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Old 11-05-2016, 09:49 AM   #1
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Describing facial features – in words...


Okay, so there’s four women I’m thinking of…

Miranda Kerr

Elle Evans

Shelley Long

Alexis Bledel

How to describe their facial appearances – in words?

Specifically, the female protagonist in one of my stories is based on a woman who happens to look a lot like Shelley Long.

So it would be very useful to have suggestions on how to describe – in words – their facial features.

And I'm also thinking of how to describe the "personality" – or personality traits – that the facial appearance projects...

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Old 11-07-2016, 08:24 AM   #2
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This could have been an interesting thread if it had been made into a general style of character description.

To me all your girls look as though they were made in the image of plastic toys made to entertain pre-pubescent girls. This is not said in any way to be rude or upsetting to you. Nor to insult the girls in the photos. This was just my personal impressions of your few examples.

I might take this thread and run with it for a time and see what we will see! It was a very enticing title for writers.

Characters and their descriptions are so very important in building a story.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:48 AM   #3
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Character -- Non Descript Boring

Setting a scene I want to describe someone who may be perceived as boring, a person who wouldn't rate a second glance. I will start with my description please feel free to add your own description of the person I have outlined as you would see them. Or any other style of character of your choice.

He can't be too fat, too slim, too tall or too short this means he has to have an average build probably 5'9"
His clothes need to be relatively unfashionable, not dirty or disheveled possibly gifts his relatives have given, perhaps clothes from thrift shops. Pullover maybe a brown/green sort of color and maybe khaki slacks, plain brown leather shoes.

Now to his face....sallow complexion, nondescript colored eyes, perhaps similar to his jumper, thick nose, thin lips, slightly under slung chin, no facial hair other rather thick eyebrows, full head of hair, mousy color, glasses with plain brown thickish rims.

Last edited by rawsilk : 11-07-2016 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:34 PM   #4
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Shelly Long, at least back in the day, I would describe as

"A beautiful, fine-featured blond, with large dark eyes. She was smart, she was quirky, she was kind, and she was always just a bit off-balance"
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:28 AM   #5
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Thank you erotica s n.

I'm liking these excersises they get the juices flowing.

I like the idea of not just an objective viewpoint too. Without knowing these women I can inject my own subjective psyche to the equation too.

I'll post my findings laters x
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:00 AM   #6
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This is an interesting task, but the photos themselves aren't wonderful - they're all posed and the expressions look fake. All these faces would look different in a natural photo. I only consider Kerr pretty, from that set of pictures.

That said:

It was the eyes you saw first - grey, mischievous, and wise for her years... but maybe tired, like she'd been working all day at being nice and needed a break. The cute dimples were next; the smile should have been, but there was too much lipstick and it didn't work on her. I wondered if she'd just come off a stage or set somewhere. Slightly pudgy cheeks made her kissable; and pretty brown hair to her midback framed her attractively. Overall, I thought she was pretty, but maybe entering into a kind of faded glory - at any earlier time, or under different lighting, she'd have wowed people, but now all I could think was that she probably needed a hug.

Her eyes, though. I'd remember those.

It was a long trek up from her cleavage to her face, and I wasn't sure it had been worth the journey. Her hair, a poofy mass of straight blonde hair that said No, I didn't style this (but really I did), sent a message of artifice and deception. The brown eyes didn't help - they looked at you but just behind them was something thousand miles away. Too much lipstick on an open mouthed, toothy smile and a pointy little chin... predator, I thought. One who was staring to miss her prey by being too obvious.

Too much makeup on the cheeks, and the sense that she was retying to recapture her look when she was 20 (ten years ago? Maybe even more?)... I returned my eyes to her cleavage, unfaded and attractive. It was the safe bet with her, and I could tell she was used to having them looked at.

She looked at my friendly skeptically and maybe a little sadly, with big brown eyes. I liked her. I liked the way her slightly frizzy blonde hair framed her face and neck and stopped at the shoulders, as if to say "I'm pretty, but I want to be taken seriously". I liked the fine blondish eyebrows, just peeking out from among her straight bangs, and the small mouth. Nothing was out of balance. She would never be stunning, and the sadness in her eyes might have been a permanent fixture, but she was instantly likable. Her eyes were everything, and when the eyes are right, sometimes the rest doesn't matter so much.

