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Describing Characters Through 'Showing'
Describing characters can be a little bit of a ‘telling’ minefield. While you are almost certainly going to end up with some ‘told’ description of a character, try to keep it to a minimum, ‘showing’ things about their appearance through action and dialogue instead.
Instead of ‘She was short’, use ‘She clambered onto the chair, her legs dangling several inches above the floor’
Instead of ‘He was tall’, use ‘He ducked under the doorway’
Instead of ‘He was a smoker’, use ‘He shook my hand, his yellowed fingers leaving the scent of cigarettes on mine’
Instead of ‘She had bad teeth’, use ‘She laughed, instinctively covering her open mouth with her hand’
So you see how a lot of information can be shown to your readers rather than simply told to them.
And remember that your readers have imaginations, imaginations that they enjoy using. Let them fill in the gaps - don’t give them a detailed head to toe description laying out mole and strand of hair.
Characters so far in CoHF
- Clary: Sebby! Oh! I love my big brother!! He's so protective! Wait what?
- Jace: I like war...it brings me peace. Oh look at that, I accidentally burned the house down. Oops, damn this heavenly fire.
- Alec: JACE BROKE MY PHONE!! HOW WILL I CALL MAGNUS?! I miss Magnus.
- Isabelle: Soz Alec, just gonna use your room for a steamy make out session with my boy Simon.
- Magnus: My cat's not dead. Go away, I'm not your pet Warlock. I miss Alec.
- Simon: Still a vampire.
- Sebastian: Kill da boyfriend? Check. Do da girl? Check (Mystery girl?). World domination? Working progress.