Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Designing a Character: Using 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. I love when texture is included in a story, with anything, character too.

  2. all these ways of designing your character are fascinating.

  3. I love this series you have with shape, lighting, color and now texture! You are giving me so many tools to work with, perfect timing because I am developing characters now for new story idea.

  4. I love how you look at things! Such an awesome way to frame something. And your opinion of Voldemort? WOW! Spot on.

  5. I love the way you describe the texture of Voldemort. This makes me thing of texture with my own characters, something I hadn't considered before.

  6. I love this idea of using texture to create a character.

  7. So cool to think of characters in term of texture.

    This post also reminds me to (now and then) include how things "feel" in a story. That's a sense we often neglect.

  8. Ooh, I love this idea :) So clever and artsy. I'll have to try it.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  9. Laura - I'm so kinesthetic in my life that I need to speak the language of texture to help build my characters.

    Thanks for the positive vibes, Sarah, Stina, and Prerna.

    Lee - Feel is often the forgotten sense.

    Julie & Lisa - You know how I love my Potter.

    Margo - I'm glad my timing worked for you.

  10. Very, very cool. I'd not thought about texture like this before. And I love your texture for Voldy!

  11. That's some pretty creative thinking. I haven't thought of looking at characters this way.

    Tossing It Out

  12. This post really made me think about my characters~ thanks!

  13. I followed you over from Lydia's blog. It's so nice to meet you. I'm a new follower.

  14. Susan - I thought of you when I texturized "He who shall not be named."

    Lee, Jess, and Ghenet - Thanks for the positive vibes. Hope I gave you some fun food for thought.

    Welcome, Ciara.

  15. So yes, I'm stalking your old posts but this is a GREAT way to describe your chacter. I love it! And a very easy tool to use when your brain gets stuck. Thanks!