Body Mods on Characters

As the name implies, today’s post is all about body mods on characters. Piercings, tattoos, branding, scarring – I love me some body art, so long as it feels true to the character.

My favourite form of body art by far is tattoos. Tattoos can be done in a myriad of ways with new techniques constantly being developed: watercolour, pointilist, 3D, UV… the possibilities seem endless! And tattoos can say a lot about the individual. Without knowing anything else about a person, check out their ink and there’s a story written on their skin. This is true for characters as well. Tattoos can be used in fiction to add a sort of subtext to characters, to show a different side to their personalities, or perhaps show the truth of who they are.

Another body mod I’m becoming increasingly enamoured with is scarification. While this is certainly not the body mod for everyone, I think – if done well – it can look amazing and takes the whole concept of body art to a new level. For me, scarification still has that sort of futuristic edge to it, something still outside of the mainstream enough to be something unique and special, whereas tattoos have become increasingly commonplace.

In my latest quirky sci-fi story, I initially gave my character full back and chest tattoos. After some time spent browsing on Pinterest and Google, I decided to switch from tattoos to scarification because a) it instantly made my character a lot more hardcore and b) gave him an interesting backstory.

Here’s a short excerpt from the WIP where my MC, Raleigh, discovers Crow’s scars…

He’s naked except for the towel hanging off his hips. His whole chest is cross-hatched by scar tissue. Not the haphazard striations of someone who’s caught bullets or bomb blasts, nor the clumsy cut marks of self-mutilation. These lines are deliberate, a pattern etched into his ripped chest, nipple to nipple, sliding over his abs, and disappearing beneath the towel. The scars end in line with his collar bones, tapering out of view across his shoulders…

Do any of your favourite characters have body mods?

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