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Looks, Schmooks

I was reading through my current work in progress, and, as I was reading, I realized that, while I went into great detail describing the people and places that my main character was coming across, but not once did I talk about my main character's looks. Oy. How did I let that happen?? I guess part of it was because I have such a clear image of my main character in my head that I have never thought to describe her. How silly of me.

So instead of a writing exercise today, we're going to do a little character development prompt.

What does your main character look like? What are his or her distinguishing features? Does he / she have any tattoos or piercings? Scars? Is he / she tall? Overweight? Etc. Be as specific as possible. If you must, be as precise as his or her pore size. Leave nothing to the imagination.


Natalie Rose Hansley is a 24 year old woman with red hair, green eyes, and a round face. She has a light dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose, and the freckles continue sparsely along the rest of her body. Every once in a while, her skin is marked by a noticeably darker freckle than the rest. When she was young, she called these her "polka dots." Her mother still refers to them as such. Other than these dots, she has no scars, piercings, or tattoos.

She is tall for a female at just under six feet, and she carries herself well. She was taught from a very young age to stand straight, and years of ballet lessons trained her back to be as straight as an arrow. She walks with a certain gracefulness, but from time to time this self-taught poise is undermined by a natural awkardness, tripping over absolutely nothing at all or dropping something that she had been holding quite steadily a moment before.

She has an hourglass figure, and the curves are emphasized by her slightly overweight frame. Her body is only sightly pudgy from a life of luxury (around 15-20 pounds over), but after taking a single look at her one would see that she is not doughy. Indeed, she is stocky and full of strength.

Her hair falls to her mid-back in thick, fine waves, and her trademark red locks are an inheritance from her mother. Her eyes, a vivid green, are also from her mother's side of the gene pool. In fact, the only thing that Natalie got from her father was her height and her strong jawline.


I'm probably going to go back and add to this later on, but for now this is it. I think it's a good start.

So what about you guys? What does your main character look like? What about your other characters? Do you have any bizarre-looking people? Maybe one of your characters looks like this??Fill me in! I'd love to meet your characters. :)



Hi, found your blog via Twitter.

I have 4 (and counting) main characters, but...

Kai is on the tall end of normal height, about 5 foot 8, a willowy girl with long, haphazard, wavy red hair, a pointed chin, sun-tanned/sun-burnt skin liberally freckled, and a perpetual thoughtful frown. She tends towards blue in her clothing, loose, flowing clothes in cotton for the most part - skirts rather than jeans, gauze shirts and batik scarves.

She has no piercings but a few scars of the sort you get from a rough-and-tumble childhood outside - a skinned-knee scar here, a bumped-chin scar there. She moves now with unconscious grace she obviously didn't have as a small child.

Her body is toned but not built - she's active without intentionally working out - with just enough curve to suggest that, were she to slow down, she'd lose that thinness quickly.

[I also don't tend to put much description inline in my stories, so I wrote appendices for many of my favorite characters - - describing them.]
Unknown said…
I have done that before and what's terrible is that I hadn't caught it! Thanks to my wonderful husband for keeping me informed!!!!

My character Lauren has red hair, green eyes (how funny by the way) very tall, thin and has a rather skinny face. She isn't super attractive but with the trials she is going through it doesn't matter. She is strong willed, kind and sarcastic. That's about all I have so far, she's perfect in my head!!!

I am so sorry that I haven't commented on your fabulous blog! I've been so busy (NO EXCUSES!!!) but I've missed your blog and the inspiration you give me is fabulous!!!
Guinevere said…
I also tend to skimp on descriptions of my MC's. The current WIP is all from her POV -- I've only managed to work in a few details so far in the first four chapters, as I don't want to do an awkward mirror assessment of her own looks. Ah, the challenges!

The MC for Shards, April, is a slender, athletic blond of average height. She has long blond hair (which she dyes "a lighter shade of blond"), blue eyes, and a pale complexion with pink cheeks and a smattering of freckles. She has high, rounded cheekbones, lush red lips and mischievous arching eyebrows. She's pretty gorgeous -- but she has to be, or who would put up with her?

The MC for the current WIP (named Lauren like yours, Jen, oddly enough - I guess it's a popular name right now!) is a slightly tall (5'8") biracial girl (black and white). Lauren has almond-shaped hazel eyes, medium brown skin, and shoulder-length black hair. Like most people, she has scars across her knees from a childhood biking accident, and a scar on her arm from being hit by a car when she was running in HS. She has an oval-shaped face, a wide, expressive mouth and even features.

I can totally *see* these people. I wish I had a police sketch artist or something to draw them out for me. :p

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