The vast majority of character descriptions are just lame.
They recycle typical ideas about hair, eye color, and body, giving you more information about how the character looks in a dress or suit than the kind of information you need to get to know them intimately.
The first thing to do when describing a character is to choose a category that is not overused. How to try to describe:
Describing your character in an innovative way will help keep the reader's interest. You want your reader to ask questions about this character, not just to learn something about him, but to build mystery.What made them like this? How long have they been like this? Is someone behind them or is it paranoia from past experiences?Questions like these are what keep the reader reading.
You don't just need physical descriptions. Consider: "How is this person seen by another character?" Do they seem dangerous, seductive, reserved, suspicious? The way another character sees another person also provides information about that person. Are they attracted? repelled? Curious?
Another thing to keep in mind is the type of person he is despite his appearance.
- How do you think?
- What they feel?
- How do they view/react to certain situations compared to how others would?
- What is your state of mind?
Here's a list of brilliant character description examples to give you an idea and help you create your own:
3Categories: Modern Literature, Literature, Popular
1. Vladimir Nabokov,lolita
“…Her skin glowing in the neon light filtering through the slits in the blinds on the paved patio, her soot-black lashes matted together, her grave gray eyes as empty as ever.”
2. Marilynne Robinson,Housekeeping
” … in recent years it continued to settle and began to shrink. Her mouth curved forward and her forehead fell back, and her skull glowed pink and dappled with a mere mist of hair, hanging over her head like the remembered form of an altered thing. . It seemed that the nimbus of humanity was fading and she was turning into a monkey. Tendrils grew from her eyebrows and thick white hair sprouted on her lip and chin. When she wore an old dress, her bust was empty and the hem swept the floor. Old hats fell over her eyes. She would sometimes put her hand over her mouth and laugh, with her eyes closed and her shoulder shaking."
3. Jeffrey Eugenides,The marriage plot
“Phyllida's hair was where her power resided. She was expensively set in a smooth dome, like a band truss for the performance of that longtime act, Her Face.
4. China Mieville,She is a census taker
“His hand was over his eyes. He looked like a failed soldier. The dirt seemed so encrusted on him that the lines on his face seemed to write.
5. Mikhail Bulgakov,The Master and Margarita
“And then the hot air froze in front of him, and from him a strange-looking transparent man materialized. A little head in a jockey cap, a small checkered jacket made of air ... The man was eight feet tall, but the shoulders were very narrow, incredibly thin, and his face, it should be noted, had a mocking expression. . .”
6. Barbara Kingsolver,The Poisonwood Bible
“Mama BekwaTataba was looking at us, a little jet-black woman. Her elbows stuck out like wings, and a huge white enameled tub filled the space above her head, remaining miraculously stable as her head moved in rapid movements from left to right.
7. John Kennedy Toole,A confederation of donkeys
“A green hunting cap pinched the top of the fleshy globe of a head. The green earmuffs, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles growing from the ears themselves, stuck out from either side like direction signs indicating two directions at once. Full, puckered lips peeked out from under a bushy black mustache, dipping down at the corners into little folds full of disapproval and potato chip crumbs. In the shadows under the green bill of his cap, the arrogant blue-and-yellow eyes of Ignatius J. Reilly gazed at the other people waiting under the clock in the D.H. Holmes, scanning the crowd for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the items, Ignatius noted, were new and expensive enough to be considered an offense against good taste and decency. Owning something new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it might even call into question one's soul.
8. AS Byatt,Group
“He was a compact, well-built man with precise features, thick, very soft black hair, and thoughtful dark brown eyes. He had an air of wariness that could change when he was feeling relaxed or happy, which he didn't often have on these difficult days, into a smile of amused friendship and pleasure that evoked feelings of warmth and something else in many women.
9. Jonathan Safran Foer,everything is illuminated
"It didn't look like anything special."
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10. Henry Lawson,the girl in the bush
“Gray eyes that get sadder than sunset or rain, fsecond heart more and more true Fsteadfast faith made steadier by watching in vain—She will wait for you at the sliding rails.
11. Ralph Ellison,Invisible Man
“I am an invisible man. No, I'm not a ghost like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe: I'm not one of his Hollywood movie ectoplasms either. I am a man of substance, of flesh and blood, fiber and liquid, and one might even say that I have a mind. I am invisible simply because people refuse to see me."
