character-description

so I’m looking on MTI at the roles in Newsies (for theaters to license and perform the show) and the character descriptions are cracking me up

apparently it’s going to be totally chill to have a fifteen year old say “i’m ten. almost.” 

race is the only newsie outside of the mains that gets a character description

while all the other ensemble newsies get 

and then there’s my personal favorite 

  • someone: you can tell a lot about someone from their favorite fictional characters!
  • me, nervously shoving all of my sarcastic trashbag characters with daddy issues and poor decision-making skills out of sight: um
MTV’s Season 2 Character Descriptions for Shadowhunters

Clary:

This season, Clary finds herself at crossroads between her mundane life and her new Shadowhunter life. “In a way this season is about finding where your true home is,” Swimmer told MTV News.

Jace:

The Institute is on lockdown when Shadowhunters returns — but Clary isn’t going to sit around and do nothing while her friend, and maybe brother, Jace is still under the merciless Valentine’s thumb. Things aren’t looking for great for this Shadowhunter. 

Simon:

Poor Simon. Someone so pure shouldn’t have to endure this much pain, but it wouldn’t be Shadowhunters if Simon wasn’t suffering somehow. “There’s something that breaks your heart about Simon,” Slavkin said. “We have this great moment where he tries to go home again, but he can’t … It’s hard for him to let go of that because it’s his mom, and he loves his mom, and he loves his sister. It’s devastating.”

Izzy:

Watching Clary and Izzy develop a friendship in Season 1 was one of the show’s strengths. This season, however, something happens midway through the first 10 episodes that causes some serious friction between the two Shadowhunters.

Alec:

Expect Alec to struggle with the fact that The Clave, the institution he’s built his entire life around, might not actually be the good guys.

Magnus:

At the end of the first season, Magnus and Alec shared their first kiss, and Season 2 picks up right where they left off. Meanwhile, the High Warlock of Brooklyn will also take Simon under his wing and show him what life in the Shadow World is all about, and we’ll learn more about his colorful history with Simon’s sire, Raphael.

Luke:

This season, Luke is finally part of the action. His history in Idris will be explored through a series of flashbacks, and bits and pieces of his life before he was a werewolf are revealed.

source

Descriptive words for characters: personality traits (pt 1)

for studying, creative writing, book reviews, essays, fanfiction & other things

Nervous / scared easily

  • startled
  • afraid
  • spooked
  • tense
  • high-strung
  • on edge
  • fidgety
  • overwrought

Happy

  • bashful
  • in high spirits
  • elated
  • contented
  • joyful
  • overjoyed
  • jubilant
  • gleeful

grumpy/sad

  • sullen
  • down
  • peeved/peevish
  • cantankerous
  • querulous
  • dissatisfied
  • irritable

cold/doesn’t care

  • impassive
  • (wilfully)ignorant
  • coldblooded
  • unfeeling
  • apathetic
  • unsymphatetic
  • cold-hearted
  • blah
  • flat
  • unmoved
  • deadened

angry/reactive/mean

  • dramatic
  • enraged
  • heated
  • offended
  • inflamed
  • provoked
  • irrated
  • livid
  • scornful
  • splenetic
  • cranky
  • belligerent
  • acerbic

confident/brave

  • collected
  • unwavering
  • certain
  • composed
  • steady

has a lot of fantasy/lighthearted/playful

  • whimsical
  • light
  • blithe
  • eccentric
  • quirky
  • joyful
  • sympathetic

sudden changes/moodswings

  • impulsive
  • any way the wind blows
  • capricious
  • vagarious
  • unstable
  • volatile
  • changeable

sneaky/evil/secretive

  • cunning
  • clandestine
  • two-timing
  • insidious
  • fraudulent
  • deceptive
  • shady
  • surreptitious
  • wily
  • devious

you can trust this person/honest

  • reliable
  • loyal
  • respectable
  • solid
  • safe
  • responsible
  • true-hearted

different from most common/different from norm/strange(some positve, some negative,some neutral)

  • divergent
  • non conforming
  • atypical
  • heteroclite
  • peculiar
  • odd
  • bizarre
  • weird
  • anomalous
  • ludicrous
  • cooky
  • absurd
  • daft
  • bananas

anonymous asked:

I'm an amateur author who has absolutely no idea how to introduce characters. When I try to, it always ends up sounding really wooden and out of place, even though it's a (very) important part of the story. Do you have any advice on this?

