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Do Looks Matter? : Conversation question • Page 18 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Do Looks Matter?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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janemaldives
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby janemaldives » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:23 am

I actually read a while ago that it helps if you can take a half-decent photo. And it is also true that if your writing is really good, no-one will care what you look like. Also, in this day and age it is easy to get a few things fixed up if you are that worried. I had terrible teeth (very crooked up and down, yellow, brittle, you name it). I also had an eye accident which was very disfiguring. Having a wonky eye is the worst thing you can have (I mean apart from burns, etc) as we communicate with our eyes constantly. When I was 52 I went to India and got my teeth fixed for $1,200. I also found out about prosthetic lenses which were not availale in my country. Now I am so happy, I look great because the confidence is finally there. The best thing I have ever done. Usually people have one thing that they would like to improve. Sometimes it is just a matter of a hairdo that suits, some dieting, contacts over glasses. It is also true that having a charming personality makes up for everything - and in the longrun - could well be more important. I am actually just finishing a memoir that is, in part, about my (past) lack of looks - I have put the pre-(now) me on the cover which I believe will be a great marketing tool as I look hideous ! At the same time, I hope to give hope to others who think they are ugly. There is something called BDD, where people get obsessed with a fault that does not really exist so I just want to make it clear that my advice here is a long way from that syndrome.

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rosebud
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby rosebud » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:59 pm

I think looks are overrated, but for the confidence of the author, look the best you can. No more, no less. I personally think the last thing people look at is the picture of the author on the back of the jacket.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:04 pm


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LMGilbert
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby LMGilbert » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:20 pm

When I saw this topic, I thought it meant "Does it matter what your characters look like?" to which the answer, for me, would be, YEAH! I'm sort of dumbfounded that so much agonizing takes place over how the writer or author looks and dresses. Wow.

In Margaret Atwood's "Lady Oracle," the main character writes historical romance novels to make a living, but wants to keep this identity a secret from everyone else in her life... so she uses a photo of her deceased aunt as her jacket photo. If I were ever so fortunate as to require a jacket photo, I would probably do something like that.

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EccentricKim
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby EccentricKim » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:46 pm

I don't think looks matter as much with writers as it does with other artists. When it comes to getting an agent or publisher the writing is what matters, because we don't send pictures with our queries. Maybe it could make a difference after publication when it comes to book signings and interviews, or a picture beside your byline, but with the right people almost anyone can get made over. And I am a person who believes that "looks" is something very superficial and that sometimes people who don't think they are attractive really are. We don't all have to look like we're starving to be good-lookin!

PS. Take a look at Stephen King. It's a good thing he likes writing horror.
Previously published writer starting over.

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Crono91
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby Crono91 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:25 am

Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

Ben Reader
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby Ben Reader » Sun May 06, 2012 7:58 am

Many would say that it shouldn’t but truthfully it does. We draw impression from people because of our looks. Our looks represent us. The appearance could either be interesting or not.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sun May 06, 2012 2:20 pm


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kankowitz
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby kankowitz » Sun May 06, 2012 5:41 pm

Are ya looking for a good book to cozy up with or a date?

Get beyond looks, it's shallow and you might miss out on some good reads if you're shopping the covers based on good looks.
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Joined Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:54 am (new forum format messed this up a bit)



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Jowen
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Re: Do Looks Matter?

Postby Jowen » Sun May 06, 2012 6:47 pm

Nicholas Sparks writes love stories. His dishy picture on the cover makes them more believable as he always (in the books I've read anyway) writes from a male POV. One tends to identify the MC with his picture. Somehow his books wouldn't ring as true if he were pictured old and fat, with a bald head a big beer belly.
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