I picked up the book I’m currently reading because I wanted to immerse myself in an interesting fantasy world, the premise sounded great and I was sure I’d love it.

Instead here I am, fuming and tempted to DNF at 54%, because


She’s supposed to be this kick-ass, highly trained and super smart girl, who steals and lies and kills and fools everyone.

But I’m halfway through the story and what I got so far is


I swear that ALL she did so far was repeating OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN “Oh I’m so beautiful, I’m so brave, I’m so fucking badass, I could escape so easily, I could kill this guy in a second, I could do this and that and omg I look amazing in this dress and my hair is flawless.”

And her love interest(s)? “Oh her beauty is breathtaking, her intelligence is extraordinary, she can discuss books, music, politics, philosphy, theatre, cuisine, ice-skating, the ozone hole, deforestation, secrets of the dukan diet and biomedical engineering! She’s so awesome!! And so dangerous!! And her hair is so pretty!!”

The most annoying part, if you’re not annoyed enough yet, is that SHE DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO PROVE HER AWESOMENESS. Nothing. It’s all tell tell tell and not even one fucking moment of show.

Actually, she does show something. Her utter, ridiculous lack of humility and her absolute dumbness.

Tomorrow is my big day, the one that could change my life forever… and what do I do? I stay awake until 4 am, reading. Not training, not resting, reading! (Because that’s the easiest way to connect to my, guess what, readers!)

Oh look, someone left food in my room! It’s not like I’m one of those people someone is trying to kill,  so let’s eat it! The thought it might be poisoned doesn’t even cross my mind (and yet I’m the smartest bitch around, yo), yummy!

I’m a slave but I boss people around because I’m fucking awesome and everyone grants my every wish!!

I’m a fucking ninja but everyone gets in and out of my room at any hour while I sleep and I don’t even notice!!!

I’m not like the other women!!!!1!!1!!! I’m special! Different! Everybody loves me! Eveybody forgets how to function when I’m around!!!! (and it’s true, they do. These people are morons and should not be allowed to rule a Country or lead an army)

By the way, people like me are misteriously dying, but who cares, two lines to mention it should be enough! (I mean what the fuck was the author thinking?? “The plot is boring so I’ll just summarize it and focus on THE LOVE TRIANGLE instead, lol”??)

I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS. This book is boring, the writing is not even good (too much description, exposition and repetition –she’s awesome, WE GOT IT FFS– , and don’t get me started on those freaking exclamation points everywhere !!!!!!!!!!!), and the MC is simply insufferable.

She is a fucking Mary Sue. Basically, the only things missing are violet eyes and the power to speak to unicorns and spirits. Oh wait, she does speak to dead people in her dreams who tell her she’s the only one who can save the world. Because she’s SPECIAL.

I’m so annoyed right now and I don’t think I can actually bring myself to finish this crap. The only good thing coming from this is that I finally understood, once and for all, what agents mean when they say “SHOW, DON’T TELL.” 

Don’t make a character tell me a gazillion times how awesome, beautiful, clever, badass she is, because the only result will be having a MC so full of herself that the readers will groan in frustration page after page and HATE YOUR CHARACTER’S GUTS.

Give her things to do that show her personality and her abilities instead. Then the readers will decide that she is, in fact, a BAMF.

Write a compelling plot, instead of wasting 240 pages where NOTHING REALLY HAPPENS, filling them with descriptions of  your MC’s hair, eyes, dresses, vanity and thoughts about ridiculously superfluous things.

groaning forever

So yeah, I’m out. I give up.

At least I learned something useful.


Informazioni su Charlie_ jh134

"You're a raccoon that acts like a wolf and wants to challenge dragons." I guess what my best friend means is that I'm a bit clumsier than I like to think. I'm pretty sure Seth Cohen is my spirit animal.
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5 risposte a CHARACTERS I WOULD CHOKE TO DEATH – Show vs Tell pt.I

  1. 🙂 Quite a rant! And yeah, the show/tell thing drives me crazy. Really, it’s not about NOT telling–telling is critical in a novel. Otherwise, it would be an impossibly long read. But I know just what you mean. Good writers aim to let the reader formulate their own opinions of the MC, which is one of the things that brings them into the story. Simply telling them about a character quality doesn’t cut it, and doing it to excess? Well, that’s just over-compensating and can have the reverse effect (and it’s clear that’s where you are :)). I feel your pain. Great rant 🙂

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    • Charlie_ jh134 ha detto:

      Haha I’m not (entirely) crazy then, someone understands me! Yes, telling is absolutely necessary or every book would have thousands of pages, but there are some things writers simply cannot skip over… like their plot for example. Imagine buying the ticket to see Revenge of the Sith and ending up with 95% of the film showing tender/cheesy moments between Anakin and Padmé and 5% showing Anakin as he tells the audience “Oh, by the way I’m a power-hungry, angsty young adult, I just betrayed my best friend and the whole Order of the Jedi and I murdered a bunch children while I was at it. But I remained very good-looking the whole time, heh. Cheers!”
      This is a very popular YA fantasy book I’m talking about, and I don’t understand how it was even published. But at least I’ll be even more careful with my own writing now, I don’t ever want to do the same mistakes this author did!

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  2. Pema Donyo ha detto:

    Argh, agreed. I have to admit in the planning stages/first draft stages for my stories I usually end up writing a scene or two as “tell” instead of show just to keep the description as a placeholder for the actual scene. No excuses by the final draft though – it gets rewritten during the editing stages. You’re right, in order for us as readers to empathize with a character we need to see what she does for ourselves. Being told what to believe about a character gets tiring – especially when the character description is as repetitive as the one you’re talking about!

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    • Charlie_ jh134 ha detto:

      Exactly! I think it’s normal to “tell” at first, when you’re still getting to know your own characters and trying to figure out where their personalities will take them. I write pages and pages of descriptions instead of actual scenes in the planning/first draft stages (and even in the second draft, to be honest!), just to get those ideas out of my head and onto the paper as fast as possible, before I forget something important. But I know I’ll have to work on them later and turn them into well-written scenes by the final draft… otherwise I might as well be writing the summary of a book for school, instead of a novel!!

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