Archives for Roddy Doyle

I agree with Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle “[snappy dialogue is] the best way to keep the momentum going, rather than to interrupt it constantly with physical descriptions of people . . . It gradually came to me that I didn’t really care what Jimmy looked like, as such. It didn’t matter too much—I didn’t give him eye colour, hair colour, a height. The best way to get characters alive is to get them talking.” [in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine [June 2013] about his creation Jimmy Rabbitte in ‘The Guts’] Do we need to read a physical description of a character to really know them? I have pictures of my characters stuck on the notice board above my desk, but I don’t think I’ve written a physical description of them. The pictures are there to make my characters into real people, and it does help. Reading Roddy Doyle’s comments set me thinking: how many physical descriptions of characters are actually written on the page, and how many have I imagined. We all know Harry Potter has a lightning scar on his forehead because JK Rowling told us, but when I see Elizabeth Bennet’s face is it because of Jennifer Ehle in the TV series,
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Categories: On Writing.