[Latest entry on my blog, www.kierynnicolas.blogspot.com]

I visited one of my local middle schools this past week. It was
awesome! I met with a group of about fifteen students who were
interested in writing, and I talked mostly about characters. I even had
a PowerPoint to go along with it. (Yes...that made me feel very pro.)

One of the points I made in my presentation is about long and cliche
descriptions. Personally, i prefer to"show" more than "tell" when it
comes to character appearance. This includes inferring a lot of times.

An example of a "tell" description I used was (and I wrote this on the spot): ...curly, golden locks that were softly glowing in the sun, framing her
heart-shaped face with baby-blue eyes and rosy cheeks and dimpled smile
that showed rows of pearly white teeth, and she was wearing a pretty
green dress and starched socks with shining black shoes, and there was
a small silver locket hanging from a fine chain on her neck...

The next slide had a description of Caidy, a character in RAIN. This is the line when Mel first sees her: In front is a slim, agile girl with strawberry blonde hair tied back in a
bouncy ponytail. She saunters down the stairs with an air of authority
and slightly in front of the other three.

From those two descriptions I wrote, I feel a reader would get a lot more from the
second, even though it's shorter. The first tells us a lot about how
this Goldilocks-esque girl looks, but not much about her character
right off the bat. Caidy's description shows that Caidy's probably
somewhat athletic, has reddish-blonde hair long enough to be in a
ponytail, and likes to be the leader of the group.

Anyway, thought I'd share that since I had a lot of fun presenting it at the middle school!

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