Do you draw or paint or work in any other illustrated medium? No? Then you should try it sometimes. Even if you’re terrible at it, it can be relaxing, there’s something so nice about colours on paper.
But if you do draw, you probably are familiar with character design. You’ve probably seen videos or posts with tips, things such as color coordination, not going too over the top, playing with shapes…
This isn’t a character design tutorial. This is however me telling you to take the time to draw your characters. To draw them and actually look at them, pay attention to the smaller details, to that chain around her waist, to how his hair is slightly more to the left, to how their eyelashes are bigger than other characters you draw.
Sometimes writing an effective description can be hard, catching onto which small details matter can be difficult. But taking the time to make a drawing and look at it can really help you to notice things that hadn’t ocured to you before.
Also, if you have aphantasia or something similar it’s just an amazing idea in general because it’ll allow you to always have a perfect reference!
Another amazing thing about character designs is sometimes things look good in your head, maybe it even sounds good on paper, but you draw it and it’s just… not right. I’ve had a couple of characters I’ve had to redesign after drawing and not liking what I saw.
If you don’t enjoy drawing. Not one bit. Then another quick tip that I apply when I don’t have time is when I do character sheets I add a paragraph of just describing their appearance.
Not a list of features like hair color and eye color, but a paragraph of proper narration and description. One that pulls the details together to form an image.
In fact, perhaps the most important thing is just don’t ever trust your memory. Brains can be absolute bastards.
Anyway, as usual, check out my book, stories I’ve written plus other social medias: here.
Have you got any drawings of your characters? Feel free to reboot and show them off! That way I can see them.