Follow by Email

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Body Parts

An editor once told me I described the eyes of every character in my book. I wouldn't be surprised if I do. I've always thought the eyes were truly the window into a person's soul.

Consider the Afghanistan girl on the cover of Time Magazine who captured the interest of people around the world with her haunting green eyes:

Would her story have been as intriguing, her ordeal as heart wrenching, if she'd been wearing sunglasses? If she'd worn a shawl or cap that shaded her eyes? Or if her eyes had been nondescript? If she'd been looking down, so her eyes are not visible at all?

In the book trailer for Vicki's Key, these eyes were used to depict the CIA Agent in Afghanistan:

What do the eyes tell you about the man?

When you are reading a book, what are some of the descriptions that pop out at you and make you remember the character more vividly? Whether it's Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird or Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind... or any other character who has remained with you through the years?

And when does the author's descriptions turn you off from the character or even the book itself?


onespoiledcat said...

I agree with you Trish about's the first thing most of us notice about someone we meet because that's where we look when we speak to them - and there's much to be "seen" in those eyes. I believe in providing detailed physical descriptions for my characters because it's what I expect when I read a book...I want to know what they look like from top to bottom. I don't need to know "overly personal" details but seeing the characters clearly helps us with that "movie" we see in our heads when we read a good book. You're quite masterful at making us SEE your characters - the good, the bad AND the ugly (or scary!).

Pam Kimmell

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for the comment, Pam! I agree with you. I have also found that female writers have more of a tendency to provide that level of detail than male authors. Wonder why?