So when I sit down to write books, some characters are clearer than others. Some characters I wind up describing a lot, such that everybody can see the character. Others…well, I just don’t describe them much physically. Mick, the hero of Devil’s Eye and Gage’s BFF in Forsaken By Shadow, was one of these. I describe him very clearly as a wolf, but as a man, I don’t think I said much about him except that he was tall, with broad shoulders. Which, frankly, doesn’t say much because ALL my heroes are tall, with broad shoulders. So is my husband. It’s a thing for me.
So imagine my surprise when I found out he’s been slumming on True Blood. Hubs and I stopped watching True Blood after they resolved the endless and orgy ridden Marianne issue in season 2. Hubs recently watched Season 3 and was talking about all the additional paranormal critters that got added, and giving me a rundown about how they were dealing with werewolves. And he pointed me to this guy:
Helloooooooooo, Abs! I mean Mick! I showed him to Susan and she said that’s not at all how she pictured him. But that’s pretty darn close to how he was in my mind.
Do you notice when authors don’t describe much about the characters? Do you prefer it so that you can picture them yourself? Or do you like them to be described crystal clear?
Wow, nice 🙂 thank you for sharing the picture 🙂
I think I’m some where inbetween. Not enough description can be frustrating, but if you give a ton than you leave me no where to go. However if you describe the guy above in great detail I wont complain 🙂
I was so glad when True Blood brought this character in. I had always wondered what Alcide looked like when I was reading the books, and I was NOT disappointed. And now I can picture Mick, too! :0) Yum.
I like a good decription. (I’m bad about not describing characters in detail and then going back later and wondering why I didn’t.) I mean, you don’t have to mention every mole and freckle, but I do like to get an idea of how the author sees the character. After all, the characters and the story belong to the author, and I like to see what’s in the writer’s mind. Is the character blond or brunette? Is the hair long or short? What color are the eyes? I like to know this stuff.
I usually get as far as hair and eye colour, general build. Sometimes, as you say, I have a very detailed idea of how a character looks and I describe them accordingly. Other times, not so much. Someone pointed out yesterday that there is a preponderance of blondes in my stories, but that’s only the girls. Sometimes I have an impression of how someone looks, which is not very helpful for describing them, and sometimes it’s an impression they give off, which is actually better for description. *scratches head* I’m really not very consistent.
If an author writes more than a sentence or two of description at a time, I start skimming. I take take in broad shoulders and six pack abs in one sitting. Next time, maybe you can tell me about his smoldering dark eyes and shaggy, dark hair. If it’s done in bits, I’m okay. Otherwise, skim city.
I’m sorry Kait – were you saying something? 🙂
I’m a vague description sort…less is more, in my book (or books I’m reading, either way). I like to imagine what characters look like on my own.
And thanks for that picture. Lovely way to start my work day. 😉
I enjoy the vague description so I can make my own vision of a character. However, did enjoy the visual here…:)
Even if they’re described crystal clear, I still form my own mental image. I’ve only recently gotten into finding images that suit my characters, but it’s lost of fun!
The Harry Potter movies are probably the only case where people have looked exactly how I imagined them.
Love Mick’s name [g]
Kait, I’m having trouble answering this post because I can’t stop staring at the picture. Good Lord!
I like characters fairly well described with a little bit of wiggle room. I think we all put our own visual stamp on them no matter how precise they are, but I do love when I writer puts in a lot of little, quirky details that make the character unique.
And I agree with deniz – the Harry Potter movies pretty much nailed the characters visually.
I prefer having a general idea of appearance, but it’s really a matter of who’s telling the story. If I’m distracted from the story because I’m wondering what the heroine’s hair color is, well, then evidently I’m not too interested in the story.
And if the character’s described in detail in the book, the cover had better match up! 🙂
That said, your picture is actually pretty close to how I thought of Mick, too.
I like it when the author does describe the characters well; what I don’t like is when they are pictured on the cover mostly because the models on the cover don’t match the author’s description of the character.
Yes, that is the worst!!!! Publishers don’t often let the author have a say in the cover art, right?