What Do My Characters Look Like?

Aside from the artist renditions included in The Ascension Legacy - Book 2: A Legend Confirmed (and also in a previous blog), there is a bit of a lingering question about exactly what many of my characters look like. While I include some key details about their appearances, I have kept things intentionally vague.

So why are my descriptions vague on purpose? Well, that's easy, I want each reader to connect with the characters on a personal level. With the character descriptions detailed enough to give a rough idea but vague enough to have blanks, it allows readers to fill the gaps with their own personal perceptions.

If a reader wanted to give a character a specific eye color, skin tone, nose width, or other physical feature then they could. It isn't a matter of representation based on race or gender but more about readers seeing the characters in a way that lets them connect with them better rather than simply reading/picturing every minute detail described in a book.

Sure, this is my book, but for the readers, I want this to be their world, their characters, their pleasure. I don't want readers bogged down in the details of my imagination but rather I want them involved with theirs. Books are an escape from reality. To me, that escape is maximized when someone is allowed to picture a scene for themselves.

But what if someone doesn't have an active imagination or simply doesn't want to use it? I tried to consider that possibility which is why I included the details I did. There should be enough details to at least create a general concept, as proven by the artist's drawing based on the same content in the books.

I wanted to appease both groups, those who don't want to be burdened with having to imagine details not given to them but also to those who wanted to read without an excessive amount of details. I'm not sure how well it works but its how I wanted to tell my story and that's equally important.

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