Today I want to talk about physical looks, which play a big part in creating a compelling story of your characters’ longing for one another. While I’d strongly urge writers to avoid basing an entire relationship on physical attraction alone, it is still an undeniable fact that human beings desire and value beauty. As such, readers need to understand what’s physically attractive about your characters, or at the very least, what the characters find physically attractive about each other. It could be that they’re pretty, young, muscled, tall, with striking features. Or it could be that they don’t fit the usual ideas of beauty at all, but have an incredible smile or brilliant eyes or graceful hands.
I will say that I usually do picture most of my characters as hotties, and they’re usually described that way. I also tend to focus on eyes a lot… Maybe a little too much, if I’m being honest. ;) But I find eyes to be the most expressive part of the face, and my characters tend to spend a lot of time observing each other’s eye color, and eye movement, and where their gaze is focused during conversations, etc.
Some elements of physical attractiveness to think about:
- body type / build / shape
- hair color, length, texture and style
- eye color, shape, and size
- mouth shape
- freckles, moles, scars, tattoos or other distinguishing marks
- unique nose, chin, brow, or cheek structure
- shape of hands, fingers and fingernails
- the sound of their voice
- style of dress
- walking gait, grace of movement
Don’t forget that sometimes it’s the more unusual bits… the sound of someone’s voice or the way their hips swing when they walk… that proves to be their sexiest physical feature. Keep the big picture in mind: physical attraction provides basis for the characters to long for and desire one another, and desire is a critical component of a romance.
Check back tomorrow when we’ll be talking about personality traits, and how they factor into attraction…