character appearance

Question: I have a pretty good idea of what I would like my character to look like, but it would really help to see it in front of me. I'm not the best when it comes to drawing people (yes, I've tried many, many times) and was wondering if there were any resources in existence where you can basically design a person with the wanted looks to adjust and find the best fit.

Answer: There probably are a number of computer programs that let you design characters in the manner of video games or animation, but perhaps not with the detail, authenticity, and variety you can find from looking at real people.

One common trick is to get hold of magazines and flip through them looking for photographs of people who resemble the character you have in mind.

Usually, it's best to avoid fashion and glamour magazines, because the people they feature are not a typical cross section of humanity. You may be better off with National Geographic, Life, or news magazines that show people as they are, not airbrushed or groomed for the camera.

For that matter, you can try going to a shopping mall or other public place and watch people going by until you see someone who resembles how you imagined your character. (Be respectful and discrete if you want to snap their photo, otherwise take notes quickly.)

You may want to borrow traits from several different people to create your unique character.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Character Invite.

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero