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How to Describe a Person?

I’m writing a short story and I’m introducing a new character into it, but I don’t know how to put her description into well developed sentences. Every time I describe a person, I always end up writing around 5-6 sentences that start with “she” or “her”. I would like to discover new ways to start sentences that describe a person. Some help would be much appreciated :)

When she’s introduced, she shows up at the main character’s doorstep covered in wounds and blood requesting a place to sleep for a couple hours. She has the following features:

Sallow face (drained of color)

Cheeks lightly dappled with freckles

Haunted green eyes that pierce through the heart and bring sorrow to those that look into them

Platinum blonde hair that barley touch her shoulders and is tangled and unkempt, yet it beautifully flows through the wind

Extremely thin, around 110 pounds

Looks twenty-seven years old

She’s grimacing in pain

When she’s first seen, she’s slouching over breathing heavily and holding her hand over a deep wound on her left bicep

She’s wearing a grey tank top and light blue washed out bootcut jeans that are both ripped up and bloodied

She has no shoes

I hope that’s enough general info. Thanks guys!

Update:

Sorry, I forgot to mention that the main character is a doctor, so he does notice and point out the little things (her weight, age, wounds, etc.)

3 Answers

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  • 4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The key is to *not* describe the person in one go. By the sounds of it you're trying to put everything in that list into one paragraph, so it's not wonder you are having problems. Try and insert descriptions subtly while telling us other things about her, or while making your own character carry out different actions. It is always a lot better than shoving one paragraph on us filled with what is nothing more than a "missing person" report.

    For example:

    "She looked as if she had been through a horrific ordeal. Her blonde hair was a matted mess, and a cut ran the length of her otherwise pale cheek"

    "As soon as she sank onto the sofa I hurried off to get her a jumper; she was painfully thin and wearing nothing more than a tank-top, and it wasn't exactly the warmest of days/nights. When I gave it to her she pulled it on gingerly, trying not to brush a deep wound on her upper arm"

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  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    You don't need to describe her so much - leave most of her appearance to the imaginations of your readers.

    If any of that 'description' you've given is really important, mention each detail as you go through the story. But if it really doesn't matter - leave it out. You can have that vision of her as you write, but your readers really don't need to know that much.

    It's a common mistake that very young writers make, feeling that they have to describe everyone is minute detail - but it's simply not necessary.

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  • 4 years ago

    Use good adjectives.

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