More specifically, how to describe them. Because I usually don't. In fact, in some stories, my characters don't even get names. This is not my fault. If they don't tell me what their names are, how can I tell you?
But if you think my character has long flowing locks of curly black hair and I describe him as having a a shaved head, well, no, annoying person, I am not wrong about my character. A person, especially a guy, who grows hair to his waist is a fundamentally different person than one who shaves his head. Think about that. Long hair, for a guy, is a trophy, a rebellion, a statement that no one owns you or your choices to step out of that gender box. Shaved hair is a symbol of all things military, and conforming. Not really the same type of person, my friend. (Just for fun, think about that same dynamics in a girl, and what the hair to the waist and the shaved head mean, and maybe it will make more sense.)
Dear, dear reader, I am not an idiot. Neither are you, of course, but maybe, read the book again, and imagine what might have to change about a guy who shaves his head to get him to grow it out to his waist. There might even be a really good story in that change, but do think about it, okay?
Also, another reason I don't describe my characters is this:
I watched this video, and OMG, I want to make a character that is this adorable, this sweet, and this happy. Well, until I break him , and then put him back together, that is, because, well, that's what I do. I mean, just watch the video. This kid just exudes joy all over the place. But if I commit to this particular configuration of physical characteristics in my head, what if I get it wrong in description? That's the time when I'll feel like I didn't succeed. (Like the Jude Law incident. Just...no. lol!)
So what do other writers do? I know some have very specific ideas of what their characters look like. Right down to having an actor/model/musician whatever representation to draw from in their descriptions. That just feels so...restricting to me. Are there any other writers like me out there who just, well, wing it? And what if, as a reader, that writer description isn't anything like what you imagine the characters to be? Do you just ignore the writer? (I do! lol!)
Wow. I read this over and the use of the word 'well' is shameful. This, readers, is what editors do for me. But. I decided to leave them, and do a little contest. Spur of the moment. I'll give away a few copies of and old story, "Muses's Vacation" (because the sub in this story is one of my more adorable characters, I think) to three people who play editor and tell me how many times I over-used the word 'well' in this post :D
Blurb: Patrick is pretty new to the idea of having a Dom. When Leo gets trapped in that endless cycle of word-lock, and the inspiration just doesn't come for his writer Dom, Patrick decides discretion is better than taking his needs and frustration to Leo and asking for what he wants. Leo is not pleased to find his sub trying to satisfy his own desires, but even giving Pat what he needs doesn't break through the block, and Patrick knows drastic measures are in order. He has to drag Leo half way around the world before the writer realizes it's time to put his muse, and his sub, in their places.