[Disclaimer: I'm not bashing anyone's descriptions. If you love your citizen's desc, then by all means ignore my advice. This is simply just some things I've ran into that makes my little imagination engine sputter when trying to visualize other citizens. This is all light-hearted advice that I hope you enjoy reading.]
This is for anyone who's making a new citizen or simply wants to clean up their current citizen's desc. It will discuss five issues I've encountered when creating my own citizen's appearance, and advice on avoiding these problems with your citizen. Followed by a super duper secret formula for citizen descs.
1. Simplicity. The devil aint in the details, yo.
I know when I saw @nakeds for the first time, I felt compelled to fill up every...single..one. In most writing, and normal life, writers and humans describe others by identifiers. Scars, tumors, moles, tattoos, and large/tiny facial features. That means, if your character does not have lots of body identifiers, then the @nakeds should be mostly blank. This is great because, as writers, we want our character to be easily pictured in the readers imagination. Keep it simple, if your citizen's tall, then the reader can imagine their "long smooth arms" all by themselves. Unless you have short deformed arms on a tall citizen, it's just not needed. Collarbones too, if you don't have second head coming out of it or an identifier for it, leave the neck blank.
2. Actions. Stahp.
Please, if you put actions in your citizen's appearance, I hope you get Judo Chopped. Your citizen cannot have a confident swagger while sitting down. Fingers cannot be twitchy while griping onto the roof for dear life. Actions, in a citizen's appearance are contradicting, and it distracts the reader from visualizing your citizen. What if someone's looking at your citizen for the first time while they're sleeping? There should be no actions in the appearance at all. Hell, if it's an identifier for your citizen then please make a @Macro for it and a couple variations of it to keep it fresh. Nuff said.
If you still have the urge to describe your biceps,collarbones, and pale smooth neck even with no identifiers on them, please put it in Emote/Spoof/Pose form. I would rather be forced into reading the flexing of your big ol' muscles as you slam my head into the wall, than be bombarded by muscle descriptions, we know he's a beefcake when you put "he's a buff dude" in the beginning of your desc.
4. Tailors and You.
If you have a sexual citizen (I aint judging, sluts.), they can display their best assets with clothing. Now, if your'e a stripper and your tits are so big your nickname's "Double D Debby", then that's a body shape identifier that can be in your @describe me. Muscle packed citizens can use clothing to describe shirt ripping muscle too. Clothing is part of the citizen desc sandwich, may as well use it to your advantage.
5. Keep it Caz.
The tone used when describing your citizen should be casual, as if trying to describe them to a friend. Not like a dictionary robot or Shakespeare. Chillax a bit on the eloquently dainty long bridged nose, small cute nose will do just fine for our tiny imagination engines. Try comparing features to other things, like lizard lips and tiny hippo ears.
6. Secret Formula.
@describe me should be the best part of the citizen sandwich, the readers should be able to visualize 90% of your citizen. It should have a guesstimated height and age (Don't be specific with these two, it's casual.). Followed by skin tone, body shape, and the last identifier being hair. Why you ask? Well in this order, it's a natural flowing description, as the @naked Head can have the main face identifiers in it, brows, nose, and lips. The chin, cheekbones, and forehead isn't relevant unless it's an identifier. This secret (is actually common sense) I've shared with you is so it can help others visualize your special snowflake easily.
I hope these tidbits will help you and your citizens enjoy the neurotic playground that is Withmore City together.
*logs in and erases stupid collarbone desc*