Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Designing a Character: Texture

Texture connects us directly with our senses of sight and touch.  Discovering the feel of hard vs. soft, smooth vs. rough, or shiny vs. dull, gives us information about the world, through our fingers and eyes.  As a general perception, we are drawn to soft, smooth, and shiny, while hard, dull, and rough aren’t always as desirable. 

How does imposing texture add dimension to your character?  Do you want them to be appealing, or dangerous?  Is their texture deceptive to their true nature, or an affirmation of who they really are?  Every character has an exterior and interior landscape.  Are these layers of their texture contrasting or complementary?  Do your character’s textures come out in touchable form, such as clothing, or are they reflected in speech, action, and expression?                         

Back to Harry Potter for a peek at texture.  I see Voldemort as a black charred core, surrounded by a slick metallic coating, covered in gashes with knife-sharp edges.  

Be a texture seeker.  Mentally sculpt your character with materials that reveal them.  See what nuances you may discover.   


  1. Wow. You really are an artist aren't you?? What a cool assessment of Voldemort. I love this!

  2. Thanks Lisa. I'd love to see some of your character sculptures. I can think of many that would be perfect for Halloween.

  3. I think Suzanne Collins did well with this topic when she coined "Katniss: The Girl On Fire". Talk about a bright, warm, unattainable texture! And that is just what Katniss appears to be; a bright, burning character that none of her book-mates could ever predict or harness safely.

  4. Thanks Julie. Love your insight, Teresa Pumpernickel.

  5. Lisa promised you had started a good blog, and right away texturizing Voldemort has got me hooked. If you're offering more great ideas like this, I'll be back for sure! I'm already thinking marble for one of my characters - no, wait, the Cullens already have that.

  6. Thanks Margo, and welcome. Just choose a marble with a different color veining and you'll be fine. Maybe crack it a little for dramatic effect.