This might just be a “me” thing, but I don’t always need to know the height and weight of a character.
Is this something that’s overdone a bit in books? I mean, to really know a character do we NEED to know their size and stature? There are some books that are very specific and other books are a bit more vague and I have to say that I prefer a little more vagueness. I think there are definitely other ways that you can have your reader identify with your characters that DON’T involve their height or weight.
OK, this might not seem like such a big thing, let alone something for a discussion topic, but here are two points I’m thinking specifically about:
- Girls in books being short. What’s wrong with average height girls? I find that more times than not, the female lead in a book is bound to be either super short (like close to only 5 feet) or super tall.
- Men being super tall. I notice this mostly in romance books — actually, I find that height and weight are pointed out mostly in these books — and the men are ALWAYS tall. It’s like the women are always close to 5-feet tall and the men are around 6-feet or so.
Of course, I’ve also noticed that girls in books tend to describe themselves as NOT good looking and average, whereas the men are usually described as gods, super handsome, and RARELY are they described as not-so-great looking. Is this fair? Is this just a cliche that I’m talking about?
And, really, does it even matter? Should height and weight be something that defines your characters? Or should you try to work in other characteristics to get your readers to identify with them?
What are your thoughts on how height and weight are depicted in some books? Is it necessary?