12. F. Scott Fitzgerald,The Great Gatsby
“He smiled sympathetically, much more than sympathetically. It was one of those rare smiles with an eternally confident quality that you can meet four or five times in a lifetime. He looked, or seemed to look, at the entire eternal world for an instant, and then he zeroed in on you with an irresistible bias in your favor.”
13. Thomas Wolfe,look home angel
My brother Ben's face, thought Eugene, is like a slightly yellowish piece of ivory; the tall white head of his is fiercely bound by the frown of the old man of his; your mouth is like a knife, your smile is the spark of light through a blade. His face is like a blade, a knife, and a flash of light: it is delicate and fierce, and frowns beautifully forever, and when he puts his hard white fingers and narrowed eyes on something he wants to mend, he smells. with sharp, private concentration through his long, pointed nose... his hair shines like a child's, is wrinkled and crisp as lettuce.
14. Rudyard Kipling,the jungle books
“A black shadow fell into the circle. It was Bagheera, the Black Panther, all inky black but with the panther markings that showed in certain lights like the pattern on washed-out silk. Everyone knew Bagheera and no one cared to cross his path, for he was cunning as Tabaqui, bold as the wild buffalo, and reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and skin softer than down.
15. Charles Dickens,High expectations
“[Miss Havisham] had closed infinitely more; that, in seclusion, she isolated herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that her mind, meditating alone, had become sick, as all minds do and must invert the order indicated by her Creator..."
16. John Knowles, A Separate Peace
“For such an extraordinary athlete, even though Phineas, a lower-middle-level student, had been the best athlete in school, he didn't have a spectacular build. He was my height: six foot five and a half... He weighed a hundred and fifty pounds, an annoying ten pounds more than me, flowing from legs to torso, past shoulders to arms and a strong, full neck. in one unbroken, unemphasized movement. unity of power".
17. Ambrosio Bierce,Chickamauga
"-the corpse of a woman-upturned white face, outstretched grasping hands full of grass, disheveled clothing, long dark hair matted and caked with clotted blood. Most of the forehead was torn off, and from the jagged hole protruded the brain, brimming from the temple, a frothy mass of ash, crowned with clusters of crimson spots, the work of a shell.
18. Jane Austen,pride and prejudice
“…his manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of his arrogance, his vanity, and his selfish contempt for the feelings of others, were such as to form the base of disapproval on which successive events built such unchangeable antipathy; and I hadn't met you in a month when I felt you were the last man in the world I could be persuaded to marry.
19. Marcos Twain,The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“He was in his fifties and looked like it. Her hair was long and matted and greasy, and she hung down, and you could see her eyes twinkling like she was behind the vines. Everything was black, nothing gray; as well as his long, messy whiskers. There was no color in her face where her face showed; it was white; not like another man's target, but a target to sicken the body, a target to make the flesh tremble: a tree-frog target, a fish-bellied target. As for his clothes, just rags, that was all. He had one ankle resting on the other knee; the boot on that foot was broken and two of his toes were trapped, and he moved them from time to time. His hat was lying on the floor: an old black hat with a dented top, like a lid.
20. William Golding,lord of the flies
“Inside the floating cloak he was tall, thin, and bony; and his hair was red under his black cap. His face was full of wrinkles and freckles, and he was just plain ugly.
21. Jane Austen,Persuasion
“Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character: vanity of person and situation. He had been extraordinarily handsome in his youth, and at fifty-four he was still a fine man. . . .”
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22. Andrés Lang,The book of the crimson fairy
"When the old king saw this, he foamed at the mouth with rage, looked around him like a madman, threw himself on the ground and died."
23. Jose Conrad,heart of darkness
“He was common in complexion, features, manners, and voice. He was of medium height and normal build. His eyes, the usual blue, were perhaps extraordinarily cold, and he could certainly make his gaze fall on someone as sharp and heavy as an axe... Elsewhere, there was only a faint, indefinable expression on his lips, something furtive. : a smile, not a smile, I remember, but I can't explain it.
24. Anne Bronte,The tenant of Wildfell Hall
"His heart was like a sensitive plant, which opens for a moment in the sun, but curls up and shrinks at the slightest touch of the finger or the slightest breath of wind."
