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Weaving the loose threads

Life update: Max seems to be recovering with antibiotics. My grandma is still okay, has just been moved out of intensive care. I have a place to stay my first night in London. So all is pretty much well.

I have a new story, called "Tongue-Tied" (the titled dragged me out of bed last night because of course it couldn't be bothered to present itself until I was half asleep). Between last night and today, about 5250 words. Probably needs to be shorter. It's sort of a fable/folk tale-ish thing, which isn't a genre I usually write in. I hardly ever write "high" (non-urban) fantasy at all. So I'm a little uncertain as to what to do with it. But it was one of those story's that came together all at once, and who was I to deny it the pleasure of being written?

I think it takes place in the same world the two novel-demanding characters (mentioned previously) inhabit. Yes, it may very well turn out to be my first high fantasy novel since the 200-page cliche I toiled over in grade nine. It being YA fantasy somehow makes me less nauseous over the idea. I've been reading some nice YA fantasy over at OWW-SFF. Character-driven high fantasy, not saving-the-world-driven high fantasy. Now there's something I can go for.

Yadda yadda yadda. Okay, here's a question for discussion: Do you think it's important to give a physical description of your main character(s) in a short story? Particularly viewpoint characters (where you'd have to contort the story just for it to make sense that the character's noticing his/her appearance)? It's something that comes up for me, given that pretty much all of my stories are written first person or third person limited-single-narrator. I notice that I hardly ever give details. (Main characters in both "Frozen" and "Hack" have no hair colour, eye colour, clearly established body type, or other distinguishing features.) I guess I assume the reader will have no problem creating their own image based on how they relate to the personality etc. But maybe some would find it frustrating not to have those facts.




( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2003 07:34 am (UTC)
I found your journal through a common interest in Ray Bradbury and enjoyed reading your entries. The layout for your web site is beautiful, by the way.

As a librarian and avid reader, I figured I would answer your question, too. I don't think it's necessary to always describe what characters look like. I find it very easy to hear voices and see people, even if a concrete description isn't there. I also don't believe a character's appearance has be to described in a static way. Depending on the viewpoint, you can choose to describe the narrator through the eyes of other chracters.
Apr. 30th, 2003 07:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Hullo.
Hi there! :) And thank you for the compliment and the comment.

Funny thing is, I tend to describe the non-viewpoint characters a fair bit. Depending on how much the viewpoint character cares about their appearance. I think I tend to like it when, as a reader, I get to fill in the blanks, though. I know there've been books where I got an image of the character in my head, and then physical description came up that didn't fit it... and I always end up sticking with my image, 'cause it's the one that made sense to me. :) (This can be particularly bizarre when reading a book after seeing the movie version. e.g., Out Of Sight. The character Jennifer Lopez plays is blond in the book. I kept picturing JLo with bleached hair. Didn't really work.)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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