I’ve never been the kind of person who likes designing how a character looks. For me it’s almost as tiring as writing a first draft–I’m very indecisive so designing a character’s looks is not really my thing. What happens when I create a character goes something like this: I create a scene in my head (usually when I’m sleeping because dreams represent the best of us all) where there are characters who associate in order to do something, or it’s a scene that develops characters, and there they are!
My characters aren’t really what they look like, they’re more what they do, because that’s what makes them a character when I write. They are in the book because they are part of something bigger than themselves that stands out to me. So really, for example, if my character Bob appeared in a dream to me where he saved another character Joe from falling off a cliff, then the baseline for designing the character Bob becomes the characteristic ‘bravery’. And I just work up from there, because let me tell you, I’m a way better personality designer than I am an appearance designer.
I’m going to use one of my female characters from my main WIP right now (I must be confident in this because it actually took me a while to decide which character, and I even initially picked two, but I ended up with this girl). I’m not really sure about her name yet because I am CRAZY about names and they have to be exactly right: unique, but pleasant to the tongue, and easy to say. So you won’t hear me say any name (much apologies) but I will still try to describe her, even though most of my WIP’s are super secret right now.
Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)
I don’t have a photo and even if I did it would be something I drew, and obviously that’s not very accurate 😄 so I’ll stick with the first option.
The way she looks brings a sense of curiosity, because she’s the case where she used to be beautiful. She is definitely memorable even though she might not be described as ‘beautiful’ with lightly bronzed skin accompanied by silky silver-white hair and bright gold eyes framed with heavy lashes. Her face is very angular, with a set of sharp cheekbones and a strong jawline.
Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.
He supposed she was something different, with those rich golden eyes that he despised. It tore at him how he could never understand those gold eyes–which was something else entirely to his ego since he prized his ability to read people well, after all, he was the pirate captain–when she let wisps of her silvery hair fall over those eyes whenever she didn’t want people to notice her. It didn’t work, because often when people were as famed and powerful as she was, hair had little to no power over her visibility.
What is the first thing people might notice about them?
Her hair. They’ll probably notice her hair, question her age, realize who she is, and then either run away or bow probably. In that exact order.
What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)
Can I say her golden eyes are her unique feature? 😄 She has multiple raw, jagged lengthy scars across her back from being lashed for a crime she didn’t commit.
In the book, it is set three years after when that happened, so it is important to remember that these scars never fully closed–they are still raw and tear easily which is why they stand out so much. This is something that continues to extend her PTSD because she can never fully forget what happened to her.
How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)
She is rather tall, I mean, she’s a couple inches above the average height (so say she is 5’8 or 5’9 ish) for women per se, but she isn’t startlingly tall. She is slender, but appropriately so because she is tall. She has strong (not burly, strong) shoulders and leanly muscled legs. However, she does have soft (OMG NOT CURVY) hips and a smaller waistline.
What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?
Well, she is suffering from an extreme case of PTSD. Before she experienced what she experienced, she was proud and witty
and had a dirty dirty dirty playful joking-like mind and carried her height extravagantly. After, or presently, she stands tall but kind of folded in, with her hands tight against her body and her shoulders kind of tight. She’s more tense and anxious now, but she doesn’t slouch.
Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?
She before the trauma would have worn a dress or skirts and definitely some pretty seashell-framed hat or something, but after the trauma, she would probably not be having a lazy day. She’s hard on herself to perfect things…because, well, people do things under PTSD that they wouldn’t normally do.
And if she did have a lazy day*, then she would not be going out anywhere. Where she used to live, she would probably wear some type of cotton cloak, rather than the ordinate fur cloak, over some kind of unpressed blouse and high boots, as long as she went out. If she didn’t go out, she would wear some kind of loose chiton and be moody.
Also is it just me, or whenever the term ‘lazy day’ comes up, do you also think of summer and beaches and lit shades?
Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?
She wears sapphire earrings. The trick with this is that it’s an illusion, they aren’t forged earrings, they’re ice earrings. And about the trademarks, I believe her trademark would be her eyes. Even though they aren’t clothing or accessories, they’re kind of built into her face, so I suppose she does wear her eyes on a regular basis.
I think I’m stretching the definition of ‘clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark’ 😄
Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
Well, when she was little, she was much prettier. She had dark, rich black hair, but it faded into silver-white so now she has silvery hair. The most she might have been shamed, however, is not because of her looks and is rather more because of how she’s different which contradicts where she comes from, so maybe where she comes from influences her looks so her looks do have something to do with her getting bullied? I don’t know. I feel like I’m going in a never ending circle with this.
Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?
Once again, her hair. And this time, probably her back, too. She doesn’t like her scars at all, because they are so sensitive and prone to reopening, which is a LOT OF PAIN JUST ASK HER POOR THING. She’s FLIRTY af, but then again, it’s hard to be flirty when you feel like it’s time to give up on life because PTSD is eating you. She liked abnormal, pretty things, and she loved wearing uncommon dresses and being sarcastic. Now, since she is suffering what she is suffering, she no longer cares how she looks. She sees the same weak person whenever she looks at herself in the mirror
on the wall and all it does is infuriate her.
-Do you have any current WIP’s? Tell me how it’s going! How long have you been working on them, and do you prefer working on one WIP at a time or are you comfortable with working on several WIP’s at a time? I try to work on one at a time, but sometimes when I get tired/stressed/bored/annoyed, working on a different WIP can be fun.
-Do you participate in Beautiful People? If you did one so far this month, be sure to leave me a link! I would love to see it, and any post relating writing always interests me. Anything regarding WIP characters 🙂
-What is your opinion about my character so far? I can’t ever share too much because a lot of what I work on is private, but I do try to share what I can and I thought sharing this with you would be fun. I tried to be simple and not overexplain, so from the vague stuff that you know right now, tell me what you think about B?
Right now, I am not even too sure about posting this because I am kind of nervous (I don’t share much of my writing but I love you guys and I really don’t want to delete this and be done with it because I did do some thinking and some work writing this) but then again, I don’t see any reason to continue this if I’m going to delete this in which case I’ll be the only one reading this, so I suppose we are posting! 😄 that took waaay too long.