Should I? Should You if You Want to be a Writer?


I would recommend trying to forget completely about describing a characters visual appearance. Instead, try to build characters from the inside out. They need a personal backstory and personality more than your readers need visual hints at what they look like.

For example:

Dr. Moon made thick, heavy strides through the snow piling about him. Beyond what his freezing eyelids could perceive, he already knew that the morning blizzard had wrapped a white barrier between his surgery and his home on Frosterly Hill. Perhaps later, he might have to call to announce that he would be snowed in overnight.

“Mercy,” he whispered to himself.

To some it would be an inconvenience. However, to Dr. Moon, being marooned in blizzard with a tin of biscuits for company, would be a blessing. Anything, after all, was more preferable than an evening spent with his insufferable wife, Maud.

“If you went private,” Maud would grumble for the sake of grumbling every winter. “You wouldn’t be expected in under these kind of conditions. I told you. You should -”

But that was the problem. The idea of being trapped with Maud for twenty four hours without distraction was utterly terrifying.

“Fullford, I’ve just remembered.”And: “Darling, I’ve just realized that now might be an excellent time to talk about…”

In an ideal world, Dr. Moon sometimes dreamed of having a shrink ray. With it, he would shrink Maud, mid-mindless banter, to a hundredth of her size. Once small enough, he’d then scoop up his tiny wife in a jam jar. After screwing on the lid, he’d then drive to somewhere quiet and peaceful by the Avon river. There he’d gently tip her out into the long grass.

“Darling, I’m dreadfully sorry,” he would announce, watching Maud climb the longest stems in a bid to reach him. “However this whole marriage business was an awful mistake. I want you to be happy, I really do. But it was either this or some kind of skillfully orchestrated motor accident.”

Maud would love living by the waterside. There would be all of the natural surrounds which she dreamed about when imploring him to buy a Park Home. That said, Dr. Moon would never be able to un-shrink Mrs Moon. Should he, she might find her way to a divorce lawyer.


I write things like this to flesh out characters, even if I decide not eventually include the actual text in a final story. When you do this, you also get to imply certain physical qualities without explicitly listing them.

That’s how every writer feels! If you don’t already, you might want to start making sure to never write in a linear way from beginning to end. Instead, try writing chapters as standalone short stories featuring your main protagonists in new settings and plot archs which don’t even fit into the idea of your overall story. This can help prevent your descriptive powers from going stale.

Also, whenever you get really stuck, kill someone. Nothing refreshes a stale plot like a sudden unexpected murder. :wink:


I can hear a british accent here - simply by you using the word “dreadfully” - which leads to my brain having him being a stout englishman, with a tall hat, vest, pocket watch, late 40’s to early 50’s, perhaps a general practice doctor with a bland, dull marriage.

I have 4 main characters. They belong to a secret group call “---------” (still haven’t come up with a suitable name for the group yet!) All of them have distinct roles in a dystopian society, sorta like 4 superheros. It’s imperative for me to describe their personality and looks as I chose distinct names for them.

They are battling an Institute (which is simply called that), rich - powerful - yada, yada.

I understand what you are say, as in many of my novella, short stories I forgo the character description for most of the characters because their action are more important. In this case, it’s different.
It’s about 90K word novel so I do have plenty of time to develop and describe each character throughout.

It needs serious revision! It would also benefit from a backstory novella, of each main character and the one bad character!

BTW, that is one heck of a writing job. I can actually :eyes: the place, feel the despair and foresee the doctor resorting to offing his wife - very, very intriguing! :slight_smile:


You have me intrigued. My favorite fictional group is The Chronos Club from The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Are they really fictional, though?

Dr. Moon would never kill his wife! However, later on he does do battle with a drag queen called Miss Crystal d Canter. - Or at least he would if the present socio-political climate was more agreeable to that kind of humor. As it is, Dr. Moon is my favorite character. I just haven’t found a way to put him to good use yet.

Edit: PS. Just to confirm, when you pay for the full Master Class courses package, can you access courses from all or just one genre. i.e. Could I do the Neil Gaiman course and something like the Gordon Ramsay cookery course?


Yes. I have access to everything! :slight_smile:


Yes, a distant future, after WW III! You can’t have dystopia without a war!


Time stamp: 3:49.