Describing a face

How do you do it? I wonder if one can really use words to describe a face accurately. People tend to default to faces they’ve seen before, or shapes they are familiar with.

I am trying something with a character of mine, and have picked a face of a real person to use as my characters face. After I describe her, I’ll see if it is at all similar to what my readers imagined…

Could be interesting to see how close I can get to putting that face in people’s minds!


3 Replies to “Describing a face”

  1. It’s worth bearing in mind though that some readers don’t require masses of intricately detailed description (I am one of those readers). Most of the time if I’m told they have blue eyes or black hair that falls into their eyes or a nose that juts at a particular angle, I probably won’t remember these details, unless the contribute to the story in some way -e.g. someone with a beaky, pointy nose is arrogant, and holds their head high, making the nose prominent – and I’ll imagine them in my own way, depending on how I see the characters interact in the narrative. 🙂

    1. Very good points. Taking too much time describing someone can be annoying to the reader. I’m mostly curious if I have a particular face in mind, how much of that will reach through to the reader. If I show them a picture afterward, will they say ‘oh yeah, that’s totally her’ or will they have someone completely other in mind? Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

      1. Yes, I think that’s definitely interesting. It’s what causes so much joy or anger when a film adaptation of a novel comes out – either readers are thrilled they look JUST like the book character’s description, or angry that they don’t look anything like how they were described in the book! 🙂

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