So, here’s the first question: Is this a character who your narrator or other characters already know? Because unless this person literally doesn’t know anybody else in the story from Adam, I’d say dispense with introductions completely. If you have a first person or even third person close narrator and the best friend just walked into the room, there’s no reason to go, “My best friend, Charles, walked into the room. He’s six feet tall and has curly blond hair and a tattoo of a tomato on his left shoulder that he got when he lost a bet to his sister in 1995.” Just go, “Charles barged in with a box of busted light bulbs and said ‘Jim, I need you to help me hide these, fast.’” Character description is like description of anything else: give it to us as it becomes necessary. Nobody’s going to sit there going WHO IS THIS CHARLES PERSON AND WHAT BUSINESS DOES HE HAVE IN THIS STORY? Let it come to light naturally. Tell us about Charles’s tattoo when he takes his shirt off to staunch the bleeding when he cuts his hand open on one of those lightbulbs. Tell us he has a sister when the phone rings and it’s her. Tell us he used to have a drinking problem when someone offers him a beer and he turns it down. You don’t need to give us a character’s whole personality at a jump. 

If this is a brand new character nobody’s met before, here’s my rule of thumb: give the reader whatever the first thing is that you’d notice about them when they walk in the room. One or two sentences are usually enough, if you make them count, and then you can carry on doing that thing where you fill in the backstory as it becomes relevant. Here are a few examples from my current WIP, just to give you an idea what I mean. These are all the first sentences in which these characters are mentioned at all:

  • “Janet had appeared in the doorway, a tall forbidding blonde with crows’ feet deep as drainage ditches and a smile like the Wicked Witch of the West.”
  • “One of the reporters sat on Jackie’s right, a thirty-something blonde who would have been attractive if she wasn’t trying too hard to look twenty.”
  • “Mickey and Frank DeLuca were the first-stringers, called in on nights likely to be the rowdiest. Both were dark-haired, dark-eyed, and built like Rottweilers, heavy with muscle and bone.” 

Obviously a lot more information about these people will eventually come to light. But you don’t need that right away. Start with what’s obvious. Then dig. Hope this helps!

Little Witch Academia characters, a summary:
  • Looks like a cinnamon roll but could actually kill you: Akko
  • Looks like they could kill you but is actually a cinnamon roll: Diana
  • Looks like a cinnamon roll and is actually a cinnamon roll: Lotte
  • Looks like they could kill you and would actually kill you: Sucy
  • The sinnamon roll: Shiny Chariot
Dialogue Breakdown

Dialogue is an important part of storytelling. While I’m not perfect by any means, I definitely consider this to be my strength when it comes to writing. So hopefully I can shed some light on this subject and help those that want to improve their dialogue in some capacity.

Internalized thoughts:

  • I consider internalized thoughts dialogue said to oneself. Which is why I’m going to talk about it here.
  • I like to use dialogue for characterization, mostly. Since it really won’t move the story forward (since the character is only thinking it to themselves), I find it helps to create juxtaposition between what is said and thought.
  • Examples of how to use what is said vs. what is thought to create drama
    • Character is quiet or seems that way, and thinks a LOT more than what they say
    • A character is a liar, so they may say one thing, but we don’t know it’s a lie until they think it
    • A character is trying to examine someone or something else silently
    • A mute character
    • A character that reads minds—can be challenging but fun to write

Speech:

