Gary Kemble, author of Bad Blood, brings up a good point here about physical beauty of characters, don’t you think?
There are stories and genres where physical beauty has to be part of a narrative, but an over-emphasis on it kind of sets off a red flag for me that there isn’t much else to the character in question. Like a movie, with a love interest who has no purpose other than to look good.
Physical beauty is pretty much way down the list for me in terms of what matters. Tell me about his or her hopes and dreams, or fears, and please link them to the plot of the book too. Random quirks do no make a character.
Interestingly enough, I was reading a post by a book blogger (if this is you, please let me know so I can link to your awesome post!) about the other side of this equation after a fashion: the plain Jane heroine who is never as beautiful as when the handsome love interest discovers he’s in love with her. She’s always the overlooked character, until you know the story starts and somehow, she starts getting noticed.
There’s got to be middle ground, right?
Which books simply do overdo the physical beauty? Or, for that matter how plain and otherwise forgettable the heroine to be is? Which books nail female characters in terms of physical beauty?