Fiction Writing no-no

by phil on Wednesday Apr 2, 2003 12:35 AM

If you write fiction, can you please stop using a litany of physical features or fashion to kick off a characterization. I'm talking about beginning with something like this: "He was in his forties, tall, no fat on him, dressed in a pair of stained Dockers and a navy-blue sweatshirt cut off raggedly at the elbows." I tend to skip over this stuff. Even though it tells me stuff, sure, it's just so, blah. It's not that it's just superficial--I recognize that addressing something superficially is an aesthetic. But, well, what can I say, it's just uninteresting and uncreative. I'm like that guy in Adaptation. "Don't use voice-overs in your fucking script."

(Reference from "When I Woke Up This Morning, Everything I Had Was Gone" by T. Coraghessan Boyle in yesterday's New Yorker)

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