25. Max Beerbohm,Zuleika Dobson
“He followed her long, lean figure with his gaze as she weaved in and out of the crowd, deviously and confidently, taking a penny from one young man's elbow, a three-penny between neck and neck of another, half a crown from another's neck. hair, and always repeating in that flute voice of yours, "Well, that's pretty weird!"
26. Aldous Huxley,amazing new world
“He had a long chin and large, rather prominent teeth, only covered, when he was not speaking, by his full, flowery lips. Old young? Thirty? Fifty? Fifty five? He was hard to tell."
27. Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
“Her skin was a deep black that would have peeled like a plum if it had cracked, but no one would have thought to get close enough to Mrs. Flores to spoil your dress, let alone snag your skin. She did not encourage familiarity. She also wore gloves.I don't think I've ever seen Mrs. Flowers laugh, but she smiles often. A slow widening of her thin black lips to reveal small, even white teeth, then the slow, effortless closure. When she decided to smile at me, she always wanted to thank her.
28. D. H. Lawrence,Lady Chatterley's lover
“But her will deserted her. A strange heaviness was in her limbs. She was giving in. She was giving up…”
29. Enrique James,The Aspern Papers
“His face was not youthful, but it was simple; It wasn't fresh but it was light. She had big eyes that weren't bright, and a lot of hair that wasn't 'combed', and long, slender hands that were possibly not clean.
30. Edward Bulwer-Lytton,Zanoni Book One: The Musician
“She is the pampered sultana of the tables. Spoiling her act can be quite easy: should they spoil her nature? No, I do not think so. There, at home, she is still good and simple; and there, under the awning next to the door, she, there she continues to sit, meditating divinely. How many times, crooked tree, look at your green branches; how many times, like you, in her dreams and fantasies, she fights for the light, not for the light of the stage lamps.
31. Gustave Flaubert,madame bovary
"Living among those white-faced women with their rosaries and copper crosses..."
32. Charles Dickens,High expectations
“Although all traces of her dress were burned, as I was told, she still had something of her old ghastly bridal appearance; for she was covered up to her throat with white cotton, and as she lay with a white sheet drawn loosely over her, the ghostly air of something that had been and was changed about her still hung about her.
33. Rudyard Kipling,many inventions
"He wrapped himself in quotation marks, as a beggar would wrap himself in the purple of emperors."
34. Marcos Twain,The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
"He was the sun most of the time, I mean, he made it look like the weather was fine."
35. Hugo Lofting,The story of Dr. Dolittle
“For a long time he didn't say anything. He remained as still as stone. He barely seemed to be breathing. When he finally started talking, it sounded almost like he was singing, sadly, in a dream."
36. Charles Dickens,High expectations
"I loved her against reason, against the promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could exist."
37. Edwin A. Abbot,Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“He himself is his own world, his own universe; no concept can be formed of anyone other than himself; he knows neither length nor width nor height, because he has not had experience with them; he has no knowledge even of the number Two; nor does he have a thought of Plurality, because he himself is the One and All of him, being really Nothing.
38. Jamie McGuire,beautiful oblivion
“Her long platinum blonde hair fell in loose waves past her shoulders, with some peek-a-boo black streaks. He was wearing a black minidress and military boots.
39. N.K. I said,The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
“Her long hair billowed around her like black smoke, its locks curling and moving on their own. Her cloak, or perhaps it was her hair as well, moved as if in an imperceptible wind.
40. ML LeGette,The orphan and the thief
“A creature, a terrifyingly terrible creature, was only a few meters from her. Her eyes were huge, the size of goose eggs and milky white. Her slick gray skin was stretched taut over her face. Her mouth was wide and full of pointed teeth. Her hands rested on the rock, huge, webbed hands with each finger ending in a sharp, curved nail. He was as tall as a human man, but strangely shrunken and stooped.
41. amber dawn,sub-rosa
"When she appeared, her eyes were as brown as I remembered, the pupils flecked with gold like beach pebbles."
42. Julia Stuart,The Tower, the Zoo and the Turtle
“Her hair had grown to counter its unmistakable pull back from the top of her head, and was shaped into a delicate, fragile ponytail that fell loosely down her back. The acne breakouts highlighted her white vampire skin.
