There are a zillion “how-to write” articles swirling in the ethers. Once in a while one appears in my in-box that resonates. This article on writing descriptively about characters is an excellent reference.
Here are 11 secrets to keep in mind as you breathe life into your characters through description that Rebecca finds to be very important in writing descriptively.
- Description that relies solely on physical attributes too often turns into what Janet Burroway calls the “all-points bulletin.”
When we describe a character, factual information alone is not sufficient, no matter how accurate it might be. The details must appeal to our senses. Phrases that merely label (like tall, middle-aged, and average) bring no clear image to our minds. Since most people form their first impression of someone through visual clues, it makes sense to describe our characters using visual images. Green eyes is a beginning, but it doesn’t go far enough. Are they pale green or dark green? Even a simple adjective can strengthen a detail. If the adjective also suggests a metaphor—forest green, pea green, or
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