Character Tips, Writing Tips

Complete List to Describe Character Appearance Aside from Color

We give a full list of words that will describe your character’s appearance better than just the color of their hair, skin, and eyes.

Word choice is really powerful when it comes to describing a character in your book, TTRPG game, or other story format. And while the fact that their hair is blond and their eyes are green is typically first in mind, there are stronger words we can use! That is not to say color is irrelevant. I am one of the readers that does, indeed, want to know a character’s eye color because I am a visual reader and picture things cinematically. But let’s combine that deep brown with other adjectives. These will tell us a lot more about the character’s personality.

So here is a list of adjectives to pull from when describing a character! For a fun exercise, try randomly choosing one from each list to create a character from scratch!

Words to Describe Character Build

  • Powerful
  • Slight
  • Heavy
  • Slim
  • Solid
  • Delicate
  • Strong
  • Stocky
  • Sturdy
  • Graceful
  • Petite
  • Slender

Words to Describe Character Cheekbones / Cheeks

  • High
  • Prominent
  • Sculptured
  • Chubby
  • Hollow
  • Sunken
  • Dimpled
  • Creased
  • Pale
  • Ruddy

Words to Describe Character Arms or Legs

  • Long
  • Short
  • Lanky
  • Bony
  • Round
  • Soft
  • Solid

Words to Describe Character Eyes

  • Expressive
  • Calculating
  • Narrow
  • Hooded
  • Upturned
  • Downturned
  • Untrusting
  • Round
  • Big
  • Vacant
  • Unfocused

Words to Describe Character Voice

  • Breathy
  • Flat
  • Grating
  • Throaty
  • Honeyed
  • Tight
  • Brittle
  • Gruff
  • Monotonous
  • Silvery
  • Hoarse
  • Nasal
  • Rough
  • Singsong
  • Thick
  • Wobbly
  • Husky
  • Wheezy
  • Orotund

Words to Describe Character Hair

  • Shiny
  • Dull
  • Wild
  • Untamed
  • Flat
  • Thin
  • Thick
  • Silky
  • Frizzy
  • Coarse
  • Stringy
  • Wiry
  • Wispy
  • Bouncy
  • Messy
  • Oily
  • Tousled

Let’s take an example from the end of Ash & Thunder within the Thread of Souls book series. Here we see a combination of color as well as descriptive words to give personality to the characters.

“They were the strangest pair Unolé had ever seen. One was a strong female Dwarf with fiery, wild hair of different colors. She wore hardy clothes of deep brown leathers with a purple shirt underneath. Although her thick hair was pulled around front to try to hide her face, Unolé could tell something was strange. The Dwarf’s skin had a grayish blue tone. A beard covered her jawline, but even past that Unolé could tell she was very pretty, with full, dark lips and upturned green eyes framed by thick lashes. She glanced about nervously, fingers twitching towards the two swords she had at her hips. The oddest thing about her, though, was the barrel strapped to her back.

Unolé’s eyes moved to the man. Standing barely taller than her, he leaned confidently against the bar. A cloak draped over his slender figure. She took in clothes of mostly black accented by white and silver. A hood shadowed his face, but slits in the side revealed long, pointed Elven ears. He was exceptionally handsome, with a sharp jawline and high cheekbones. But there was something odd about him, as well. His skin was gray, and two yellow irises were set in large, expressive eyes. Strands of white hair hung on either side of his face.”

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