How not to develop characters (HT: @qldwriters)

Over at d.i.y. MFA, Becca Jordan lists a few examples of how not to write or describe your characters:

Here is an actual character description from my very first novel attempt that will never see the light of day:

“. . .She finally looked in the mirror to inspect her work.

She was a fairly thin, tall girl for her age. She looked down at her skirt that didn’t quite reach to the floor – she had outgrown that too a few years ago – all the way up to her thin face which was framed in the uncontrollable locks. Her green-gray eyes and straight pointed nose gave her the look of a hawk…Now Keilli ran a finger over the large white scar that ran from her forehead on the right all the way down to her jaw on the same side. Lord Trellan had told her that it had been on her face when he’d found her, though then it had been a new wound. It was the most prominent feature on her face, something she’d always disliked. But there was no time to linger on personal appearance now.”

Seriously. No more lingering. Please.

She goes through a bunch of examples of showing vs telling to help you get your head around what works and what doesn't. The old mirror trick really is the oldest one in the book. You can Picasso it and try to subvert the trope, but best to just smash them all up.

I don’t want you to tell me that Ingrid’s quirky. I want to figure it out for myself. Any old fool can say that someone’s quirky. It’s harder to show that she’s quirky.

Read it here: