Friday, April 12, 2013

Is Your Character Sexy or Beautiful?

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, let's talk about sexy vs beautiful. There is a difference! You need to consider how your character is going to be portrayed to the world because each of these gives them different characteristics. So, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going, shall we?

First, a couple of definitions:
Sexy: sex·y /ˈseksē/  Adjective 1. Sexually attractive or exciting. 2. Sexually aroused.
Beautiful: beau·ti·ful  /ˈbyo͞otəfəl/  Adjective 1. Pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically. 2. Of a very high standard; excellent.

As you can see, they have different meanings. One can be sexy and not beautiful; or, one can be beautiful and not sexy. As we interpret language, we often confuse the two or use them interchangeably. But your character can be one or the other, or both. It's a difficult decision sometimes. You want to avoid the 'I'm perfect in every way' character because they're boring.

Examples:
I read Pride and Prejudice and thought of Elizabeth as beautiful but not sexy. Her sister, Jane, was both. Why? Well, Elizabeth held herself well but put off an 'I'm better than you' vibe toward men. It wasn't sexually exciting but her face was pleasing to look upon and her mind could stimulate another of the same caliber. Jane, on the other hand, was pretty, carried herself well, and excited men in a bashful, shy way. She was mysterious, sexy, and beautiful.
When I read Beautiful Disaster, I saw Abby as sexy, but not beautiful, because she had confidence. Her looks, as described by the author, were middling to fair.

Think about yourself for a moment. Do you wear pretty undergarments to make yourself feel beautiful or so you look sexually attractive in the mirror? One thing I do, to make myself feel beautiful, is keep my toenails painted. Always. Even in the winter, if you see me without shoes, my toenails are cute. These are things you have to consider when building a character because it's part of who they are. It gives you opportunities for discovery throughout the book. Like fairy dust sprinkled in to make magic, details like these make your character feel more real to the reader and allows a connection to be formed.

What character have you developed that was one or the other? What did you use as discovery tools?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

4 comments:

  1. When I used the word Sexy in my title I found it to mean "fashionable" in the Thesaurus. Keeping your Tootsie's painted...you go girl!

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    1. Thanks, Toni. I do little things for myself. It's not much but it works :)

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  2. Good post! I'm curious about how you would categorize some of your main characters =)

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    1. Hmmmmmmmmm hehe Most of my characters are sexy. Very few would probably be considered beautiful on the outside. I think strong=sexy. You know my women all kick a$$ :)

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