This is one of those topics that seems to divide both readers and writers equally. From the classic “I looked in the mirror and surveyed my straight blonde hair and blue eyes critically”, to the more subtle descriptions of a character’s physical traits, I’m wondering how much character description is really necessary?

In Reckless Rescue, I’ve really described very little about my characters. At some point, it’s mentioned that Marlee’s hair is ‘dark’, and longish (how long is long anyway?), you find out she’s wearing a skirt when it’s swishing around her as she walks, there’s mention that Tyris’s hair is short and spiky. And that’s about it.

From what I can determine, some readers like to have the characters described in detail, so they can picture them exactly as the author intended them, while other’s are happy to fill in the details from a vague idea. Similarly with authors, some have a very specific image, and like to include this, while other’s have a vague image, and are happy for readers to fill in the details.

For me, it varies from novel to novel. I have only vague images of Marlee and Tyris, their physical appearance isn’t really important to the story, while I have a far clearer picture of the twins in Twin Curse.

Do you like to have characters described in detail, or do you prefer to imagine how they look yourself? Or as a writer, how much character description do you include in your novels?