|By Starar Band [CC-BY-2.0],via Wikimedia
In my short stories, I’ve never gone in for detailed descriptions of characters. In my first attempt at a novel, I find I do end up describing the characters, though a very little.
I found this on an old blog post by Janice Hardy:
I’m the type who dislikes a lot of description, and I admit, I skim when it’s clear it’s a big “this is what stuff looks like” paragraph. Even description about a character. I’m much more interested in who they and what they’ll do than what they look like. Because of my personal feelings, I tend to be sparse when I write my own character descriptions. In fact, if I didn’t know there are folks out there who love knowing what someone looks like, I’d probably skip them altogether.
I tend to agree with her. Physical descriptions of my characters are at best spare, even in my WIP.
As a reader, I’ve always preferred creating my own picture of the character, and find descriptions of characters especially in fantasy novels ‘firm young bosom’, ‘long, curly sideburns’ a little corny when given on their own. As part of an action or dialogue, they seem a little more apropos, provided the author avoids cliché.
So if character descriptions were steak (gross, right? lol), I’d like mine rare, medium rare at the most. I won’t bite if they’re well done.
So, dear readers and writers, how do you like your characters? Very rare, Rare, Medium-rare, or Well done?