I believe the best way to describe a character is through their actions and words. Like Stephen King said, it’s better to develop your characters through dialogue, rather than describing their mannerisms. If the characters are true to their described mannerisms, then description won’t even be necessary because the readers can see for themselves how that character can be described based on what they do or say. Are they disrespectful? Do they cut corners? Are they known for smelling good and being nice to everyone they meet? Give examples throughout the book illustrating what the character does and says to demonstrate these.
Here’s some practice for building characters through dialogue.
Pick 2-3 important characters from your story, and rephrase these questions/sentences in their own words.
1. “I was not impressed with my service.” (Maybe if your character is passive, they decide not to say anything all together, or maybe discuss it later with a friend when they’re removed from the situation)
2. “Did you get enough to eat?”
3. “There’s something I want to show you.”
4. ” That won’t work.”
5. “Could you lower the volume just a little?”
6. “It’s my turn to watch TV.”
7. “I’m worried about you.”