LESSON Character Descriptions: Why They're Important

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Zypher, Dec 31, 2011.

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    So you've crafted a beautiful Swedish woman who happens to be raised by dolphins and speaks a strange Swahili dialect but what do you want her to look like? Sure it might be easy to slap a picture on the bio and call it finished but sometimes finding that picture just isn't what you're looking for! Cue the dramatic music, it's time for writing your description out! Don't fret though, it's not as bad as it seems and you might get some use out of that picture you found yet!

    A lot of times it's simple to just add a picture and go "There, that's what Blobelda looks like." It gives everyone a general idea of the basis of your character and keeps everyone on the same page, but sometimes there's things you want to change about your character that don't fit the image (and you don't have access to them swanky photoshoppin' techniques to alter what you want!) OH NO! But never fear, there's ways around it. If you can't bear the thought of not using that character picture you can always just add some information to the appearance but take in mind what you want. Sometimes you'll have to state outright that your character has blond hair instead of brown like in the picture, or sometimes you can be sneaky and say that they've colored their hair and the picture is a few years old! Adding details that contradict your image can sometimes be as much fun as writing your character's history! It can make your character more dynamic as well!

    Sometimes though you just can't make the image work and you've decided that you'll just write the description without an image and that's great too! Some things you'll want to keep in mind, and feel free to add or omit certain traits based on applicability!

    This is a very simple checklist to make sure you have at least the basics of what your character looks like down, and remember the more descriptive you are the more the other players will share the mental image you have for your character and will give them something to go off of to describe when the characters are just meeting!

    Hair, including color, style and the like. Is it a hot frizzy mess of an afro? Or is it long and luxurious? Do they have any hair at all? This can also apply to beard and any other bodily hair that the other players are likely to see. Sometimes it can also change depending on weather!

    What color are your characters eyes? Do they even have eyes? Do they have more than two? Heterochromia Iridium could be an interesting conversation or maybe they'll denote some sort of secret power hiding within! Don't just describe your character's eye color also describe their gaze, maybe they they tend to be half lidded and bored most of the time, or maybe they stay wide with excitement and wonder at the world around them! Details are important as always!

    What does your character wear? Are they a nudist? Maybe they're the height of fashion of their world? Maybe they wear armor befit of a lowly squire but are really a brave knight who has gone into hiding? Don't be afraid to describe their favorite outfit either, it's sure to help you think about what their whole wardrobe is like! This is also an easy way to make your character image a bit more useful. Just because the image displays one outfit doesn't mean that it is the one your character will be dressed in!

    Body Type!
    Sure clothing is great and all, but what is it covering? Is your Blobelda a body builder in her spare time and has bigger arms then a tree trunk? Or maybe she's a portly woman. In any case this will give your fellow players a general idea about the strength and agility of your character.

    That's it! Just four cornerstones of description and you're well on your way to having a wonderful description of your character! Happy describing and remember, details, details, details!
    #1 Zypher, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2013
  2. hehe.
    this was funny :D and informative! :)
    Thank youuu.