Character Details: Scars, #Preptober Day 2

Welcome to day 2 of Preptober! Let’s talk about scars that can help distinguish your character.

What kinds of scars or physical characteristics make your character unique? These could be recent wounds like skinned hands and knees from playing in the street or broken bones, or older wounds that linger – like a broken leg that never set properly and causes your character to limp.

Maybe your characters have freckles. They could also have distinctive birthmarks, moles, or wine spots.

Your character might have tattoos. They might just have one, or they could be covered from head to toe in ink! Are their tattoos linked to some personal story, and if so, are those stories positive or negative?

Going to extremes, perhaps your character would even be described as disfigured. Have they got an immediately noticeable scar, one that’s unmistakable, like a cleft palate or a missing eye or limb? Perhaps they’ve been mauled by a tiger and have deep gashes on their body, or they’ve suffered from severe burns?

Please note that scars and markings can be used to show both a person’s character and reveal some of their backstory (check back on Day 13 for more on this topic!). Wounds can indicate physical trauma, but don’t necessarily need to be used as shorthand that your character is evil. In fact, the disfigured villain is quite a cliché – so much so that Teen Vogue took it to task this July. So be sure to use those kinds of obvious scars sparingly.

Finally, don’t forget to think about internal scars – psychic or emotional wounds that may be festering below the surface. What kinds of emotional trauma has your character dealt with in the past, and how does it connect to something they’re dealing with right now? Anything from their childhood is likely still simmering in the background, so be sure to ponder that.

Want to prep with me?

Fill in the same info for one of YOUR main characters, post it on your blog, and be sure to use the hashtag #Preptober on social media so we can find each other.

Don’t forget to grab a free copy of my Preptober Prompts Printable, which you can print out for personal use.

See you tomorrow with a new prompt!