Jennifer reads your lips...
Being hard of hearing, I do a lot of lip reading. I never really noticed how much, though, until I started writing. Suddenly, I had to describe the physical characteristics of my characters.
Okay, I can describe their hair—brown, blond or red; curly, wavy or straight; thick or thinning; bangs or spikes; texture. No problem.
I can describe their bodies—fat, thin or somewhere in between; muscular or soft; tall or short and if short, how short; broad-shouldered, long-legged, well-endowed or flat-chested.
But eyes? Brown, blue or grey. And then what? I have no idea. I can’t repeat the same color continuously, but I have no idea how to describe someone’s eyes.
Because I spend most of my time staring at their lips to read them. I can describe mouths very well. Thin-lips or full; the shapes they make when they speak; whether they’re bitten or chewed when the character is nervous.
But for the eyes I have to look at pictures or movie clips and study how they change with emotion. I can’t picture it in my head so I need a real-life sample on which to base my descriptions.
I can’t always answer the question, “Who would you pick to play your characters in a movie,” because my characters are not always based on real people. But the eyes? I can tell you every time who’s eyes they are.