Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Character Appearance

Do you pay much attention to a character's appearance?

Confession: As a reader, I generally don't.

Perhaps this is because I rarely "see" the main character. When I read, I wriggle down into their skin and become them. So unless they're looking in a mirror, I don't give much thought to their eye color or face shape or hair color unless it's some intrinsic part of the plot of the book.

Consequently, since I don't care much about appearance as a reader, I don't spend too much time on the appearance of my own characters except when it is something one of my characters is focused on (for instance, in the case of one character analyzing another because they are attracted to that character, or trying to figure out their origins, etc). I guess to me, those kinds of things are secondary to personality. I do try to put in SOME descriptions for the sake of everyone who likes that kind of thing, though. :)

Just one of my quirks as both a reader and a writer.


  1. I totes know what you mean! I'm sure it's different for everybody but especially when I'm reading/writing a first person narrative I find descriptions of the main character less interesting.

    Sure! I like to read or know about insecurities, but not much more. When it's first person POV in particular I love to know more what other people look like to them.


  2. As a reader: while I don't spend too much time picturing them, when referenced, I still have a fairly clear picture of some characters in my mind--and sometimes it's not how the author describes them. So, if they didn't mention a character was blond early on, and then they start mentioning it a lot in later books, I might have pictured them a brunette already, and it annoys me to no end. This has happened a couple times for me.

    So then, when I write, I tend to mention just a few details for those who would like a picture, but I try not to repeat these details too much later so that it doesn't distract.

    Good topic :)


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