Remember how that scar on Harry Potter’s face became the identifying characteristic!
While writing stories, the description of how the character looks like, helps the reader to visualize and make an instant connection to the character. Here, I describe some tips that I personally found useful.
1. Give Unique Facial Features to your character - Remember that scar on Harry Potter’s face! By giving them unique features, you may be able to generate curiosity and a lot of questions about the character.
2. Use Parallelism - Instead of describing the features plainly and struggling to find the right words and still fail at giving the right description, use simile or metaphor to describe the character’s physical characteristics.
Eg. Use ‘When her lips curled up, it felt like the warm sunshine in winter.’ instead of ‘She had a beautiful smile.’
Be imaginative in the similes you use. ‘Eyes deep like an ocean’ sounds cliche.
3. Reveal Emotions by describing gestures - Instead of Using adjectives to describe the facial expression, use gestures to reveal the character's emotion.
Eg. ‘She looked angry.’ can be rewritten as ‘Her eyes spread wide and lips quivered, whether it was due to anger or frustration, she didn’t know.’
4. Instead of using only facial expressions to describe the character, make good use of body language of the character. Wrinkling nose, bulging eyes are too overused.
A good way to improve describing characters is to have an observational eye. Notice the people around, how they behave when they are bored, angry, sad, happy. Another way is to watch movies, read more books and make a note.
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