Charles Yallowitz published two blog posts about the difficulties of physical descriptions on his ‘The Legends of Windemere’ blog. I decided both are worth sharing. And here they are. Thank you very much, Charles!
The Physical Description: A Necessary & Surprisingly Difficult Piece
I think we can take this for granted. Physical descriptions come off a little like a ‘duh’ concept. We need to know what our characters look like to some extent. Otherwise, every reader gets their own visual with no similarities. Not necessarily a bad thing until people begin fighting over it. You also lose a dimension if you avoid it entirely. Yes, we have a personality, actions, and words, but there can be a sense of lacking if we don’t have even a basic appearance. This goes for places too, but we’re going to focus on characters for this week. So, why is this?
Readers have these things called the five senses . . . Oh, that’s going too far back into the details. We all know this. We also know that an author should try very hard to hit as many of them as possible. This is much easier…
Questions 3: How Do You Describe the Physical?
It’s been a week with a topic that was more difficult than I expected. You would think doing a physical description is basic and easy. It’s part of a foundation for a character and a story when your goal is to create an image in the reader’s head. Everyone has their own opinion and strategy. So, let’s not beat around the bush and end the week by opening the floor:
- How important is physical description to you as an author?
- What tip would you have for a new author struggling with this?
- What is the funniest thing you’ve done with a physical description? (This can be accidental or on purpose. For me, it would be the switching eye color on Luke Callindor.)