  • Speech and creating personality:
    • Think about the way someone speaks: accents, if they use curse words, if they’re always “proper” or always using slang
    • Think about what they say vs. what they won’t. Are they falsely sweet? Always challenging someone?
    • Having one character have a saying they always use is a fun way to build personality. For instance, Ron in the Harry Potter books always saying “Bloody hell”. You can come up with your own creative “curse words” that aren’t actually curse words. That will definitely up the personality of the writing and characters.
  • Advice for writing dialogue
    • If you have trouble varying the speech between characters, I’d suggest 1. Listening to people around you and what they say and how. 2. To practice. 
    • Think about various emotions and how that can change the tone, words chosen, etc. Speech and dialogue will really speed up scenes. So if you feel like a chapter is paced a little bit too slowly, adding some dialogue between characters will speed it up.
    • If you’re stronger at description and find you never add enough dialogue, look through your piece and think about various areas that could be changed to dialogue instead of description OR scenes that could have a small but interesting conversation. 
    • On the same note, sometimes it’s easier to describe a conversation than write it all out. 
      • For example, conversations that happened in the past that someone is describing, conversations that perhaps are important to know happened in general but not in detail, etc. 
    • You don’t always have to write out the FULL conversation. A good example of this is phone conversations. Writing out all the pleasantries (greetings and polite “how are you”s) really aren’t necessary. Get the main “point” of the conversation. I.e. why it is important for the reader to know.
    •  Not every line of dialogue needs a dialogue tag (i.e. “she said”). If it’s between two people, and they’re really going at it (because they’re angry or they’re playfully bantering or something), the dialogue tags become unnecessary and honestly bog down the quick flow. Just clue the readers every few lines or so. 
    • Read your conversations out loud! Does anything sound awkward or unnatural? Hearing it will help clue you into those areas that could be changed or revised. 

Happy to answer any questions. Happy Writing!

Indicating Race through Letters and Texts

I’m planning a story that would take place in a college and be entirely told through the characters emails, texts, articles (one character’s on the school paper), social media, etc. It’s basically a light hearted rom-com that takes place during a college theater production.

Do you have any idea for how I can indicate ethnicity in this format? Specifically, I’ve got a Chinese-American hero and an African American heroine. Since people don’t normally give physical descriptions of other people in casual emails and texts, I’m trying to think of things I can do in addition to character names to communicate ethnicities. I’ve also got an Indian-American young woman, some more African American characters, and some white American characters. Any ideas, or directions I should look into?

Thanks! I love your blog. I really, really appreciate all the work you do.

It’s likely your characters will talk about themselves, their family, cultural aspects and racial and/or cultural grievances that make up parts of their everyday lives. Some examples:

  • A character mentions their aunt making their favorite Chinese dish for a holiday.
  • A characters faces or witnesses a racial micro-aggression and vents to friends or social media.
  • A character feels self-conscious about their looks and/or is complimented for their traits by a friend (see how to do this tastefully here)
  • A character on the school paper writes about social issues that affect her life (or her people’s) and reflects.
  • A character plays a character in theater known to be a certain race.

Please check out Defying White as Default which is similar to your question, except the asker’s story is a journal.

~Mod Colette

little-mad-margaret  asked:

How important is it to describe a character's physical appearance? Like aside from their basic features, can you get away with not describing them much?

There seems to be mixed opinions on this one going down the range, but here’s what I think: yes and no. Describing the general appearance like height, eye and hair colour and stuff like that isn’t super necessary but it helps to give a general idea of the character. What is good to include are any unique characteristics that might show part of their character. Do they have a scar? Where is it and what might it be from? There are things like how a character walks, nervous ticks, calloused hands and the like that will tell the reader more about who the character is than how tall they are (unless there’s something particular about that). That’s not to say you can’t tell us your character has brown eyes but try not to make it a laundry list of traits. Work it in smoothly as part of the story rather than an awkward tangent that’s just a list of characteristics.

So yes, you can get away with not describing your character’s physical traits very much at all and instead let their actions create the picture in the reader’s mind. At the same time, don’t make them a disembodied voice. Think of it like this, if you were asked to describe a stranger you might only mention the basics, but if asked to describe a friend you’d have a lot more to say about who they are. You should know your character at least as well as you know your friends and probably more so.