Beautiful People

She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought. She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful deep down to her soul. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and television watching lately. I think my brain needs a rest from all the chaos that my life has been for the last couple of months. It has not been a good summer. Anyway, even when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. So my entertainment choices made me ponder the way I write my characters.

Sometimes, I can read about a character and fall in love with them without even having a detailed description of their appearance. I find them attractive through their actions and dialogue. Or, after a description in the beginning which may not portray them as particularly handsome or beautiful, I will forget as I am drawn in by their personality. Intelligence, kindness, sense of humor, and a well-rounded education (not necessarily formal) are also very appealing. Most recently, I realized this in watching Endeavor on Masterpiece. Shaun Evans, who plays Inspector Morse as a young man, is not a classically handsome man, but I as I grew to love the character, I began to find him very attractive as well.

Shaun Evans via IMDb

Over the course of five novels and numerous short stories, I have fallen into the habit of writing all my main characters as physically beautiful. While I have also tried to imbue them with those other fine qualities I mentioned, I haven’t let them stand on their own. To grow and mature as a writer, I need to create characters who are beautiful deep down to their souls.

Header image via Google images.

31 thoughts on “Beautiful People

  1. That’s always been one of my pet peeves in writing: everybody has to be perfect. Rich, perfect cars and jaw lines, ruggedly handsome or devastatingly beautiful. It’s not believable. I like what you’re talking about with this. Looks are noticeable, but depth of personality and character is much more important. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I actually find myself rolling my eyes when I read descriptions in books of ‘perfect’ physical specimens. It’s not even relatable to the average reader. Sometimes an author won’t describe a character’s physical traits in too much detail. I actually like having my imagination fill in the blanks!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha! I can’t believe I can! I grew up with a female cousin though, both of us only-children, and she was a soap fanatic. Days Of Our Lives was her go-to, so I was forced to watch as well. 😏

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. We want to imagine our heroes and heroines as attractive. I like the idea of limiting physical description though – maybe leave that up to the reader’s imagination. That way everyone’s own tastes are satisfied, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pleasure! As much as I enjoy your photos/sketches, I enjoy your writing a whole lot more 🤷🏻‍♂️ Do more ✌️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Advertising is the prime example of this, and anyone who tries to veer away from perfectly formed, attractive men, women, and children, risks losing sales.
    I’ve seen some lovely adverts, and television productions, using Downs children and adults, but can’t help feeling it is tokenism only.

    Very few of us are perfect (apart from you and me of course). Why, oh why, can we not acknowledge that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true. Perhaps popular fiction is just an extension of advertising then… Or at least in the romance genre. More literary works have less ‘perfect’ characters and they are just as compelling. As for the ads with Downs kids and adults, it could be tokenism but it could also just be tugging at the heart strings to sell more product! Marketing is ruthless!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In most of our classics the protagonists are often portrayed as plain, ie; An American Tragedy, still in the end the main character is attracted to the Wealthy and beautiful girl, but the young woman who is not as physically attractive plays a much more important role and has a much deeper and emotional impact on the story for serious readers. The paperback romance on the other hand always works with the physically perfect. Shallow, but that’s what the reader is looking for. 🧡🤐

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I admit to having trouble *not* picturing my characters as perfect. But then again, I think I’m mostly writing for my own fantasizing… so I like to imagine perfect. It’s silly, I know. I do often try to stay away from too much detail of characters’ appearance. I was once asked to post a picture of what I envision my characters to look like but I refused. I want readers to imagine the look on their own. I’m thinking back to some of the stories I’ve posted… I don’t think I got too into physical descriptions in most cases. But in my mind, those descriptions are very detailed…

    Liked by 1 person

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