Thankfully, my case of writer's block seems to have cleared up. Today's writing task was to introduce a new and important character into the story. This character is to be handsome and charming, and a possible love interest for my heroine. It seemed, then, that writing his physical description was important. This is what I wrote:
"Up close I could see that XXX was indeed a handsome man. He had brown eyes and a thin brown mustache. His hair, which fell to his shoulders in loose brown waves, appeared to be his own and not a periwig. When he smiled, the left side of his mouth raised slightly higher than the right, revealing straight white teeth. His manner of dress was fashionable but not foppish."
Is it just me, or does this guy sound a little like Rhett Butler?
It's moments like this that I am reminded that I am new to fiction writing and that I've got a lot to learn. To that end, today did some reading of On Writing by Stephen King.
I still struggle with descriptions, particularly, how much description to give. Coincidentally, that is exactly the topic I happened upon in On Writing. King confirms what I already suspected was true–belaboring a description is as tedious for the writer as it is for the reader.
My job here is to convey a not only a sense of what he looks like, but also to convey my heroine's interest. How do do this effectively remains the question. One thing is clear–I'm going to have to find a few other handsome-male-rogue-archetypes besides Rhett Butler (I say this because this is not the only male character in the story who somehow bears a striking resemblence to Mr. Butler). Any suggestions?
I only include this writing sample because I know it won't appear like this in the finished manuscript. To find out what XXX ends up looking like and how I describe him, you'll have to wait for publication.