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Forums Fiction Characters Character description critiques/game Reply To: Character description critiques/game

#133578
Rose
@rose-colored-fancy

@joelle-stone

Hi Joelle!

Here’s my opinion:

Your description is good, but I think you’re getting slightly too bogged down in the details. (I do that too, like, always XD)

If you give your descriptions all in one place, (eye color, build, age, hair color, clothing) readers tend to forget or skip over it, because they’re more interested in what the character is doing. *Sheepishly hides older writing that dumps all the characters’ characteristics in one massive paragraph*.

When you’re introducing a character, the biggest thing to focus on is getting their essence across. Like, their general attitude.

Btw, comparing family members is an excellent way to get descriptions across. I use it all the time. Like, too much XD

Also, your POV character is watching them from some distance, and he/she is probably more focused on who they are than what they look like exactly. So, I’d split up the description. Give a short, general description first, then later, when your POV character actually meets them face-to-face, you can go into more detail. Your POV character can’t see their freckles and eye color when they’re all the way over there.

I understand how tempting it is to put in all those lovely details that are So. Cool! but if you sprinkle them in slowly, they’ll get the attention they deserve.

Here’s an example of what I mean: (I’m just going to use your description real quick, and I’ll probably get it wrong, but you see what I mean XD)

~~~~

Two boys, near my age, strode (Or whatever other variation of ‘walk’ fits them best) along the path. One was almost a head taller, he was clearly the elder. He fingered the sword at his side, staring into the bushes with an annoyed scowl that told me he was more than ready to fight anything that happened to pop up. He tossed his head in irritation, trying to throw his unkempt brown hair out of his eyes without letting go of the sword or the pack he carried.

The smaller idly swung a bag of what appeared to be sling pebbles by his side, absently fiddling with a long strap of leather that must be his sling. He seemed more interested in his boots than any potential danger that might appear.

~~~

I may have gotten a lot wrong, but you can see what I mean XD I got the impression that the older one is more of a leader, and he’s more down-to-earth, and that the younger is a bit dreamier.

A way to keep the scene moving and give a description of the characters at the same time is to describe their expressions, posture, and actions. I’ve found this can give you an instant impression of the character’s personalities.

Hope this helped!

 


@this-is-not-an-alien

*(riffling through pages and pages of actions with indirect detail here and there nothing clumped together enough to to copy paste)*

That’s a totally valid way to do it! I use that for the smaller details, though I do try to give a quick description of characters when you ‘meet’ them.

That’s an excellent description! I love how you use his actions to incorporate the description. It carries a lot of character, and Alessio sounds like an interesting character! I wonder what happened to him…

I get the impression that he’s kind of insecure/shy, and that he’s been through some stuff XD

"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

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