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honeycomb
12-25-2008, 08:06 AM
I always have trouble describing my characters. He's a Brad Pitt lookalike. Can anyone help me describe his features?

Toothpaste
12-25-2008, 08:41 AM
Why don't you try getting a picture of Brad Pitt, and then in the most boring way possible write every detail you see: blue eyes, blonde hair . . . etc. Just make a list. And then once you've made the list you can go back over it and make it sound more literary. Instead of asking us to do it for you, challenge yourself. Even if you can't think of the right word, come up with a comparison of some kind. I'll be you'll be surprised what you come up with. Trust your own talent, you can totally do this! :)

Or worst comes to worst: "He entered the room and she just stared. My word he was gorgeous, a total Brad Pitt lookalike!" ;)

honeycomb
12-25-2008, 08:46 AM
Trust your own talent, you can totally do this! :)

Or worst comes to worst: "He entered the room and she just stared. My word he was gorgeous, a total Brad Pitt lookalike!" ;)

Okay! I'll do it and then I'll be back :-)

Thanks for the feedback. I suck at descriptions :-(

Toothpaste
12-25-2008, 09:02 AM
Honestly, they aren't my forte either, that's why I wanted to reply. The only way, unfortunately, to get better (and you totally know this) is to practice. It's tough, and sometimes I seriously do just want to write, "He was a Brad Pitt lookalike". I way prefer doing dialogue.

But I bet you'll surprise yourself and come up with some pretty cool stuff. Good luck with it!

Ciera_
12-25-2008, 09:12 AM
When you figure something out, think you could post the description? I also sort of have bit of a Brad Pitt lookalike...not that I'd totally steal your description, but I'm eager to see how you do this. My current description doesn't convey his Pittiness well enough =P
Good luck!

honeycomb
12-25-2008, 09:39 AM
Okay, here's my attempt.

"He's beautiful," she said, giggling like a schoolgirl. "He has a diamond shaped face with sexy dimples."

"What do his eyes look like? They really tell a lot about a person," Deena murmured, uninterested in Jenny's new love.

"They're deep blue (I'm not sure if this is true, but...), and he has a razor-cut hairstyle -- dirty blond."

Ciera_
12-25-2008, 09:46 AM
^.^ That's great, but I'd give one more little detail about his eyes (whether they're large or deep or he has long lashes...), if your character is the insightful type.
I've just realized that my character doesn't look that much like Brad Pitt after all. Just the hair. And that is much longer than Brad's usually is. So, uh, never mind.

Toothpaste
12-25-2008, 08:02 PM
That's pretty good honeycomb! See you did it! Love the bit about the dimples!

One thing I would maybe correct, instead of diamond shaped, maybe you want to say "sqaure jaw". Picture the actual shape of a diamond, it ends in a point goes up at the sides and then meets at a point at the top again. Look at Brad's face. His chin has a point and the sides rise a little to the jaw, but then you have straight lines going up the side of his face and then straight across at the top. A diamond shaped face would mean his head was pointy, and his chin up to his ears would be V shaped. "Square jaw" is kind of boring, a usual description, but it actually is what he has when you look at the jaw line. It is also acceptable as an attractive description, people automatically think that the guy is attractive when you describe them with a "square jaw".

Anyway, that's my suggestion, but well done on the rest! Congrats!

Yeshanu
12-25-2008, 09:14 PM
Okay, here's my attempt.

"He's beautiful," she said, giggling like a schoolgirl. "He has a diamond shaped face with sexy dimples."

"What do his eyes look like? They really tell a lot about a person," Deena murmured, uninterested in Jenny's new love.

"They're deep blue (I'm not sure if this is true, but...), and he has a razor-cut hairstyle -- dirty blond."

I'll be honest, and say that if two girls were talking about a guy who isn't there, they'd probably take the shortcut and say something like:

"He's beautiful," she said, giggling. "He looks just like Brad Pitt, only cuter."

Leave the detailed description (which you should have written down in a character file) to be entered in as the details warrant. As in, "His blond hair, wet with new fallen snow, was plastered to his head." Or, "She stared at his torso, and the muscles that rippled beneath his too-tight shirt."

I think too much description of a character actually gets in the way of the story, especially if it's dumped in all at once. And it isn't really important if the reader has the same picture of the character as you do, as long as the reader gets the point that he's a hunk.

So the details you need to add are the ones that support that particular image.

scarletpeaches
12-25-2008, 09:16 PM
I've always been against too much physical description in novels. What one reader finds attractive, another won't, and really, do this character's looks matter that much? Surely his deeds, or others' reactions to him, matter more?

para
12-25-2008, 09:43 PM
I'll be honest, and say that if two girls were talking about a guy who isn't there, they'd probably take the shortcut and say something like:

"He's beautiful," she said, giggling. "He looks just like Brad Pitt, only cuter."


I agree but when you write it like that you are assuming that your reader knows who Brad Pitt is. They might not. I know that I have read books where the author describes a character as looking like X. It is no help to me because I have no idea who X is.

scarletpeaches
12-25-2008, 09:46 PM
As if I'd base a male character on a celebrity I fancied...:rolleyes:

fullbookjacket
12-25-2008, 10:38 PM
"He was a Brad Pitt: gorgeous and wooden."

fullbookjacket
12-25-2008, 10:49 PM
I've always been against too much physical description in novels. What one reader finds attractive, another won't, and really, do this character's looks matter that much? Surely his deeds, or others' reactions to him, matter more?

I agree with your approach. I know a lot of agents, publishers, and readers want a detailed physical description of each character, but I'm happier (as a reader) if my mind constructs the person based on a very few (or no) details. So that's the way I write characters. I might say a guy is "hard-edged" or "angular" or something like that, but that's about it.