Creative Construction of CharacterbyQuint©
Let me make myself clear from the beginning so nobody can use this as "ammo" in feedback: my advice is not for everyone. I understand that no two writers are the same, and I accept this fact with good humor and without blame. Nevertheless, there are trademarks that certain authors may adopt for their own, and one of them is quality writing. This is a hassle to many authors; a quantity of quick, easy, dirty stories will rake in more readers and more points than a novella the author poured her heart into, and it's less painful to get flamed. I'm a masochist, so I pour. This essay is not for the quick-and-easies out there, this is for the fellow masochists who say "Please, let me create a piece of work that I can call erotic art, not a cum tale."
So now that I have guaranteed myself an inferno, let's get started! I'm sure the reader of this article has read at least ten Lit stories recently. Remember those stories? Did they have a paragraph that went along the lines of "She was 5'4" with 36C breasts and long blonde hair"? I will bet you that 9/10 do, and I'm betting conservatively. To me, that gets old very quickly, and I'm talking about the fact that all that description is in one big paragraph, not the unrealistic perfection we all try to capture in our main characters. Admittedly, it is nice for the instant gratification crowd to immediately "see" the soon-to-be-fucked heroine of the story. Let me repeat, this is not bad! If you write to get as many people off in the shortest amount of time possible, this is a pretty good formula for you. No thought process is required for the reader or the author, and that can be reassuring. You may depart this essay without even leaving a rating.
However, if I still have your attention, let's explore an alternate route. Instead of telling the reader about your main character (and the subsequent ones, too) in one blunt, fast-paced, predictable paragraph, why not make them wait a little for it and piece it together on their own? Chances are, the reader will become much more interested in the story because a.) it isn't like every other one they've read, and b.) it's more realistic. That summation paragraph (henceforth referred to as "The Paragraph") puts the story on "freeze," and displays the heroine on a revolving pedestal: "And here we have exhibit one: a 48D female with a curvy ass and an 80's perm." It's like a traffic jam. It's unaesthetic and boring, and if you put just a little more time into it, you can easily change it.
But how? Just see where description would logically fit in and stick it there! Windy day? Comment on how Character X's long brunette tresses were flying madly about her face. Going shopping? Mention how that shirt she tried on was far too tight for her 60F bosom. Talking to the soon-to-be-fucking-her boy? Have her smile and then have him suddenly realize what a cute little nose she has, giving him an immediate erection. Yes, there may be some blatant plot manipulation going on, but that's much less noticeable than "The Paragraph". Plus the reader might even enjoy putting the puzzle pieces together and finally having the mental picture of a drop-dead gorgeous, sexed out woman. Then he'll get horny. That's good.
Oh, but the fun isn't over yet! Let's go back to the examples. How many stories are there that state explicitly, "Lilah was an extremely shy woman," and then have Lilah go out to a bar and fuck 20 guys and their Dobermans (Dobermen?) in one night? How is that the work of a shy woman? Answer: THE AUTHOR WAS LYING TO YOU! Do you want to lie to your readers? Then don't!
Here's an exercise for you: in the next story you write, leave out any sentences that go: "X was (insert adjective)". Remember what descriptions you wanted to put there, but don't write it in! Just write their actions and their dialogue. At the end of the story, read back over what you've written and honestly ask yourself, "are these the actions and words of a character that I described mentally as (insert adjective)?" If the words and actions are consistent with the word you really wanted to write, you did a great job! You SHOWED, you didn't TELL. Hey, key concept! Likewise, if your story looks like the "Lilah" example above, you either want to change your descriptions or change how you want your character to be, because one or the other has to go! Note that this doesn't mean that you shouldn't say a character did things a certain way, such as "LaShountiqualla smiled brazenly as she cupped her 88N breasts." That's showing, even though it states exactly how she said it. Try not to get confused; it's the difference between saying X is something and X does something in this manner. First is baaad. The second will make the reader sigh happily and unzip their pants.
Let me restate that this is not advice I expect many people to like, let alone take. This will take more time because there isn't a formula to follow, like with "The Paragraph". Nevertheless, I do believe that there are enough serious authors on this site who might just appreciate these words enough to take them to heart, and from there take them to pen. If you remember anything from this essay, let it be: show, don't tell. I will be elated, and, more importantly, your readers will not be disappointed. Thanks and have happy reading!