How to Write Active Character Descriptions

Read to Write Stories

A Tree Born Crooked, a crime novel by Steph Post, is set in the Florida panhandle and follows the disaster of a theft gone wrong.A Tree Born Crooked by Steph Post is set in the Florida panhandle and follows a man who tries to save his brother from the consequences of a theft-gone-wrong.

When we first start describing characters, there’s often a tendency to aim for a perfect representation, the equivalent of a photographic portrait. So we state the character’s body type, hair color and style, and clothes. But does even the most exact detail add up to something interesting? It’s often the case that a good character description, rather than being a snapshot, is more like the magical moving photographs that hang on the walls of Hogwarts. They’re active and dramatic.

A great example of this kind of description can be found early in Steph Post’s new crime novel A Tree Born Crooked. You can read the opening pages of the novel here.

How the Novel Works

The novel is set on the Florida panhandle and…

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