Character Description: Beyond Stick Figures

Beyond Stick Figures 2

Novels are made up of three main elements: plot, character, and action. The plot or storyline of a work is shown through the action taken by the characters. Try to imagine Harry Potter without the wizards, or Lord of the Flies without the school kids. Nothing would happen. Characters are important – and unless you’re working on some kind of abstract, post-modernist masterpiece, your novel is going to have lots of ’em.

So write them right.

In this guide to visual character description I’ll be covering everything from shopping lists to stereotypes to help you create characters who are striking and memorable. The days of 2D stick figures are long gone. Don’t flood your story with chunks of heavy description and endless empty details – instead, fuse looks with personality to make one sentence do the job of ten. Use fewer words, but make every word count.

Your characters and readers will thank you for it.

[NB. If you’re prone to feelings of ‘TL;DR’, skip to the end for a bullet point summary. You lazy lot…]

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