• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Would You Stay if She Promised You Heaven

DAY 25 Sorry I didn’t get this out last night. But I did get my thirty in earlier in the day. I was mostly layering in cement to hold the bricks together. I hate it when writers say they find out more about their characters as if the characters are real and reveal their secrets. The writer is the puppeteer. Maybe you find out more about yourself as in you didn’t realize you had those strings to pull. Anyway, it turns out my main character is a bit of an asshole. Love it.

Describe your main character in three words.

p.s. Five more days till the mountaintop.

17 Responses

  1. First I have to figure out who is the main character. Is it the narrator? Guilt-stricken. Determined. Deluded?
    Or someone else?

  2. Damaged, resolute, clever.

  3. PTSD, intelligent, survivor.


  4. Real fucked up.

  5. Sara runs away.

  6. Restrained, careful, sad.

  7. Stargazing, place, racism (nonfiction, obviously)

  8. Nonconformist, pragmatic, dogged.

  9. “Describe your main character in three words.”


    This is hard. I’m not sure just three words adequately describes any sufficiently rounded character. It might do for the flat characters, but main characters can’t be flat. An argument can be made that the best characters are those who cannot be completely described in any number of terms; there will always be something about them that you may be able to see and even recognize, but it seems to slip away if you try to pin it down too fixedly. I don’t know. When we writers do our writing and cast our characters — who do not exist, for there are no characters, only words on the page — but when we populate our tales with the ghostly apparitions meant to pass as depictions of persons, we are, of course, responsible for the words we choose. But we’ve all had the experience of the character who gets away — the Mercutios, the Falstaffs, who grow larger on the page and threaten to steal scenes (and hearts and joints of roasted meats; I’m looking at you, Sir John). Our readers are always going to bring more to what we have written than we are capable of placing there ourselves. They’re going to find aspects to our characters that we may not have intended to be present, or that we may not recognize as being present, and arising from the words we have chosen, until their presence is pointed out to us, and we lean back and say, “Of course, of course.”

  10. I’ve used that line, ‘My characters begin to talk to me at 20,000 words.’
    Bull! I have an evolving imagination. I change them whenever. Too bad I can’t do that to some real people…
    Maybe I’ll write a story where they can.
    p.s. Piece main character: Bewildered, naive, determined; or specifically me, myself, and I.. (Its a memoir, but I’m still pulling strings.)

  11. President’s son barmitzvah (I cheated; bar mitzvah is 2 words)

  12. Good going, Betsy! I haven’t been responding, but I have been writing. In three words my main character at the beginning of the novel: Missing her sisters.

  13. It is I.

  14. Wronged.
    (Ad) infinitum.

  15. Teller of stories

  16. Prepared to bite.

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