NAB HECTOR Character Pen Picture


Here’s a Police Witness exercise you can use to capture character pen pictures.

Different versions of NAB HECTOR are used around the world by people who have to write down a quick word snapshot of a possible felon.

You can easily extend or adapt NAB HECTOR to your wriitng needs. If you have practiced a version of NAB HECTOR it will become second nature to capture useable character descriptions that you can use in your stories.

I keep the following list in the front of my handy pocket notebook that I always carry with me.

You can use NAB HECTOR to meld together character bits from different characters and as a character building starter. After a little practice you will be able to capture a character profile simply by using the mnemonic NAB HECTOR. As you get better at it you will be able to do it using a single mental snapshot - less than a second.

Look at someone, close your eyes and apply NAB HECTOR. You will be surprised at how competent you become and how quickly. If nothing else you will be a great crime scene witness.

N a Name called by an accomplice (male or female)

A a person’s approximate Age (children, teenagers or adults)

B a person’s general Build

H approximate Height (compared to another object if you can’t guess people’s height

E Eye colour

C Complexion

T Thatch or hair colour and length

O Oddities such as lisp, walk, manner of speech, scars. jewellery - such as ear rings

R Rig - what clothes they wore.