Madeleine Marsh



There's been a lot of coverage in the media this week of desperate publishers trawling the 'shallows of fan fiction' to find the next literary phenomena.  Bad enough that we have to deal with actors getting noisy or worse, getting in on the act, now it seems nowhere is sacred!  I hope they have open minds.  A friend of mine told me a story about another friend who was asked by a publisher to, and I quote, 'lose the blow job.'  I wonder if they asked E.L. James to lose the misogynistic, abusive asshole....

Speaking of which, this afternoon I considered removing a character from the up-coming novella.  When I originally wrote the story, the character in question was the book's 'Charlie'.  There's a 'Charlie' in almost every manuscript I've written, inspired by Nick Falacci's character, Charlie Eppes.  In some stories 'Charlie' is one of the lead characters, in others he has a minor role, but he's usually there.  He's easy to spot: curly dark hair, big brown eyes with an odd innocence about him.  In Angel House he's the Asperger's sufferer who ran away from home after the breakdown of his incestuous relationship with his brother.  In The Art of Necro-Gastronomy (the possible follow-up to The House at the End of the World) he's a zombie addicted to dead human flesh.  When I originally wrote this story, he was my source of exposition, my exit strategy.   Now he's the Haiku-talking landlord, a role I was starting to think was redundant until I began to write him out.  But he isn't.  He's another level of weirdness, a chance to add more mystery, to muddy the waters.  He's disturbing and confusing in a place where already nothing makes sense.

I don't need the exposition, the other six characters are intelligent enough to work it out on their own.  But removing this story's Charlie feels wrong.  So he stays and I only hope he has something to bring to the world I've created.

Last updated: 2013-08-25 13:05:53

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