Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Location: New York
|Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:47 am Post subject: The People in Your Story
|These days very few writers take time to describe their characters. How they look. Their presence, and their humanity. They’re so anxious to keep the story moving they let the opportunity slip by to make their people flesh and blood and worthy of our attention. Listen to Virginia Woolf take time to describe the Duchess of Lambourne ...
“And Oliver, rising, could hear the rustle of the dress of the Duchess as she came down the passage. Then she loomed up, filling the door, filling the room with the aroma, the prestige, the arrogance, the pomp, the pride of all the Dukes and Duchesses swollen in one wave. And as a wave breaks, she broke, as she sat down, spreading and splashing and falling over Oliver Bacon the great jeweler, covering him with sparkling bright colors, green, rose, violet; and odors; and iridescences; and rays shooting from fingers, nodding from plumes, flashing from silk; for she was very large, very fat, tightly girt in pink taffeta, and past her prime. As a parasol with many flounces, as a peacock with many feathers, so she subsided and shut herself as she sank down in the leather armchair.”
Without ever describing her physical appearance, Virginia Woolf has drawn a memorable portrait of a titled woman.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.