Character Descriptions: How Much is Too Much?

So. We’re here again. Making this little commitment (write a book-related discussion every month) I placed myself in work. I forgot doing last month, by the way. Don’t follow me, kids. Commitments are commitments.

Anyway, I was reading this romance novel a few days ago (I’m literally looking at my Recent Reads right now and can’t pinpoint where it was that I’ve read. Dang it, what happened to my memory? Still vacationing in the Carribeans? *sigh*) and something struck to me while reading a narrative part of the story. And voilà, book-related discussion.

I won’t say that I’m the only one who noticed this (I get the “everybody’s special” thing, I just don’t think I’m that special) but I don’t see it often in book discussions. So help me out here: does anyone else notice character descriptions?

Have you ever felt like the author just went into the TMI zone and you’re bothered by it? Like you were given unnecessary details?

See, the main female character was narrating about how she looked and something about it made me instantly thought, Oh no, I don’t want read this. I don’t care what you’re specifically wearing.

And that got me thinking about character descriptions that are too much for me.

As a writer-hobbyist, I am quite conscious of noticing such things on the novels I read. How do the author introduce the characters? To which point do the author stop describing and give the readers the freedom of imagination?

As a reader, I mentioned a while ago that I usually rely on the character’s personalities to get the feel and idea of who they are. A whole paragraph worth of character description is just too much for me, whether it’s to introduce a character or not. Personally, I don’t think you usually notice miniscule details of a person at first glance–unless you’re ogling or the other person doesn’t know you’re looking. It goes with getting to know the person better.

And I find that this kind of realistic narration when it comes to character descriptions are what I usually prefer.

YOUR TURN! Do you notice how authors write their character descriptions? When is character descriptions too much to you?


4 thoughts on “Character Descriptions: How Much is Too Much?

  1. I don’t mind some descriptions, but I don’t like it when there are long, drawn-out descriptions of characters. Some fantasy writers go overboard with descriptions, telling you in detail what each and every character is wearing. I tend to just skim those parts, honestly. I don’t care enough for that much detail unless it tells us something very specific about the character.

    Liked by 1 person

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