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 How To Create Your Character's Appearance, A Helpful Guide
♔ Rayven
Posted: Nov 28 2010, 01:10 PM

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a guide to describing and creating a character's appearance

Go to a roleplay between two or more people from any site. Read at least two posts from each member, and play the scene in your head. What do the character's look like? What are they doing? How do their faces look? Try to put as much detail in your brain as possible. Now, imagine what would happen if the character's appearance wasn't described. The setting and actions were described nicely, but you have no idea who is in that setting or doing those things. Are they a teenaged boy? A flying monkey from space? A dog?

Appearance is a very important part of your character. They turn your character from an idea on a page to a real, breathing, living person. Even if your character has a very well worked out personality, they aren't there if they don't look like anything. This guide will help you to create a suitable appearance for your character.

How Your Character Looks

Everybody looks different. Not one person in this world looks the same, twins as well. Everybody has something unique about them, wether they wear pink instead of their sister's purple, have a green mullet, or simply have a pimple that separates them from all the rest. Think about this while creating your characters appearance.

We'll start with some tips that you should keep in mind while creating your character's look.
  • No body is perfectly beautiful. Add some appearance flaws to your character.
  • Do your character's like the way they look? When writing out their appearance at the end, consider writing this.
  • Why does your character have a mullet? Was it a dare? Did they get their green eyes from their parents? Try to include detail in your brain when thinking about appearance.

Deciding The Appearance

Here is some information about each appearance trait. Make sure you write this stuff down, in jot notes, as we go!

Hair: Your character's hair is usually the first thing people look at when they see someone. Make sure their hair fits them well. Don't give a green mullet to a shy boy who spends all his time reading, unless there is a backstory. Think a lot about this, and consider different types of hair.

My character, Emilio, has black, un-keepable hair. It's always a tangle of knots. Emilio, however, doesn't seem to mind very much.

Eyes: Most people inherit their eyes from a relative, so keep that in mind. Some, however, don't inherit their parent's eyes, but their grandmother's, or even great grandfather's eyes. Try giving your character green eyes, in a home of blue, because their great aunt had green eyes. Don't give your character off eye colors, such as purple or red. It's just not realistic.

Emilio's eyes are bright blue, taken from his mother's side of the family. He doesn't hate or like them. They're just eyes, after all.

Skin: Your character's skin color will reflect what country they were born in, or their family members were born in. Don't give them white skin if their parent's were born in Africa.

Emilio has tan skin, because he was born in Italy.

Nose, Ears & Mouth: This isn't really a big part of your character's appearance. It is important, however, to know if your character has a small nose or giant ears.

Emilio has mostly average sized things, but has a relativaly large mouth when smiling.

Build/Body: Are they tall, short, overweight, skinny? Do they have muscles? Or are they simply skinny? Are they this way because they eat to much? Not enough? Think about this, as this is a big part of your character.

Emilio is a bit short, and of average weight. He eats quite healthy, which is why he stays of this weight. Emilio doesn't work out, so doesn't have very much muscle.

Facial Expressions: Do your characters smile a lot? Raise their eyebrows? Describe some things your character's do when of different feelings and thoughts.

Emilio is smiling most of the time. If he's not smiling, he's hung over, which happens quite a lot. Emilio is pretty good at hiding his true feelings otherwise.

Feet: Again, not very important. But are your character's size eight or twenty? Do they wear flip flops? Running shoes?

Emilio usually wears large, skater shoes that make his tiny feet look bigger. They tend to fall of, however.

Scars/Birthmarks: A sun on their back? A big scar from a car accident? Explain.

Emilio has no scars or birthmarks, though he has several tattoos of dragons and such along his legs.

Other: Feel free to add anything else you can think of. Harry legs? Smelly armpits? This might be a good place to add flaws.

Emilio actually wears contacts, but no one knows besides him and his eye doctor.

Putting It Together

Let's write one of those large, two or three paragraph descriptions of your characters appearance you have to write for forum applications. Except, let's make it as long or short as you want, in list form or paragraphs, and use it to simply lay everything out in front of you.

I see no need in providing an example for this one, because it's simple! I also, basically, made a spread out list as examples for above. Just put sentences like that together as a list, and there you go! Write out all your appearance traits in a list or paragraph(s), though in full sentences. Include why they have such looks, if they like them, etc. This will help you to lay everything in front of you.

This is also the time for adding anything you or I may have missed. Also, you can read through your appearance, and decide if it fits your character, or if it's to Mary Sue-ish. Writing this all out at once may seem like a pain in the butt, but it will help you in the long run.


Well, thank you for reading. I hope your character's appearance now has flaws, and makes them look the way you want them to. Have fun writing or roleplaying!

guide by 'izzyhead' from rpg-directory..


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