The Thing About Selecting Detail..

So, let’s say that in your planning of your story, whether it be on paper, electronic, or in your brain, and you have several details about your character.  Actually, you have a list.  I’ll give you one of my lists as an example to use throughout this post.

Name: Annabel Winston

Eyes: Hazel-brown

Hair: Burnt red/auburn

The Physical: Generally wears torn blue jeans / raggy shorts to show off long legs.  Likes to wear violet or navy colored clothing.  Has some breasts, but not big enough in her opinion.  Wears little to no make-up. Has freckles on nose, under eyes, on arms. 

Likes: The sun, her boyfriend who’s obviously not human, hands, painting, her mother’s studio, and chocolate

Dislikes: Black cats with yellow eyes, running, when there’s no A/C, vegetables.

I don’t usually do personality because, well, if you couldn’t tell already, I believe the physical and likes/dislikes do enough to give a general idea about who this girl may be.  Plus, this keeps me from trying to put an adjective to a Feeling or Inward part of my character.  In other words, it keeps me from telling her personality instead of showing it.  Doing this may or may not help you if you plan, but that’s for you to discover, not for me to tell you.

So now you have this list of things that you know that you want your readers to see or know about this character.  But, of all these details which do you really need? Continue reading