Fill in the Details

Characters do not walk around in a void, naked, in empty rooms. You must clothe them, feed them and have them interact with objects.

When you create a character, one thing you might consider doing is looking at images online, finding people in the same age group, same size, same coloring. Look for clothing styles that fit the character’s profile. For example, you might not see a 60 year old woman baring her midriff and wearing skin-tight jeans, but she might wear a track suit with t-shirt, a cashmere sweater over a loose cotton top and black flats.

Print up a selection of clothes and put them min an album. Refer to them often, but don’t spend time in your story describing everything that the character wears. Occasional references keep the reader grounded.

Think about the houses or apartments in which your character lives or visits. It must have furnishings, right? Considering your character’s level of income and lifestyle, place chairs, tables, desks, curtains, bed and so on. To get ideas, once again, look online and print up what you see.

When your character enters these places, what does she see? Chrome and leather modernist chairs? Glass-topped coffee table? Mahogany end tables? Describe them once, but not necessarily as a line-by-line listing. Instead, infuse the story with little details throughout, sharing something new and refreshing each time.

Your task is to create a series of scenes in which your character walks into a room, looks around, and takes in the view. Describe what he sees, giving detail sufficient enough to paint the picture for the reader.

Do this over and over. Dress her in different outfits. Have her walk into a doctor’s office or a IT company for a job interview.

Have him sit down to a meal, and when it is presented, actually look at the food before him. Describe it, thinking of colors, textures, arrangement, taste.

Have fun with this.

Good luck.