Now, anyone who has read a romance novel knows that how the characters are described tend to be a bit more flowery than how they would actually be described in real life. So, I have a list of friends/relatives (Johana, Ben, Ari, Fionn, August, and Faith) and I’ll tell you what they look like, then how they would (maybe) be described in a romance novel.
This is also my way of trying to learn how to describe my own, not-real characters better.
How most people would describe her: She’s an average height, with brown hair reaching a little bit past her shoulders and brown eyes.
How she might be described in a romance novel: She’s of a common height, a little bit shorter than me. Her hair is the color of rich, black coffee, and it cascades down her back in elegant waves. Her eyes are like melted chocolate.
How most people would describe him: His height is about normal; he’s a bit too short to be tall, but not short enough to be considered short, either. He has brown hair and brown eyes.
How he might be described in a romance novel: He’s taller than me by a hair, just enough so that I need to tip my chin back to look at him. His hair is dark and slightly curly, and it looks so soft. His eyes are a hypnotizing brown.
How most people would describe her: She’s slightly short and very fit. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
How she might be described in a romance novel: She’s curvy and draws the eye. Her hair is up in an artfully messy bun, and her eyes are the same deep, dark brown as the black coffee in my hands.
How most people would describe him: He’s tall and skinny, with blue hair and hazel-green eyes.
How he might be described in a romance novel: He draws the eye in any crowd; he’s tall and long limbed in a way that would make most people seem awkward, but on him it’s perfectly proportioned. His hair is dyed a bright, brilliant blue. And his eyes…they’re hazel and green and blue all at once, and I could get lost in their depths.
How most people would describe him: He’s tall and blond, and has blue eyes.
How he might be described in a romance novel: He’s well-built and I dreamily imagine him wrapping his strong arms around me. His blond hair is curled and tangled, and I long to run my fingers through it and smooth it down. His eyes are the color of the river in the afternoon.
How most people would describe her: She’s short, and has blond hair and blue eyes.
How she might be described in a romance novel: She’s waifish and has a dancer’s lithe grace. Her flaxen hair tumbles across her shoulder in neat waves. Her eyes are a clear, pale blue blue; the color of the sky on a foggy day.
So…this was slightly awkward for me to write. More so than I thought it would be.
But what do you think? Do you think that characters should be described simply, or do you like the flowery style of a romance novel’s description?