The Novel Chronicles II: Physical Features

Hello all!

It’s time for (Drumroll, please) Part II of the Novel Chronicles. Just as recap of two days ago, the first Novel Chronicles installment focused on mental development of your character. It was important to make characters as realistic as possible in stories.

Not this isn’t for all novels; If you are creating a novel for children, character development is not all that important.  However, it is important to note that character depth is on a case by case basis.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s move on the physical appearances.

It’s pretty obvious that each novel has a sort of format when writing. For example, JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit opens with a whole first paragraph dedicated to just scenic descriptions. This was one of the things I would skip when reading the novel, but it is also extremely important.

Without character and scenic Descriptors, it an become increasingly difficult for your readers to envision the world you are trying to create.

Although my reading of The Hobbit ended up with me skipping most of the descriptions, not having them in the novel entirely would give movie producers free range when creating the movie version.
Even if you don’t plan on your book becoming a movie, think of it this way – in order to make sure your vision of what you want your novel to be, you have to be as descriptive as possible.

As a current example of what happens when you’re not too descriptive, take JK Rowling’s recent tweet about Hermione. For those that don’t know, the new production that shows the Harry Potter characters all grown up, there was a casting uproar.

The producers for the new Magical production of “Harry Potter and the Curse Child, Noma Dumezweni was cast as the new Hermione character.

Why would this be a big deal?

Well, the characters ethnicity is not what we would expect a grown up Emma Watson would look like, Noma Dumezweni is black.

With the news of this getting out to the public, fans of the Harry Potter series were completely annoyed with the casting choice; How could Hermione be black when throughout the whole movie series she was white?

If I must say – in the world of magic, anything is possible.

This wasn’t the only reasoning for the casting of Hermione; JK Rowling even took to her twitter to state that a black Hermione is completely possible because there was never a description about race.

On December 21, 2015, the billionaire author took to twitter to set the record straight:

Screenshot 2016-03-08 at 7.46.05 PM

With that being said, the uproar quieted to a dull whisper, their master had spoken.

Why is this such a big deal?

JK Rowling, whether it be purposeful or not, left out a crucial part of the description for her character. In a world where books are turned into movies all the time, being slightly more descriptive would have been a benefit.

Again, this is your work and you have full control over it. There is a picture in your mind’s eye about the way you see your character, don’t be afraid to get too in depth into detail.

As a way to make sure you describe your character in the most descriptive ways possible, make a chart listing all qualities of a person. The list should hold columns for hair color, eye color, skin complexion, race/ethnicity, scars, beauty marks, and anything else you can thing of.

Make sure that the character you create cannot be misconstrued into someone else’s idea of what they should look like. Books are a peak into the author’s mind, let your imagination run wild.


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