Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Character Description

Do you like a character to be described in full details: ie: hair colour, eyes, height etc... or do you like it to be left to your imagination?

I've read books that have both extremes.
1. Pages are spent describing every detail, from the way the blonde hair curls, right down to the tiny gold flecks in her eyes or
2. Nothing is mentioned apart from a fleeting comment about perhaps long or short hair

I prefer something in between these extremes. Hair colour and style, perhaps an eye colour, but gradually as the story builds, not all in one paragraph like the author is making a list of the character's attributes. Without even being aware of it, my mind will make up a picture of this person and sometimes when I watch the movie of a favourite book I'll be trying to marry my mind's picture with the actor and it doesn't always work.

In Twilight, I had pictured Bella's father sooooo differently to 'Charlie' in the movie, that it took me a long time to see Billy Burke as Bella's dad.

What about you? Do you like lots of description? and are there any movies that a character looked completely different to what your imagination had conjured up?


  1. I like to know more about character's personality than their looks, so I don't like too much description. I always tend to watch the movie before reading the book (if I can) as I find it so frustrating to have the image in my head be misrepresented on screen :)

  2. I like brief descriptions like hair color, eye color, but not too many details. That way if it ever becomes a movie, it won't ruin my perception of the character. I don't particularly like books that over-describe, and I don't like books that don't give any details at all. Somewhere in the middle is my preference. :)

    1. I've recently read a book that had NO description and I found myself hunting the words for an indication, something, anything, about what the person looked like. It was quite strange.

  3. That is strange. I think that takes something away from the overall reading experience if you're having to go back and search because something doesn't make sense. I like to picture what the character looks like in my mind, and that would definitely upset me if I had to stop reading just to back track so I could get a sense of what they look like.