Physical Description Definition – Learning Drives .When I was a child, I loved sweet series books like Sweet Valley High and Baby-sitter’s Club. Sweet Valley High’s twin protagonists were described as having “Pacific blue eyes,” blond hair and a perfect size six-figure body. I provide information about my height, hair color and eye color as well as body shape. These descriptions are too generic and don’t help the reader visualize your characters.
How can you describe the physical characteristics of your characters? Learn from other writers. These are some tips and examples, as well as examples from some of our favorite writers.
1. It doesn’t have to be precise all the time.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby doesn’t really tell the reader the color of Daisy. But does that matter? We can still see her: “Her face had bright things in it, bright eye and a passionate mouth.
2. Use figurative language.
“I… quickly spotted her blonde hair like a flame… The edge her white kimono flapped open in the wind and she could see her breasts, low and full. Her beauty was sharp as a knife.” – White Oleander Janet Fitch
Mrs. Freeman used two other expressions, one forward and one in reverse, to communicate with her family. Her forward expression was steady, and she drove like a heavy truck. Her eyes were steady and never turned to the left or right, but she followed the story as if it was a yellow line.
For example, you can use the same description in a humorous or sardonic piece: “He was a funny-looking kid who became a hilarious-looking youth–tall, weak, and shaped as a Coca-Cola bottle.” – Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut
5. Include physical descriptions in the prose.
It doesn’t mean that you have to describe every character in the scene. Instead, give brief descriptions in multiple scenes. This is a common practice among your favorite writers.
6. Describe actions that reveal physical characteristics.
“She’d pulled her hair into a loose, high bun while we were talking. She had shorter hair around her face.” – Prep Curtis Sittenfeld
7. An unreliable first-person narrator may have biased opinions about the appearances of the subject.
“I was and am, despite més malheurs an extraordinarily handsome male; slow moving, tall with soft dark hair, and a gloomy, but all-the more seductive cast deed.” – Lolita Vladimir Nabakov
8. Discuss clothing and accessories.
Today Charis is wearing a mauve cotton jersy gown with a fuzzy grey cardigan and orange-and-aqua scarf that has meadow flowers draping around her neck. “Her long, straight hair is grey-blonde with a parted middle. She has her reading glasses up.
9. Describe how characters move and carry themselves.
“She was a slim, small-breasted girl with a erect carriage which she accentuated by throwing herself backwards at her shoulders like a young cadet.” – The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
10. A little description can make a big difference.
This tip may be the most important. This tip is perhaps the most important. You don’t need to describe a character head-to-toe. Instead, you can simply look at what they look like. A brief description of the character and some clues scattered throughout the prose can help readers to form and retain a picture. She was all fat and she huffed every time she breathed.” – Raymond Carver, “Kindling”.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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