Monday, January 10, 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I’ve read over and over that beautiful characters are cliché. How can everyone, usually the MC and/or love interest, be perfect?

Well, sorry to have to tell you what your mom probably told you, but LOVE IS BLIND.

A son to a mother is perfect, though, ahem, I’d be the first to say after looking back at those first baby pics that my little critter was…ugly. Though at the time he was born, he was the most perfect, beautiful baby. A husband to a wife, a wife to a husband—come on, be honest, how many times we see people paired together and wonder what does she see in him? Or vice versa.


While my MC may gaze into the swirling greens of her love interest’s eyes and drown in their depth, her friend might stick her finger in her mouth and gag. Describing your characters needs to mean something to whoever is doing the looking: your POV character. Ideally, it should go beyond the swirling greens of his eyes, the chocolate skin, and the buff body. How does he carry himself? How does he speak—tone, word choices? What are his mannerisms? How does he engage with others? Quirks and ticks are something we often notice. Does he tap his feet to a beat in his head? Does he sway a bit when he stands?

Define what draws your POV character to find this person…perfect, and the reader may just follow.

I asked my fourteen year old what he first notices about a person, his answer…their hair. Go figure.


  1. That might be an interesting question to ask of our characters; what's the most interesting feature they have, the one people notice first. Your' son's answer is interesting.

  2. LOL. Thanks for your comment, Marcy.


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