Welcome to Terrific Tautness (better than saying Tuesday, right?) So today I thought I'd talk about describing the body. Particularly, when the character is looking at themselves.
It's not unusual for a character to consider themselves (we usually do that somewhere about the beginning of the story, right??)
How many times have you seen them talk about themselves, the shape of their mouths, the colour of their eyes and hair.
I like to describe the character reasonably early on. For example, in Starline, I use the bathroom scene to describe my heroine:
She made a quick stop in the small bathroom, rather a glorified toilet with space for changing and a shower to freshen up, and in the mirror, she saw a moderately passable female. Trim figure, hazel eyes--no winners there, she told herself—and mousy brown hair against white skin. A wide mouth; she wanted lips like Jem’s, but alas for her pains, she had to learn thankfulness for what she had. Some would call her nondescript, but she accepted that her brains and work ethic would get her forward in life, so she had worked religiously since her sixteenth year. Time outside existed for others. Running and athletics weren’t her strong points either, so she could never call herself toned. She wouldn’t call herself unhealthy, far from it, but she had other fish to fry and a future to build. A quick reality check made her grimace. She looked at her white linen
camisole top and black pants, not exactly high fashion and, after a full day, not as fresh as she could hope, but she didn’t care. She had a date. She pushed the bag of Jem’s discarded clothes to one side. Must have a hot date planned, which would explain why she had left these work clothes behind.
You get the idea that she's not the most gorgeous woman, in her own eyes. Now, there is no one way to describe a character, but if you're going to have them describe themselves, then you need to make it clear that they don't see themselves as perfect.
Here's another way of describing a character.
In this wikihow tutorial, they define the physical characteristics as part of an action:
- As I was walking in the hallway, I noticed a tall, curvy figure talking to some friends. As a boy would walk by, she would flick her long, curly hair, and would bat her ink black eyelashes, showing off her chocolate-brown eyes.
Next week, I intend focusing on the male character. As I said, there's no right or wrong, no one way to capture the essence of your character.