Portraying A Character Successfully


Creating or describing someone's character is crucially important to the dynamic of any novel. I believe that analyzing character is an important skill that any person should have- writer or not. I once classified my good friend, Mrs. Fairfax as among this class that lacks this skill. For in fact, "there are people who seem to have no notion of sketching a character, or observing and describing salient pointes, either in persons or things" (Pg 125).

A good character in any novel has many aspects to their person. No one person is entirely black and white. In describing appearance, it is important to be honest as an author. Your reader will picture the character however they want to, but it is up to you to guide them to see what picture lives in your own head. For example,

"I knew my traveler with his broad and jetty eyebrows; his square forehead, made squarer by the horizontal sweep of his black hair. I recognized his decisive nose, more remarkable for character than beauty; his full nostrils, denoting, I thought, choler; his grim mouth, chin, and jaw—yes, all three were very grim, and no mistake. His shape, now divested of cloak, I perceived harmonized in squareness with his physiognomy: I suppose it was a good figure in the athletic sense of the term—broad chested and thin flanked, though neither tall nor graceful" (Pg 141).

Image result for mr edward rochester

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/560416747353401868/

I've bolded here all the nouns I use for description. You can see, fellow writer, that I use a number of nouns just in describing his face. However, my use of adjectives greatly outnumbers the nouns. This helps the reader clearly picture each noun/ facial feature more definably. Additionally, although I am attracted to this man, it does not cloud the description of his lacking beauty. The connotations of my words do denote that I am admirable of this man's appearance, but had I chosen not to let the reader see my attraction, they would still be able to clearly picture the same man because of how effective my nouns and descriptive adjectives are.  

For more examples of describing characters, emotions and more see my page on Creating Effective Descriptions