Writing Tip — 58


I belong to a number of writing groups on Facebook. I’m sure many of you belong to writing groups as well. What surprises me is how many writers and would-be writers are concerned with how their character should look. I’m here to tell you that their appearance is the least of your concerns. You should concentrate on what motivates your character in the story, what problems does that character have that might hinder their progress to a successful conclusion? What secrets do they have that the antagonist can use against them to further impede their progress?

Now, if a character is unusually tall, short, fat, thin, or has a prominent scar or something, that’s ok to mention. The scar could have been left by a fight, a beating, or an accident they were in. Something that could be used in the story, that might affect how the character behaves or reacts to certain situations.

Your readers are more concerned with what your characters think, feel, and how they act, not how they dress every day or how they fix their hair every day. Adding unneeded descriptions of your characters does nothing except slow the story down. I know when I’m reading and come across a laundry list description of a character, I skip over it.

About Anna Dobritt

Anna Dobritt is an independent eBook author and an indie publisher of RPG PDFs and fantasy maps through Cartography Unlimited for RPGs. She loves to read and write, and lives in Michigan. Anna enjoys watching Dr. Who, both the classic episodes from the 1960s-1980s and the current episodes. Anna has three trilogies in the queue: Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe – Volume 1: The Beginning has been released, and Volume 2: Discovery, is going through the editing and revision process, with plans to self-publish in 2016. Volume 3: Truth is currently being written. Two other trilogies are The Archivist — Lenara Lenquil Adventures, and the Guardian Blades Trilogy. Anna has self-published Volume 1 of the Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe titled The Beginning; three short stories: The Hunter, First Raven, Raven Voice; a novelette titled Raven Flight, and a collection of short fiction titled Whispers from Within. Where the imagination soars on glowing wings! May the words ever flow!
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8 Responses to Writing Tip — 58

  1. adeleulnais says:

    Wise words. Do you think that with fantasy characters there should be at least a small descriptive so that their differences are known to the reader?

  2. Pingback: Writing Tip — 58 – Don Massenzio's Blog

  3. I like to apply the advice about setting to characters. Don’t mention what’s “normal” about them in the world, mention what’s unique.

    Then again, I do compare similarities to mom’s hair, and dad’s eyes.

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