My Characters Just Suffer

I realized this when reading Linda G Hill’s blog and she talked about what a character has in their refrigerator. This is something I know for UpMeDownMe. They keep only meat in the downstairs fridge because it makes everything taste like semen. Oh, that house, if you read it, and you think I’m making things up, there are maybe 1 or 2 things about that house that I haven’t witnessed in real life. And I’ll give you a hint, the massive trap door on a sloping 3 seasons room – EVERYWHERE IN MADISON. Creepiest fucking thing ever

But more to the point, none of my characters really have descriptions. Rachel is black in UpMeDownMe. No one caught that in a read through. It’s a line of mental dialog that is in no way signaling description for it to stick.

Same thing is happening with Molly Parker. No descriptions. Some here and there, but no one has a block of text describing them.

Part of me says that I should rectify this. People like to know who they’re imagining. But part of me loves the open endedness of it. The narrator can be anyone, Grace has a few descriptions, but could also be anyone. Molly Parker is sexy, that’s all we know and Dom is a big puppy dog.

This is on purpose for a good reason, I hate blocks of text describing characters. It’s too book like and is a strange convention to adopt. Same goes for most dialog in my opinion.

Instead, my characters just suffer. Another odd convention that I have. Poor Molly Parker is nothing but a bundle of suffering. My narrator in UpMeDownMe just suffers as does his love interest Rachel. And she dies, she commits suicide. All I do is write about suffering. At least Molly Parker has a happy ending of sorts, just like UpMeDownMe – that book is about acceptance.

Linda has really made me think about what I’m doing as a writer. I have a theme suffering and open endedness. So what’s in my fridge?


Hell that could apply to anyone.


3 responses to “My Characters Just Suffer

    • I fully agree. I’m reading some trash fiction right now and it feels so awkward. I don’t need to know how his grey eyes were full of fury and dazzled in the light. I don’t even know what that means!

  1. Happy to make you think. That’s what I was going for. 🙂
    I tend to only describe characters in detail if its pertinent to the story. Like the novel I’m writing now – Scarlet has bright pink hair, but she has to, because she needs to be found easily in a crowd. I think apart from that I might have mentioned the narrator found her not bad looking. So in all, I have to agree with you. There is definitely such a thing as over-describing… anything.

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