43. James Lee Burke,neon rain
“Her khaki sleeves were rolled up over her sunburned arms, and she had the flat green eyes and rugged facial features of northern Louisiana mountain people. He smelled faintly of dried sweat, Red Man, and talcum powder.
44. Stephenie Meyer,Twilight
“I vividly remembered the dull black color of her eyes the last time she looked at me: the color was striking against the background of her pale skin and auburn hair. Today, her eyes were a completely different color: a strange ocher, darker than caramel but the same golden hue.
45. Brian Malloy,twelve long months
“With her hair dyed bright red, she looks like Ronald McDonald's post-menopausal sister. Who got carried away by her?(This is one of my favorites because I find it ridiculously funny)
46. Joan Johnston,I'm no longer a stranger
“In fact, Reb had the same flawless complexion as her sister, minus the freckles. Her straight hair, boyishly cut, fell haphazardly over her forehead and hid beautiful arched brows that framed her large, expressive eyes. She had a delicate, hooked nose, but a stubborn mouth and chin.
47. Brian Morton,breakable you
“Without the glasses, Vivian looked a bit scary. She had muscular, muscular muscles and a hardened, almost brutal face, a face that could have been sculpted by a sculptor who had fallen in love with the idea of beauty.”
48. Anna rice,Armand the Vampire
“I saw that my Master was attired in a thick robe and a beautiful dark blue doublet that I had barely noticed before. He wore soft dark blue gloves on his hands, gloves that fit perfectly on his fingers, and his legs were covered in thick, soft cashmere socks right down to his beautiful pointy shoes.
49. Becca Fitzpatrick,black ice
“Her brown hair was cut short, and she showed off the impressivessymmetry of your face With the sun at her back, shadows lined the hollows below her cheekbones. I couldn't tell what color his eyes were, but I expected them to be brown… The guy had straight, chiseled shoulders that made me wonder.swimmer…”
50. CE Sheedy,killer bliss
He rose to his feet, bringing him face to face with the dark-haired woman whose bright, burning gaze poured into his useless soul like boiling tar, whose mouth foamed with fury, and whose hand now curled, white-knuckled around it. of a steak. knife."(The author gives a lot of detail about the characters' emotions, but no specifics about any of their appearances. Use this as an example of how physical appearances aren't always the most important thing.)
51. James Lee Burke,neon rain
“Her frizzy gray and black hair was dripping with sweat and her face was the color and texture of old paper. He looked up at me from where he was sitting on his bunk, and his eyes were warm and bright and moisture was dripping from his upper lip. He held a Camel cigarette between his yellowed fingers and the floor around his feet was covered in cigarette butts.
52. Suzanne Collins,voracious games
“She has bright dark eyes and satin brown skin and she stands on her toes with her arms slightly out to her sides, as if ready to take flight at the slightest sound.”
53. Becca Fitzpatrick,Whisper
"She was abominable...and the most seductive, tortured soul I have ever met."(This doesn't describe him physically, but gives an idea of how the main character sees him)
54. J. K. Rowling,harry potter and the Philosopher's Stone
“A giant man was standing at the entrance. His face was almost completely hidden bya long, shaggy mane and a wild, tangled beard, but you could see his eyes,shining like black beetles under all the hair.
55. Anna rice,violin
“I deliberately thought of him, my violinist, point by point, that with his long narrow nose and deep-set eyes he might have been less seductive to someone else, perhaps. But maybe for anyone. What a shapely mouth he had, and how the narrow eyes, the deep, detailed lids gave him a range of expression, whether to open wide or sink street cunning.
“Like I said, the memory of Lucas's walk brings a smile to my face. It's an incredibly vivid memory, and if I close my eyes I can see it now. A relaxed gallop. Nice and stable. Not too fast and not too slow, fast enough to get somewhere, but not too fast to miss something. Cheerful, alert, resolute, carefree and without vanity. A walk that both belonged to and was distant from everything that surrounded it”.
57. Anna rice,violin
“And she looked the way he always hated her: dreamy and scruffy and sweet, with her glasses drooping, smoking a cigarette, with ashes on her coat, but full of love, her body heavy and misshapen with age.”
