Subject: It's not about the words.
Posted on: 2021-01-14 12:01:18 UTC

It's about why you're describing the character in the narrative. Think of your favourite books - do they sit down and tell you exactly what everyone looks like? Mine certainly don't! They provide details naturally as the story goes along.

It might help to consider the viewpoint character (1st, 2nd, or 3rd-person-limited): a detailed description implies that they're intensely scrutinizing the person they're describing. If that person is themselves? You're implying they're self-absorbed, possibly narcissistically vain. If it's someone else? That's often going to be creepy. Save it for the romantic scenes.

As an experiment: the classic Bold Font picture shows us that Jay is taller than Acacia and redheaded, while Acy is a brunette with glasses. If you just read the missions, when do you think you'd find those things out? Take a minute to make a guess.




Height: The middle of TOS mission 3 defines Jay as 'the taller black cloak'.

Glasses, hair colour: both of these first appear in TOS mission 10, when the agents are seen through the eyes of a class full of terrified OFUM students.

That's ten whole stories before we find out what our protagonists look like! Compare to Suvians who drop paragraphs on themselves in the first chapter...

If you're introducing the character you mention to both the audience and the viewpoint character simultaneously, something like "[tall,] pale, and very pretty" is about all I'd expect. If they already know each other, I wouldn't even anticipate that.


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