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What does your main character look like?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by valiant12, May 16, 2016.

  1. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    Clint Eastwood during his spaghetti western days is also a big influence on my MC. The man with no name, etc.
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I wanted that attitude and [implied] world view even though I didn't want my MC to look like CE.
    [I did have a character say 'You've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?
    ' but that was a deliberate quote/in-joke]
  3. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    Same. That kind of presence and confidence, as well as the ability to show compassion at times and then be completely ruthless the next is what makes that type of character interesting. My MC is close to a thousand years old so the years would have a tempering effect that might very well produce that type of outlook on life.
  4. glutton

    glutton Inkling

    My MC is a jaded old warrior at 27 - she's been fighting big monsters since she was a young teen - and tries to act mysterious around strangers at times, so she has some of that aura... but being 'fun sized' and chubby isn't the best for that type of presence lol.

    Hey, what can you do if you're powered by protein overconsumption as she claims...
  5. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    I think it's important to give the reader some ideas of character looks/appearance, etc., but to let them create it on their own.

    From my descriptions to the artist who did the cover art for my novels, this is what my main character ended up appearing like...with the first, the hair length isn't quite as long as I imagined (See Krish...aka Flank Haw, the man with the spear)...but remember, cover art isn't meant to be an exact rendering:


    For my SF series, with the same artist, I think she was very close to how I had imagined via my description. Maybe a little differently shaped nose, but build and such, pretty much on target.

  6. Holoman

    Holoman Troubadour

    I give absolutely no description of my MC. I imagine that he looks a bit like Gerard Butler, but I'm leaving it up to the reader to decide what he looks like. All they know is he's 27 years old.

    For my other characters I have a clear picture in my mind of them. Usually they are based loosely on real people, sometimes actors/actresses with different features added. Other times I know the general physique of them but don't really imagine a face.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  7. BrainMatter

    BrainMatter Dreamer

    MC1 - Piscao Te'Lop (race-Siahmin) in his Normal Form. Standing at 6'10", 400lbs, with black beaded scales, trunks for arms and legs, a long tail and golden eyes.
    War Form same as normal except adding on Brilliantly white Plates, spikes, and armor. Imagine a everyday lizard gaining the armor from a triceratops/ ankylosaurus /stegosaurus.
    Nechmin Form standing at 6' with dark brown smooth skin, gold eyes, brilliantly white hair on his head and eyebrows.

    MC2- Jayden Moon (Race Nechmin) Extremely pale skin, almost as white as snow, Long Golden hair, and Silver eyes. Standing about 5'8", Thin with medium sized breasts and no butt

    MC3- Stupid (real name- Stuella Pidinskie) (Race Elmin) Light green skin, Bright almond shaped Blue eyes and short red hair. Standing at 5'5", heavier set, small handful breasts, and pear shaped body.

    MC4- Dra'Et Malai (Race Dyimin) Dark Brown skin, but due to being heavily tattooed looks almost black, No hair at all, a long scar running from above left ear to under his right chin. one eyes is Silver the other is Brown. Standing around 5'9", well built for his height.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  8. AveryPierce

    AveryPierce Acolyte

    My MC is of medium height, 19 yrs young, small-framed but toned(she once trained under an acrobat so think dancer's body). She's got chestnut brown hair, bronze/tan skin, dark grey eyes and a bit of freckles cover her face. These things add charm to her otherwise average face. She has exotic features and a nice silhouette, but she's below average in the "assets" department.

    I'm already in chapter 4 and I haven't described her features yet. since she's my POV, I probably won't. We'll see. Right now how she looks is less important to the plot than it is to me being able to picture her and write her authentically.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  9. Reilith

    Reilith Sage

    I have a big weakness for tall, slim, pale, long and black-haired men. So usually at least one of my MC's is gonna fit the type. I also like characters that leave impact - so depending on the theme, and where the character's from, it's going to affect their looks.
    In my current WIP I have around 4 protagonists, two main and two side protagonists (if that makes sense) - two Elven-type men and one Human male and one Human female.
    One of the Elves is the tall, black haired guy, with elongated but angular features and pale green eyes; the other Elf is more plump in the face as he is younger, and has brown eyes and light brown hair, and is also tall. The Human male has brownish blond hair, blue eyes I believe and kind of softer features, and is of medium height and small frame (he is sort of the bookworm type). The Human female is the brawler of the group - the tallest of them, with brownish hair, pale eyes, very athletic and muscular.

