Most of my regular readers will have caught on by now that I'm currently in the throes of NaNoWriMo. See THIS POST for a snippet of what I'm writing. I've been using the placeholder technique that I learned from BJ at Dark Side of the Covers like mad, but one thing that still stops me in my tracks is character description.
Apparently, I suck the big one at describing how people look without making it sound like one big list of vital statistics. Hair, eyes, build, sense of humor/lack thereof. In that order. Every time. It's like I can't go on to write anything else until I've gotten those few details out of the way. They're not even done in any creative way. They're just handed to the reader, as simply as possible and then I can move on.
Now I'm not the most analytical reader but even I know this kind of listy character description is jarring to read. There are certain book I've read which do the description thing so well. They liken someones features to something in nature, the colour of their hair or eyes to the seasons. All I can come up with is green eyes looking like a forest something or rather and even that has me gagging.
Sometimes, I'll look at some pics of actors I think will be great to be cast as one of my characters, but even then it's not that helpful. Besides, Ben Barnes can only play so many characters at once.
So this week, I want to know how you guys come up with the various ways to describe your characters? For you avid readers out there, are there certain ways you like/dislike your characters described? Do you like for a characters vital stats to be given to you right away or for their physical attributes to be slowly divulged? Until I get some insight, it's back to 'black hair framed his sharply angled face where forest green eyes sat staring at me.' Puke.
Oh and for you guys doing NaNoWriMo this year. You've got to check out this post by Ashley at Book Labyrinth. It's got all the info regarding a YA Novel Writing Comp where you can win the opportunity to submit your work to a top NY literary agent plus heaps more! I'm going to enter for sure!