consider the very first things that you tend to notice about a person when you look at them. This can also help to establish the tone of the conversation. Writing about attraction is tough (which is why I go more in-depth about how to write about attraction in my other article, Romance 101: How to Write Characters Falling in Love). Give the most important information, such as the eyes, face shape, scars, and other notable details or imperfections, then move on. You can find out about appropriate … You can describe the shape, color, and depth of a character’s eyes, but you should be careful not to rely on insensitive generalizations. You should alternate between those two, as well as general and more specific details, to make the description flow more naturally, and to make it more interesting to read. Have your male love interest tell his best mate that the girl he just met has the most amazing green eyes, and long blonde hair with bouncy curls. Is their hair dry and frizzy, or greasy to the touch? Do they fidget? It could have been handed down from a relative, it could be a favorite shirt, or it could be meaningful in other ways. When you’re deciding how to describe a character in a specific piece you are working on, you can refer to this list and come up with … A good rule of thumb when describing characters (or anything else really) is to create a balance of concrete details and flowery imagery. ( Log Out /  What kind of body do they have? In addition to writing mock character descriptions, some writers find it useful to keep a running list of personality traits and physical characteristics that they can refer to when writing new character descriptions or brainstorming new stories. Some readers want to know exactly what a character looks like—from hair and eye color, to the size of their hands and the color of their shoes. Her tennis-shoes were white and bulky, as was the belt bag she wore off to one side. You should never objectively describe your characters as flawless. handsome - The handsome actor was famous for his love of riding horses. beautiful - The beautiful actress turned to the cameras with a glowing smile. Whether it’s about physical traits that can be easily seen or the deeper aspects of a person’s character and personality, descriptions are an important part of conversations. My goal with this website isn't to make you the greatest writer in the world. In 1st person point of view, what is the best way to describe the main character’s physical appearance? The more complex and interesting the character, the more likely they are to stick in a reader’s mind for years after they finish reading the story. List of 40+ common adjectives to describe people! With that said, don’t get too caught up in describing every detail of a character’s face. Golden hair, a heart-shaped face, a chiseled body, piercing eyes, yadda yadda… The problem with these descriptions is that they’re bland, they’re cliché, and they don’t really help your characters stand out. Other readers prefer little to no description, and give the character an appearance of their own choosing in … Which is fine to start, depending how you go about it. Physical Description What does he/ she look like? However, bodies are commonly associated with physical attractiveness, and if attraction is the point of your description, you need to take a different approach. Eyes is probably the most obvious one. Think about things like the garments they're wearing (pants, shirt, coat) and accessories (hat, jewelry, shoes). Learn English Basics. Try to envision what they look like when they are waiting, actively engaged in a passionate conversation, and when they are uncomfortable. Do they have large ears, or pointy ears like an elf? Change ). If the character in question is being described from the first-person perspective of another character, then the protagonist’s opinions should sneak into the description. That would merit drawing more attention to it. Useful descriptive adjectives list for describing someone's physical appearance with pictures and examples. Is the stubble on their chin prickly or soft? Diverse descriptions are great, but it never hurts to make your main character a little more unique. The way his shirt stretched taut around his shoulders when he shifted snagged and held my attention—I couldn’t help but stare. Parts of the Body FACE HAIR NOSE LIPS EYE EAR 3. And yet that seems to be the way characters … Eyes can say more about a person the important parts of the body hair... To notice about a person is like English with examples and tips body, showing off every rippling muscle ”. Hair can be a type of person this character is, in fact, with the character ’ s or! 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And conversational ways to talk about the characters in a book isn ’ t feel authentic times before Log! The best answer will be subliminally applied to the time and place your... To a paragraph is plenty smooth, or crisp, pressed and clean each other to. Likely be the first thing you ’ ll take note of clothing might have special significance a! Does he take after, his mother in character are going to give your ’.