Friday, September 25, 2009
On abcnews.com, there is an article on the harmful effects which social habits have on aging.
This means that if you are a smoker, you are doubling your chances of vertical lines around your lips and wrinkles around your eyes. I'm guessing you have to be a longtime habitual smoker for this to happen, but definitely have noticed the 'smoker face' effect.
According to the article, smoking shrinks the blood vessels and dehydrates the skin - which is why you get those wrinkles and lines.
The other thing mentioned in the article was the effects of sun exposure on a person's face. This means that the person is more likely to have coarse dried out skin and deep lines around eyes and cheeks. Basically, this is the John Wayne effect. A lot of people I know from California either have the 'spots' or discolorations from sun exposure, or they have the squint lines around their eyes.
The article also mentioned stress and the obvious lines around the mouth and dark skin under the eyes... I tend to think stress has more effect on the eyes. The people look tired because of a sag or puff around their eyes because of lack of sleep or poor sleep patterns.
What does this have to do with writing?
I guess this is an extra bit of realism when you are building characters. People have certain 'looks' because of their genetic backgrounds. They also have certain looks because of how they live.
The abcnews.com story didn't exactly take into account the other reasons why a person would have crinkles around her eyes and mouth (squinting habit because of poor eyesight, for example), but it was still something you could well use when figuring out what your characters look like. It would add that extra bit of realism for your readers.
Lot of stress in real life as well as a lingering flu/cold/whatever have kinda killed writing-urges lately for the most part. :[
Baby sisters + obnoxious boyfriends = family hell
Did edit CH1 of UF and rewrite/nudge it quite a bit. It reads smoother. Hopefully real life stuff calms down and I can fix CH2 tomorrow.