One way to balance the showing and telling of physical description is to showcase a few details that really help 'tell the story' about who your character is and what they've been through up to this point. Think about what makes them different and interesting. Can a unique feature, clothing choice or way they carry themselves help to hint at their personality? Also, consider how they move their body. Using movement will naturally show a character's physical characteristics, keep the pace flowing and help to convey their emotions.
STOCKY BODY TYPE
Descriptors: short, thick, stocky, strong, squat, sturdy, compact, square
People Likely to have an Stocky Build: wrestlers, weightlifters, little people
- Sean Astin
- Ian Holm
- Jack Black
Stocky bodies are a bit hard to define because they're somewhere between thin and overweight. Stocky bodies tend to be short and round, rather than angular. People with these body types are often quite strong due to their higher percentage of muscle mass.
Simile and Metaphor Help:
- I walked out of American History and got completely plowed. I looked up at Justin from my spot on the floor and rubbed my shoulder. Jeez, it was like running into a wall.
- Mesmerized I was, just watching Marsha smile. Her face beamed, flashlight bright, blinding me to the things people called her. MARSHa-mallow. Troll. I shook my head, trying to blink off the dazzle. Was I the only one to see her this way?
- Clichés to Avoid: the stocky person who is squat like a toad or built like a small mountain
Twists on the Stereotypical Stocky Build:
- Stocky characters are usually men. How about a female with a stocky build?
- Most stocky characters seem to be harsh, bullying, or unintelligent. Twist the cliché by making your stocky character kindhearted, soft-spoken, or happy.
- Because the stocky build isn't deemed very attractive by society's standards, this body type is usually given to secondary characters or villains. Turn the stereotype on its ear by creating a stocky main character that readers will fall in love with.