Saturday, 18 April 2015

Descriptive Writing 101 - Describing Looks

Hello everyone, welcome to my blog post. Today I'm going to focus on some tips on how to describe a person's outer looks while writing stories or essays, whatever you're writing. Describing things is what makes any sort of writing fun. When you're reading a book, you get the an image in your mind of how characters look like and how the places look like. This happens because you read a description of where they are and how they look like.Being descriptive while writing has always been a problem issue of mine. I just like to get my chapters done in a few hours so I don't pretty much care about being descriptive. But when you read something that is not descriptive, you don't really get an image in your head of what things look like. I have a few examples, taken from my very own stories.

"His nerd glasses were on once more, thick strands of freshly dyed, pin straight pitch black hair hidden under his beanie. His clothing was quite simple, he was wearing a pair of dark washed denims along with a basic long sleeved baseball tee. He had a denim shirt over the tee."

This sentence is used to describe our main character, Tao. We can understand that Tao likes to wear glasses, or he has to wear his glasses, since he is putting them on "once more". "Freshly dyed, pin straight, pitch black hair" is another good description for the state of his hair. I could've just said " straight black hair" but now, you can understand that he has very dark and very straight hair. And that it is hidden under the beanie. Got an image in your mind? Well, this photo, was my inspiration when iI was creating Tao.

"A guy stepped out of the vehicle, looking sleek in bootleg jeans and a jacket hugging his broad shoulders perfectly. He was wearing a black linen shirt under his white lined black jacket, his jeans were a dark acid wash and his shoes looked very Louboutin. Perfectly sculpted cheekbones were saying hello to her. Just then, she noticed the perfect jawline Sehun had been hiding. His emotionless, expressionless face and broad shoulders didn't make him look any nicer. His figure looked quite manly. He was totally on the skinnier side and it looked pretty obvious that the guy worked out somehow. His face was still expressionless, sunglasses covering a third of his face, his eyebrows softly furrowed towards the road."

This one, is totally a longer description of another character named Sehun. One of my other main characters, Ana, is observing him from afar and these are the things she notices with one glimpse. So this means, these are the main things that he has, that drives attention to him. And this is my inspiration when I was creating Sehun.


Tip #1: Make sure you have an image of the character. In your mind, or on paper, or just pick a photo like I did.

Tip#2: Make a list of which physical qualities that makes this character unique. For example, here is the list I made for my character, Sehun.
-Sharp jawline
-Pale skin
-Expressionless face
-Straight, furrowed eyebrows
-Broad shoulders
-Tall, skinny

Tip#3: Start with a simple outline of sentences. Then build your way up by adding more descriptive words.

Start with : She was wearing a skirt along with the sweater her mom gave her.

Then add in: She was wearing a black(color) leather(material) skater(type) skirt along with the loose fitting(fit) pale pink(color) sweater her mom gave her, tucked into the skirt.( how the outfit is styled)

Tip#4: Learn new fashion and "describing looks" terminology. Learn types of clothes and shapes of facial features, if you want to go all out. 

Tip#5: Learn new color names.
Burgundy, Maroon, Marine, Turquoise, Mint, Fuschia, Mahogany, Bubblegum, Crimson, Indigo, Azure...

These are all my tips and tricks on describing looks. 
Happy writing everyone!


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