    I love to describe my characters, but I am trying to edit myself as I go, because a few details here and there are usually enough for the reader to paint their own picture with your guidelines.
  10. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

    Catherine is very much your typical "bean pole". Tall, thin, almost to a fault, not overly malnourished but doesn't necessarily look after herself, with very subtle curves.

    Aside from that I have very few specific details. She's a first person pov and doesn't tend to describe herself, or others, in too much detail. She's also quite fond of making one maybe two stand out observation(s) about a person and leaving it at that. Potato headed thug. Cross between a rubbish stage magician and Gomez Addams. That sort of thing... You get the picture.
  11. Thokk Nightshade

    Thokk Nightshade Dreamer

    I am visual when I write. I picture what a person/place/item looks like and then try to describe it as if I were talking to a sketch artist.. I want to be able to draw a picture with words so anyone reading it can picture the characters.

    I have noticed two seperate thoughts on this topic within the thread. Some people want to give the reader the information and some who want to leave it to the reader to draw that picture him/herself.

    To me, either is acceptable and is personal choice. However, I am interested in WHY you chose one over the other. Why did you limit the information to just age and gender? Or why did you decide to explain the scar on his right forearm was from an anthromorphic panda bear attack when you were 6 years old visiting your uncle the sorcerer, along with his/her height, weight, facial features, body type, sandal size, etc.?
  12. Malik

    Malik Auror

    If you give the reader too much information, then eventually the reader's mental image of the MC will clash with your description. No one likes to be wrong, or to feel misled.

    You can also describe people without describing them. No, seriously.

    I once read a description -- I've posted it in these forums before, so forgive me for reposting --

    "He was the kind of man you'd expect to see standing alone in the middle of a wrecked biker bar, calmly sipping a beer as the sirens grow louder."

    No height, no weight, no hair color, no clothing description. But I can see this guy as clearly as if you'd drawn him with five pages of exposition. That's writing, dammit. That's fine writing.
  13. Trick

    Trick Auror

    My MC is short, by RW standards, but about average for his race (maybe 5'6" at best). He has black hair, green eyes and he's very pale. He's thin but wiry, think martial artist/gymnast.

    I don't do too much actual describing other than colors and basic build in the book. For some reason, colors are important to me as a reader. If a character has tan skin, dark brown skin, or green skin, or milky white skin - I want to know right away because I hate to form an image and then have it dashed to pieces later. Same goes for eye and hair color. I've recently read a book where I pictured the character as dark-skinned, based on environmental factors, and the description finally given was of pale skin - totally disconnected me from the book.

    I like to leave actual features to the imagination.

    At a point in the book, my MC starts getting tattoos - those are important so they get descriptions plus a clearly indicated body location.

    His looks are important because he is a member of a race that looks the way they do due to a history of enslavement and being forced to live at night. They are generally malnourished and he starts that way (he's 7 at the beginning) but has plenty of money later (as a mob-employed thief). His tattoos are important because they directly relate to the magic in the world and what they look like is sort of the point of making the magic work.
  14. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    All very true. You can tell a lot about a person just from their mannerisms, what they can and can't do physically, etc.
  15. Lunaairis

    Lunaairis Sage

    I wanted to add to this thread sooner but I was super busy.

    Turns out there is only one scene in which I describe my main character, Erin Quinn. Normally I do most of the describing through actions. Like playing with a lock of dark hair, or noticing how vibrant someone's eyes are.

    So here it is.
    (PS. On phone and auto correct likes to act up )

    Detective Erin Quinn was dressed in a black suit with dark leather shoes and a red tie, that had been finely pressed that morning, although it didn't look like it when she walked into the station house six to sign out for the day. She smelled of the musky rotten scent of dragon shit, a scent she never wanted to smell again. Her legs slunk with each step and her clothes clinged to her skin thanks to a fine layer of sweat, from climbing skyscrapers all day. She wanted a glass of rum on ice and a warm bath and for this day to be done already.
  16. Jerseydevil

    Jerseydevil Minstrel

    In the heroic fantasy, Rawl is tall (6 feet or so), lanky, and has olive skin, mid twenties. He has a constant exasperated expression after dealing with the psychotic secondary character Bora.

    In my Urban fantasy, William, is tall (6'4") and heavily built (240 lbs, mostly muscle), late twenties. He has pale skin, light brown hair, and brown eyes. His overall appearance is average. Not handsome, but not ugly either. One character describes him as looking like an accountant that spends too much time in the gym under normal circumstances. When angry, he looks like a serial killer.

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