On Writing: Visualize Your Characters (Breathe Life into Them)

GREEN EYES WILD HAIR

I am known to enthusiastically say yes to my friends when we make plans to meet over the weekend… only to fall asleep and wake up hours after the agreed meeting time. When I’m not in sleeping beast mode, I cancel days in advance. Over here, in this blog, I know I said somewhere that I will organize my posts more. I also said I’ll be clearer with what I’m bringing to you guys, and one of those is about writing. (If I actually didn’t post that thought here, then sshhh. Let’s both pretend I did.)

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So! Writing! Fun stuff! (I hear some sobbing in the background, muffled by the deafening roar of self-doubt and inflatable egos that we aspiring writers keep not-so-neatly tucked in the hems of our graphics t-shirts.)

I am here to talk about the two main characters in the story I am working on. It was fun. Sure, it’s not the same kind of fun you get going to the bar and getting drunk and sending drunk text messages to someone but hey. At least with this one, there is no hangover involved. Just pure, clean (CLEAN!) fun. The kind that reminds me of learning to ride the bicycle for the first time or playing touch ball under the summer sun when I was in my pre-teen stage. And it’s all thanks to Cait at Paper Fury for coming up with Beautiful People, a meme for writers. It has new topics every month, where you can talk about what you’re writing. Beautiful People is a fun, beautiful meme. Ladies and gentlemen, without further blathering, I present to you:

1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

Internet, meet Alex: The girl of many contradictions. She’ll take pride on herself for being self-sufficient but will be the first to tell you that she’s the last person you should count on. She is mostly unafraid of the supernatural but will shriek like the girliest girl at the sight of a moth, even a teeny tiny one. She’s petite with fair skin, long (all over the place) dark hair, and light gray eyes. She has a girlish appearance, in spite of being 26 years old. Here is the image I used for her in my other post about the story.

Alex

Up next is Jason: Born with the figurative silver spoon in his mouth, don’t let this guy fool you into thinking he is just another vain and vapid heir to his family’s wealth. While he’s used to having his own way, his accidental brush with Alex’s world left him asking questions about himself, which eventually leads to opening a huge can of worms. He has a strong personality and looking at him — tall, (usually) neat dark hair, deep green eyes, olive complexion — one wouldn’t know just how many doubts and questions are running amok inside his pretty head. I was very happy about this image I found, since I think it remains true to how I pictured Jason:

Jason

2. Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

Oh wow… I really haven’t written the usual description of their appearances. I like to show and not tell. I guess I took that too seriously and need to brush up on that. But here are (really) few scenes that would give you an idea of how they look:

Alex

Alex_description

Jason

Jason_description

3. What is the first thing people might notice about them?

Physically, people would notice Alex’s girlish face. They can’t say why, exactly, because she’s pretty average in the looks department. There’s just something about her. Going past the looks, people would notice that while easygoing, she doesn’t talk much about where she came from.

As for Jason, it would be his dark green eyes. (Fun fact: When I started writing his character back in mid-2000, his eyes were almost the color of black coffee. But somehow, it didn’t feel like him. So I switched to dark green after a few months when I started writing the story.) It just isn’t the color. It’s how he would look at you: all piercing and intense. Going beyond what’s skin-deep, people would notice his self-confidence / arrogance (depends on who is looking at him).

4. What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

Alex has three reddish-brown moles on the side of her torso. It’s like connect the dots. Jason has a really, really light birthmark the shape of a small (but noticeable) crescent moon on the inside of his right thigh.

5. How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

Alex: She’s 5’4″ and slim. One would never guess that she beats the crap out of supernatural creatures.

Jason: 6’1″ and lean. While he does go running every morning, he rarely goes to the gym.

6. What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

Alex walks around as if without a care in the world. But zero in on her or let her know she’s in the spotlight and she’ll slightly hunch up her shoulders and resort to touching her hair or biting the inside of her cheek.

Jason carries himself with ease and confidence, as if he owns the world. He is used to public attention and doesn’t mind most of the time. (Don’t let his laid-back approach fool you, though. This is one sharp, observant guy.)

7. Your character has been seen on a β€œlazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

Alex: Bring in the tank tops and sweatpants or boxer shorts! Throw in some flip-flops, too.

Jason: Plain white t-shirt and jeans. And a pair of dark-colored rubbershoes.

8. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

Alex: None. Jewelries / accessories aren’t really her thing. She does wear her navy blue hoodie a lot of times, though.

Jason: Always wearing a leather wristwatch. Emphasis on leather.

9. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

Alex: She has been picked on when she was younger because she was so pale and skinny. Plus, her hair (all wild and wavy and seeming to have a life of their own) only made the teasings worse for her.

Jason: Never. Let’s just say he’s lucky that way. (And with how the story goes, there’s a reason why.)

10. Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

Alex: For the better part of her life, she wished she was taller and had better hair. But ever since leaving her hometown (ex-boyfriend and her family included), she has come to accept her flaws. She still wishes she could be at least an inch taller, though.

Jason: He is pretty happy with how he looks. Although there are days he just doesn’t care anymore. He doesn’t want to change anything about his physical appearance.


Okay… Whew. That was a lot. Now please excuse me while I go reward myself in the form of pizza. And you! You go do writerly things, like joining the same fun round-up over there at Paper Fury.

Barbara_pizza

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3 thoughts on “On Writing: Visualize Your Characters (Breathe Life into Them)

  1. Ohh this was AWESOME. (And excuse you but now I want pizza *pizza craving intensifies*πŸ˜‚) ANd omg Alex hunts supernatural things?! THAT IS AWESOME. I LOVE HER ALREADY. And I love how she’s a person of contradictions! That’s always fun to read about, I especially love those characters that are so tough about things and then one little teeny thing makes them scream.πŸ˜‚ It’s the best! Jason also sounds entirely intriguing! I love the backstory about his eyes…it’s awesome when characters just NEED that thing that makes them really them. If that makes sense. hehe. Anyway! I love the pictures and it was so great reading this. Thanks for joining in. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! πŸ˜€ I agree: Contradictions in a person is fun, especially when you create them for one of your characters. πŸ˜‰ And thank you for creating the Beautiful People meme. It’s always interesting and fun. Keep them coming! Looking forward to next month’s edition.

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