Beautiful People

Jan 1986 - CopyOne of the joys of being a creative writer is forming a person from imagination. It can be a short, spectacle wearing, ginger-haired Londoner who depends on the support of a walking stick.

It could be a 21-year-old girl, with blue eyes, long dark lashes, and auburn hair that almost reaches her waist. Her favourite outfit might be T-shirt, Daisy Dukes, and training shoes.

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Whatever the age, background, profession or appearance, it’s up to the writer to portray what is required for the character in question.

I like to create good-looking characters, although I’ve found it necessary to give birth (metaphorically speaking), to big, bald, muscular men who have a livid scar near the left eye, and a serious issue with people defying them.

On occasion I’ve created a quiet little woman who slips from scene to scene practically unnoticed. March 1985 2

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Why have I decided to write about this aspect of writing?

I had a review not long back which suggested that my characters were all too good-looking. Well, I’m sorry for populating a story with such characters, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

Forgive me dear reviewer, whoever you are. I didn’t have a picture of you to use as a character description!

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Have you ever been reprimanded in a review for creating people who are too attractive?

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Have you ever been asked why a certain character has a certain idiosyncrasy?

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While I’m here today, I thought I’d bend to demand and prove that I can draw the male form as well as the female.

If you don’t like the look of the people in the drawings that accompany this post, I’m really sorry.

One of the sketches is a self-portrait … not!

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As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and rhetoric, and for leaving any feedback.

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16 comments on “Beautiful People

  1. Great blog, Tom – and I like your drawings, too. The nude woman is stunning – beautifully drawn. I hope the model didn’t get too tired posing for it. I agree with you about the joy of creating characters. I see mine so clearly in my mind’s eye, but interestingly I don’t particularly describe them, except perhaps a feature or two in passing. So in that sense I offer brief pencil sketches and leave the reader to imagine the rest for themselves! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lesley and thanks for dropping in with compliments and a comment.
      You may not describe your characters in physical detail, but their thought process and how they will handle a situation is pretty well set out so the reader knows the characters in some depth.
      Your character portrayals are excellent.

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  2. The man can have a few scars and flaws but he must be strong and capable. The woman must have the right curves. The way I see it, it’s your book, your baby and you can do what you like. We cannot please everybody.

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  3. I see the beauty in every person, whatever their physical features may be. The character that I love shines through making them appear beautiful in my eyes. I guess it is the same creating a character, except you get to paint the physical features to resemble the character you love so much. What’s wrong with sharing a little beauty?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sylva and thank you for the visit and comment. I too see beauty in people, although sadly I would have to leave the word ‘every’ out of that, but I do know what you mean.
      I even like some of my villains, but I don’t have to make them good looking to see that they have a decent streak in them somewhere, and that they too are ‘beautiful’ to somebody.

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  4. I loved the drawings! It’s great you can express yourself through your writing and your art – and you do both beautifully. I haven’t really went into details with my characters appearance, I will now! Great blog again Tom.

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    • Thank you for the visit and the kind compliments Sharon. I enjoy detail as you will know, whether it be a person, a location or an item, but I do try to only use the detail in one aspect of a scene at any one time, so that it doesn’t become a four-page description, or the reader forgets what was going on.
      I suppose I do it because it’s what I like to read.

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  5. I’ve come around in my thinking about beautiful people: When I was a young man (sigh) it struck me as odd that all the characters in mystery novels and in the movies were beautiful – especially the women. Later, as a reporter, I met quite a few really beautiful women who were FBI agents, cops, military officers, etc. In fact, recently I read about a British beauty queen who was awarded the Victoria Cross for beating the crap out of some insurgent in Afghanistan with her bare hands… Tom, art imitates life so fie on those who think your characters should be ugly… and, yeah, I love the drawings too 🙂

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  6. Hello and thank you for dropping by Mike – I appreciate it. I too thought like you did when I read novels years ago, and perhaps that’s where my penchant for attractive main characters comes in.
    It might be that I’ve known enough ugliness in my life and I just want to spread a bit of joy and beauty around for everyone.
    Thank you for the kind compliment on my artwork.

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  7. Hey, Tom. You know, comments like these are the reason I stopped reading the reviews of my book. No, I wasn’t accused of creating too-beautiful people, which is ludicrous, btw, but I did get comments about my MC’s repetitive speech patterns (because that never happens in real life) or the fact that the story finished in a HEA (although if it hadn’t, people would’ve complained about that too), or the fact that the villain ended up losing the girl (because, again, that never happens in real life). My advice is to move on and forget about it. Characters should be beautiful. Or not. Flawed, deep, shallow – or not. The point is they’re YOURS, not theirs. Let them write their own if they’re under the impression they can do it better 🙂 Love the sketches!

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  8. Hi Ramona, and sincere thanks for your visit, thoughts, kind comments and compliment.
    I have to agree with you and others, people will complain whichever route we take as authors – it goes with the territory, so we have to satisfy ourselves and hopefully we’ll satisfy the majority of our readers along the way. 😀

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  9. Well, I knew you were a writer, Tom, but I had no idea you are also a damn fine artist. And as far as all your characters being good looking, one only has to look at movies to see that the majority of the population want to look at–and read about–beautiful people. That’s just how it is…we want fantasy, not real life. We want to be entertained.

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  10. Hello and thank for dropping by with your kind comment, and compliment Cathy. I suppose as long as people are allowed to have opinions, they’ll say something just to get a little bit of attention.
    I’m with you – I like reading about beautiful people, probably because it just reminds me of … me! 😀

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