Friday Feature - Character Descriptions in Young Adult Novels

Friday, 20 May 2016
Feature Friday is a weekly feature where I let other bloggers flaunt their own opinions or reviews or have them post a discussion about anything and everything. Anyone can feature! This week we have another Feature Friday post, this time by Julia from Picnic Reads!

*If you'd like to do the same, contact me!*

(Disclaimer: All posts are done by different bloggers and I may or may not agree with what they like to post. We are all different people and will share different views and opinions. Everything is open to discussion. If anyone finds anything offensive, feel free to contact me)

Hi Everyone! My name’s Julia and I am so excited to be here on Meleika’s blog to talk to you! A few things to know about me, I am a reviewer at Picnic Reads (, I love tea, beaches, metaphors and contemporary is my favourite genre of books.

My post today is on character descriptions in young adult novels. It’s always important for the reader to visualise your character, but are some of the ways these character descriptions are written, too worn out and hard to read?

This topic came to mind when I was talking with Felicity (an Ex-Penguin Teen Publicist) and some other bloggers. We were talking about how authors introduce what a character looks like to their story. We were saying how some authors can introduce a character’s appearance in such a unique, subtle way, that by the end of the book, you can clearly visualise them, but you can barely remember how their looks were introduced, which is an incredible thing for an author to do. Then we were also talking about other authors that use the dreaded mirror scenes, which is way overused, where the character basically looks in the mirror and repeats what they look like to the reader, (that was the most disliked out of all scenarios.) Or of course we can never forget one either type of character introduction that should never be done, the just out-right-saying it paragraph, e.g. She has brown hair, blue eyes, and is of average height.

I thought that this topic was really interesting, and I started to think about the authors. If they can’t write a mirror scene or just outright say it how do they introduce a characters appearance? So I came up with ways that authors can introduce a character, that wouldn’t annoy me or hopefully you guys either!

Ways to Describe Hair:
1.         The ‘My brown hair is blowing in the wind’
2.         The ‘My hair blends in with the sand/dirt’
3.         The ‘My hair bumped against my ankles as I ran’
4.         The ‘People call me a boy, just because of my haircut’

Eye Colour:
1.       The ‘It was as if someone poured mud into my eyes’
2.       The ‘Her eyes were so blue, I could swim in them’
3.       The ‘If you though grass was green, look into ____ eyes, their you will find true green.

1.       The ‘___ couldn’t fit in the tunnel, but I was like a ninja, ducking in and out of the 1.5 metre tunnel.
2.       The ‘I stood in the middle of the tallest row for school photos, not surprises there, I have always been tall’

Hope you guys enjoyed that. Thanks so much to Meleika for having me here! It’s been great. What do you guys think, do you think sometimes descriptions get too drawn out?

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