I don’t know. I tend to write them without any description. Sure, I see them in my mind, but I don’t usually write out their descriptions…unless it’s vital.
I’m not one to pay close attention to these details when I’m reading. I have found myself reading over them…when blatant in the writing.
Allow the descriptions to unfold gradually and within context of the scene. Think of the horror scene from the SAW movies…sorry, first thought that came to me…I didn’t register the character’s long hair until…yeah, will save those details. But, the impact was made – SHUDDER.
Use character descriptions to enhance and build your writing. Certain descriptions also pre-depose your reader to the character…rightly and wrongly. Note…this also happens with character names.
Think about that for a moment…don’t you make assumptions when you read the description or name. Start to frame a visual of the character. I’ve done that and have been surprised when I had them completely wrong.
Which leads me to my next point…sometimes you have to be blunt about the appearance of your character so assumptions are not made. Ethnicity. Height. Weight. Hair. And, even gender identity as this is an important aspect of individuality. Be respectful and ask questions before going ahead with what you think you know. Don’t be shy or worried, your friends/social media friends won’t be offended.
An exercise would be…write your description without using the obvious.
Hmmm, think I’m going to end the post here with that challenge. Honestly, not saying I’m the first, but I can’t remember being asked to do this before.