I chuckled the moment I saw her - her smile invited it. She wasn't lovely; she was more striking, with a face that had never been narrow, but eyes that were electric in their light grey-blue intensity that I thought they must be contacts. And her mouth - I wanted to get her to speak, to see her lips move. They were for talking, not kissing, and I imagined she'd hold her own in a conversation. The masses of red-brown hair tickling her shoulders made her look Irish, as did the attitude bubbling just below the surface.

I lowered my eyes to her cleavage, and that's when she smacked me. Playfully, mostly. I decided I liked her.

rawsink: toys made to entertain pre-pubscent boys? Plastic toys for young men wouldn't have or need makeup to cover the onset of age lines. SL is the only one who doesn't look like her age is beginning to show, and while I love her eyes in that shot, she's not exactly pin-up material there. I think you're being put off by the over-abundant makeup - I know I was.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:15 PM   #7
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Yeah, the choices of photo maybe aren't super-flattering? I'm not fussed whether the photos are posed or not, but I might find it more interesting to work from more varied images that really illustrate why each of these women is a famous beauty (and all of them are).

I'm not entirely clear on why... are you actually looking to derive your characters' personality traits directly from the physical appearances of these actresses? Because even between shoots, models will convey a variety of different "personalities" with their appearance. (Or is that why you picked these particular images, because your characters are based on these particular "moods" of these specific celebrities?)
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RabbleVox View Post
Shelly Long, at least back in the day, I would describe as

"A beautiful, fine-featured blond, with large dark eyes. She was smart, she was quirky, she was kind, and she was always just a bit off-balance"
If you really want to use a description like that, lose the was. All the past tense makes it sound like you're describing someone who is dead.

So you know, the reason this jumped out to me is I'm working hard to get out of the 'was' habit myself.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:26 AM   #9
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What is important in describing a character, the placement of a dimple? the height of the check bones? The graceful arch of her lower lip? Or the almost forgotten scar on her chin from the time she just wouldn't let the neighbor's tree keep her kite? Or the faint "zipper imprint" on her cheek that suggests she feel asleep in her coat, on the sofa, again?

Certainly, both matter, especially in erotic fiction. But I submit that what matters most is subjective to the time and context within the story.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:49 AM   #10
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"...a young woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome..."


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Old 09-03-2017, 07:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gotham_Central View Post
... I submit that what matters most is subjective to the time and context within the story.
Gotham_Central has hit the nail on the head here.

For me, when it comes to description, less is more. You need to leave space for the reader's imagination to work.

Long passages of dry description that the reader has to wade through simply don't work. Description needs to be integrated within the story. After all, a character is built on more than just physical appearance. It is what they think, what they say, how they move and how they behave that makes them come alive.

For every character I write I try to have one or two stand-out traits that the reader might find memorable, that makes them identifiable. George always wears a hat, Penelope rubs the back of her neck when she's embarrassed - that sort of thing.

Try to avoid clichés and don't shy away from giving your characters flaws. (I would suggest avoiding characters based on celebrities.)

As an example of what I mean I will use Miranda Kerr as a rough basis for the character I'm describing in the following scene...

'Some party, eh?'
She must have meant it sarcastically.
I turned to see who had spoken to me and found a pretty brunette girl standing by the bar. In one hand she held a glass of something fizzy while the other rested on her hip.
'Tell me about it,' I said, rolling my eyes.
'No, I was being serious,' she said. She made a stern expression at me.
But then her face cracked apart as she broke into a beaming smile.
'Ah, I see,' I said.
Her cheeks dimpled. She looked so cute. I couldn't help but laugh.
I sipped my drink and leaned back against the bar counter.
'So, I've not seen you here before,' she said.
I didn't think I'd seen her before either. She must have been about thirty years of age, much younger than the other guests. Her casual outfit was offset with a dark suit jacket that she wore over the top.
'Well, I've never had the pleasure of being invited to one of John and Mary's dos until now,' I explained.
'Oh, I see,' she said, raising her eyebrows, 'a new initiate, eh?'
'Something like that.'
She gave me an appraising look.
‘Oh boy,’ she sighed.
‘You have no idea what’s in store for you at John and Mary’s monthly parties.’
I didn’t know whether to be excited or afraid. Perhaps she noticed me looking slightly nervous because just then she gave me another one of those dimpled smiles as if to demonstrate she was on my side.
'Don't worry, I’m just teasing,’ she said, her blue eyes catching mine. ‘I'll show you the ropes... take care of you.’

Last edited by delicious_man : 01-16-2018 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:09 AM   #12
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They are all facially perfect because I can only imagine flawless celebrities in sexual situations.Sorry that's all I got.
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