How Would You Describe Him?

Today, I’m introducing something new to this blog.  I might keep it up as a regular feature, and I might not.  It depends on you guys.  This is a writing exercise based on something I do a daily basis.  When I encounter new people, sometimes I even apply it to ones I know, I try to describe them as if I were writing them.

This isn’t a post where we’re going to critique one another, but was formed for the purpose of strengthening our power of description.  Below is a picture of a man pulled from Google Images.  Beneath the picture is how I would describe him in a novel.

The man’s eyes spoke of a history that witnessed unspeakable evil.  He came in wearing a blue beret with words stamped on it, and I wondered what they meant, but I couldn’t get close enough to see.  His dark skin had been etched by the passage of time with deep-set wrinkles, and his mouth balanced a cigar as if it were perched there, a teeter-tatter in mid-tilt.
What about you?  How would you describe him?  Please remember, no critiquing those who do share.  This exercise is for fun, and for a personal challenge.


  1. I had to look twice because, first time, I didn't see him as unhappy! He does look to be tired, but more from being outdoors all his life than something evil. To me, unspeakable evil reduces you to barely clinging on to life, whereas he's got a nice beret and cigar. He looks to me like someone who has a long string of stories about the people in his small town.

  2. You're Canadian and you write mysteries-- so nice to meet you! I'm going to read one of your novels.

  3. Nigel, oh I see him as a man who has seen, and dealt with a lot of hard times in his life. I guess that's kind of why I thought it would be an interesting exercise - everyone has a different perspective.

    Clarissa, welcome to my blog. I better get them published then :)

  4. I would describe him thusly;
    As I looked at the man head on I saw what some might think; just a weathered old man with a blue beret and a look of disdain to the person who stared at him while he smoked a Cuban. He was more than that. His eyes spoke of unspoken tales of adventure and heartache over his years. His blue beret said that he had proudly worn a hat for years. I stared back as he gripped the Cuban like it was an appendage to his mouth.

  5. Here goes:
    "The first thing you saw – the first thing anyone ever saw – was the cigar. It stuck out of his face like a lightening rod installed by the world’s worst builder. Old Jax smoked the expensive kind, but really “smoked” is the wrong word – most of the time the damn thing wasn’t even lit. A vanity, my grandmother used to call it, but she was old school and didn’t approve of anyone who smoked, or was Catholic, or wasn’t white. Old Jax struck out on all counts."


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