• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

But Is It Fried?

So,  I had a surprise test at work the other day. I ended up getting a high score but when my boss went over one of the questions I got wrong, it got me thinking. The question was simply: describe the chile relleno. I described it is as a chile stuffed with cheese, breaded, and then deep fried. Apparently by describing something accurately, I had made it unappealing. My boss informed me that it was best to describe it as “egg washed” because it sounded “lighter” and “fresher.”

Now I will agree that describing something as egg washed as opposed to breaded does make it sound light. On the other hand if you stuff something with cheese and deep fry it, it’s not light, delicious yes, but certainly not light. Like they say if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s  still a pig.

At this point you’re probably asking yourself, but Camille, what does this have to do with writing? Let me tell you. When I write my characters I tend to love them, as I should, in this I find it very easy to “egg wash” their issues. By that I mean that in describing a character, I can make them more appealing to the reader, whether they deserve my discretion or not. Many authors do this because hey, that bad boy alpha male isn’t so attractive when he’s just a jackass. Now if he has some redeeming qualities perhaps we can overlook the fact that he’s filled with cheese and deep fried.

Here’s the problem, egg washing doesn’t work if there isn’t really a lighter side to the character. Saying a character is sensitive or has a good side doesn’t work if it doesn’t actually exist.  So let’s keep it simple. If something is heavy, it’s heavy. Not everything about your characters needs to be likeable, in fact it’s unnerving when your character is a child of the corn. 

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. I agree Camille, In the words of Tom Waits, “there are only so many ways to polish a turd”

    Reply
  2. I’ve been realizing more and more that just like I love people for their imperfections, I need to love my characters too. 🙂

    Reply

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