“As we got closer, the figure became clearer. He was a young man, or boy, dressed loosely in a green-brown T-shirt and baggy green pants. He had a green military jacket tied around his waist and a green duffel bag slung over his shoulder. The only thing that wasn't green about him was the pair of worn black boots he wore. Although he was small, he was not as light as he thought. He wasn't exactly muscular, but he didn't look scrawny either… there was an air of hidden strength about him, a graceful strength that showed in the balance of him, the way he moved, the way he walked…
59. Iris Johansen,the face of deception
Tousled curly locks, minimal makeup, big brown eyes behind round wire-rimmed glasses. There was a world of character in that face of hers, more than enough to make her fascinating rather than just attractive.
60. Dennis Lehane,A drink before the war
“Brian Paulson was razor-thin, with pewter-straight hair and a meaty, wet handshake…. His greeting was a nod and a wink, befitting someone who has stepped out of the shadows only momentarily.
61. Gena Showalter,the darkest night
“Pale hair fell in waves to her shoulders, framing a face that mortal women found a sensual feast. They did not know that the man was actually a demon in angel skin. However, they should have. He practically glowed with irreverence, and there was an unholy glint in his green eyes that proclaimed he'd laugh in your face as he sliced through your heat. Or laugh in your face while you rip out his heart.
62. Sam Byers,idiopathy
“Now here he was: sharp in terms of clothing, facial and interpersonal; every centimeter the beatific coffin.
63. Maggie's stepfather,the raven boys
“As always, there was an all-American war hero air about him, encoded in his shaggy brown hair, his narrow summer brown eyes, the straight nose that the ancient Anglo-Saxons passed down to him so gracefully. Everything about him suggested bravery, power and a firm handshake."
64. J. R. R. tolkien,The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
“Elrond's face was ageless, neither old nor young, though the memory of many happy and sad things was written on it. His hair was dark as twilight shadows, and upon it was a silver diadem; His eyes were gray as a clear night, and in them was a light like starlight.
65. Federico Backman,A man named Ove
“People said that Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was colorful. All the color she had.
66. Frank Herbert,there
“…a girl who appeared to be about four years old. She wore a black skirt, the hood thrown back to reveal the accessories of a stillsuit that hung free from her throat. Her eyes were Fremen blue, fixed in a smooth, round face. She seemed utterly fearless and there was a look in her gaze that made the Baron uncomfortable for no reason she could explain.
67. Orson Scott card,final game
“Ender didn't see Peter as the handsome ten-year-old boy adults saw, with shaggy dark hair and a face that might have belonged to Alexander the Great. Ender looked at Peter only to detect anger or boredom, the dangerous moods that almost always led to pain.
68. Caitlin Moran,how to build a girl
"He had his head in his hands and the tie looked like an enemy had put it on him and was strangling him."
69.graham joyce,A kind of fairy tale
“Peter was a kind, red-haired man. At six foot four, he moved about with a light, nautical motion, but though he had a broad chest, there was something centered and calming about him, like an old ship's mast cut from a single lumber. .
70. brad parks,The neighbor
"...as well as being funny, smart, and insightful, in a lithe way that has always kept me honest, she's so easy to look at, with endless legs, toned arms, curly brown hair, and eyes that tease, smile, and sparkle at the Same time."
71. Dennis Lehane,A drink before the war
“Sterling Mulkern was a ruddy, stout man, the kind who carried his weight like a weapon, not a ballast. He had a lock of stiff white hair where you could hit a DC-10 and a handshake that stopped just short of inducing paralysis.
72. Felipe Pullman,The Golden Compass
“Lord Asriel was a tall man with powerful shoulders, a fierce, dark face, and eyes that seemed to sparkle and sparkle with wild laughter. He was a face to dominate or fight: never a face to patronize or pity. All his movements were large and perfectly balanced, like those of a wild animal, and when he appeared in a room like this, he looked like a wild animal trapped in a cage too small for it.
73. Sherman Alexie,The Lone Ranger Dumb Fist Fight in Heaven
“I thought it was so beautiful. I thought she was the kind of woman who could make a buffalo walk up to her and give up her life. She wouldn't need to hunt. Every time we went for a walk, the birds followed us. Hell, the tumbleweeds would follow us.