Introducing Female Characters

I’m writing a protagonist who is very aware of her ability to seduce other people, who intentionally dresses provocatively, who sleeps with a lot of people.

I introduce her something like this (name changed):

EVE (mid 20s, a troubled goth girl) adds makeup to her already dark eyes. Her purple hair falls around her face. She wears a low-cut corset dress and platform boots.

But this is so boring and balanced? What about her tits? We don’t even know if they’re big or small. See, if I was one of those 24 year old bros who magically get their scripts on the blacklist, then I’d know how to introduce a female character. It might look something like this:

EVE (mid 20s, stacked like Jessica Rabbit) applies dark make up. She dresses like a tramp. Her cleavage is on display. Her ass hangs out of her dress. She is the kind of girl you want to fuck. Just imagine a girl you’d fuck, only goth, and with purple hair. Oh, yeah, and her tits are big, like REALLY BIG– don’t you know who Jessica Rabbit it? She’s built! But she isn’t fat. She’s skinny with big, REAL tits. Good ones. She has absolutely no personality except that she likes the protagonist. What? She IS the protagonist? That can’t be right… women are only prizes for the nebish, jobless 24 year old loser to win… but he’s not based on me. NO WAY. And this girl is not based on the girl I liked in high school. I swear! Anyway, she’s got  really great boobies.

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3 thoughts on “Introducing Female Characters

  1. Everyone’s different, but I’d probably do it kind of like this —

    A brush slathers makeup across an eyelid.

    EVE stands in front of a mirror, checks her work. She’s a pretty goth in her twenties, with tits and no desire to hide them. She blinks, checks herself from another angle. Dabs a little more black at the corner of her eye.

    Some of that is just my voice/instinct, and some of it has reason behind it. I find that, especially when introducing a character, starting with the action itself will buy you enough intrigue from the reader that you can afford to follow it with a descriptive sentence or two.

    I left out the boots and the purple hair, because (I assume) they’re not crucial to the story. What we really need to know is that she’s a goth who’s not afraid of her sexuality.

    • I’m totally going to steal a version of this line:

      She’s a pretty goth in her twenties, with tits and no desire to hide them.

      In all sincerity, I tend to over-include clothing/hair details in early drafts and pare down later. Helps me visualize the characters.

  2. Steal away.

    And going overboard with description is easy to do. Especially if you come from another form of writing where the extra visuals can be useful. Continue to pare it down on your rewrites, and eventually it’ll translate to instinct on the early drafts.

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