PHYSICAL FEATURE THESAURUS

PETITE BUILD



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HELPFUL TIP:

Physical features should do more than simply describe how a character looks. Just like their occupation or area of giftedness, a character's appearance can say a great deal about them. Hinting at traits through clothing choices, alluding to an emotional state through movements, and highlighting certain details for comparison or contrast purposes can help readers form opinions on who the character really is.
DESCRIPTORS AND KEY ELEMENTS:
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SIMILE AND METAPHOR EXAMPLES:
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CLICHÉS TO AVOID:
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TWISTING THE STEREOTYPE:
  • Petite people are often assumed to be sweet, gentle, and graceful. What about a petite character who is violent, obscene, clumsy, or crazy?
  • Because of their stature, petite characters are always portrayed as trying to make themselves taller. But what about a small character who is happy with her height, or who simply doesn't care one way or the other?
  • Petite characters are often reserved for supporting roles—like the loyal best friend who, while short of stature, is a ballsy spitfire with a temperament twice her physical size. But characters with this body type don't need to be sidelined. Instead, it would be refreshing to see a petite hero, mentor, bully, or villain.

PEOPLE LIKELY TO HAVE THIS BUILD:
Ballerinas and other dancers
Gymnasts
Acrobats
Magician's assistants
Actresses

FAMOUS EXAMPLES:
Reese Witherspoon
Anna Kendrick
Natalie Portman
Jada Pinkett Smith
Kristen Chenowith

OTHER THOUGHTS ON THIS BODY TYPE:
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