Recently on the show Live with Kelly and Michael they presented the picture of the perfect face. The idea behind the “perfect face” was to take the best features from some of the most beautiful people in the world and combine them to create the image of the perfect face.
I couldn’t find a copy of the picture they displayed on the show but I found one that is similar. I apologize if anyone reading this bears a close resemblance to it but combining the perfect features of others make this image a little freaky.
The image on the left shows her before and after rhinoplasty. She was adorable, right? After rhinoplasty she lost that unique quality that made her recognizable. She’d become ordinary.
Here are some images of famous people who are known for their “perceived” imperfections.
Now imagine if these features were modified. Would these people be as memorable? If Jennifer Grey’s transformation is any indication, then the answer is, “Probably not.”
The same goes for the characters in your book. Don’t create what is known as a “Mary Sue” or “Marty Stu” which is a character that is too perfect to be interesting or memorable. Without unique characteristics the reader loses the ability to distinguish between characters.
Add things other than facial imperfections or unusual physical features. Give them a unique expression, a phobia, or an annoying habit. Throw in those little oddities. Make them endearing. It’s what readers love and it’s what they remember.