Depending on the length of your work, when creating characters, there are a lot of things that should be added to the physical description—things beyond the usual hair and eye color, height and weight, and clothes. For now, I write earth-bound characters, but what follows can be tailored to your whims and needs.
As a reminder of various things that make a character real, I collect photos from the Internet and place them in a general file called, “Character Pool.” Currently, there are almost 3,500 files in 65 sub-folders collected over the past years. The vast majority are photos of individuals and animals from around the world placed in regional files. This catalog is useful in selecting the general appearance of a character.
The more important files cover things that bring a character to life.
- Clothing (Ethic clothing in sub-folders by regions and country, Footwear, Headwear, and European and American dress from the skin out.)
- Clothing Styles (by regions)
- Habits and Quirks (Pintrest is a good source to find lists of these)
- Body art
- Veining on arms and hands
- Body hair
- Body shape
- Skin tones
- Emotions (facial expressions)
- Face (such as eye color, shape, freckles, Lips, Nose)
- Facial hair
- Size and Weight
- Miscellaneous (braces, glasses, jewelry, voice, physical response to outside stimuli)
There are also documents about such things as “Facts About Twins,” and “How to be EMO.”
As you think about it, there are many details to consider while assembling your character and about to breathe life into it. A catalog of photo prompts can very useful as reminders of things to use.