On loving your character just a bit too much.

When passing strangers start noticing the color of your main character’s eyes and wax lyrically about them, it’s a sign.

We know you love your main character, author. But, could you just…make the fawning a little less blatant?

“In fact, Kote [the main character] himself seemed rather sickly. Not exactly unhealthy, but hollow. Wan. Like a plant that’s been moved into the wrong sort of soil and, lacking something vital, has begun to wilt. Graham [the old blacksmith] noted the difference. The innkeeper’s gestures weren’t as extravagant. His voice wasn’t as deep. Even his eyes weren’t as bright as they had been a month ago. Their color seemed duller. They were less sea-foam, less green-grass than they had been. Now they were like riverweed, like the bottom of a green glass bottle. And his hair had been bright before, the color of flame. Now it seemed—red. Just red-hair color, really.” [The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss; Chapter 3]

In other words: I am a burly village blacksmith. I saw the innkeepers green-grass, sea-foam eyes [sea-foam: quite common in my middle-of-nowhere-forest village, donchaknow], his deep voice, and his flaming hair!  Now, alas, he is wan and bleak, his eyes dulled!

I better be getting a romantic subplot out of this purple prose.

Author, if you absolutely must creep all over your main, mysterious character, please, please camouflage it better. Because a blacksmith on an errand is such a lousy exposition choice.

PS. I finished The Name of the Wind, and yes, it did in fact continue in this vein.

PPS. No, no romantic subplot with the blacksmith.

PPPS. Three words: Historically inaccurate glass.

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4 thoughts on “On loving your character just a bit too much.

  1. Oh my god, Name of the Wind is one of those books I’d always been meaning to finish! I love how you dare to take the mickey out of award winners ;D

    Hee, mentioning romantic subplots reminded me of the Nightrunner series.

    • Just you wait till we repost the full, scathing review of that book. I have no idea why, but Name of the Wind stands out as one of my most terrible reading experiences this year. (Maybe that’s a good indicator that I’m not doing all that badly in my book selections!)

  2. Pingback: [ Book Review ] Academy Dropout Wanted for Captaincy. « thecanaryreview

  3. Pingback: [ Book Review ] Name the Wind…ow. « thecanaryreview

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