Unique character descriptions

You are a writer. You can think of a better way to describe your heroine than “sprightly.” Your town drunk can be something more original than “uncouth.” You can find a more unique way to convey the fact that your hero is “handsome.”

BE ORIGINAL. And yes, I am yelling.

I am the first person to admit I don’t always have original descriptions, mostly because I am not as gifted as other writers. But I TRY.

Here, for your inspiration and jealousy, are a few descriptions I got from a friend who read Stephen Hunter’s novel, Hot Springs:

... a largish old man in a lumpy suit, beaten-to-hell boots and a fedora that looked as if it had been pulled by a tractor through the fields of Oklahoma, who seemed to do a lot of spitting.

Her accent was sugar-dipped, like a fritter hot on a cool Southern morning, and he placed it as either from Georgia or Alabam.

Camy here: Isn’t that just amazing? I feel inspired and ready to be original, myself.


  1. As usual, your reminder was well-timed. At work on a new ms, I'd written a sentence late last night that I didn't really like, but didn't feel the umph to better.

    It was...
    Well-dressed and professionally coifed, Mrs. Beeman was the picture of charm and grace.
    (Boring to the max!)

    After reading your post it reads...
    In less than sixty seconds, Mrs. Beeman had sashayed through the columned arch, swept her larger-than-life presence through the room, and showered Abby with a lifetime of sophistication.
    (Definitely better)

    Thanks for the kick in the pants!


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