A Day of Accountability AND Miss Debbie!

Check in time.

How’s the writing going?

What have you accomplished this past week?

Just breathing since our marathon?

Cheri and I have written ourselves into a tight spot (“My hair!” What movie am I quoting? Kyra, you can’t say.). I’m trying to get us out of it. We have a huge rewrite to do. And another book to start SOON.

Plus I am thinking of a dinner place for us to go to for our marathon finish and our quarterly get-together.


And now, Miss Debbie!



Details, Details, Details…

by Debbie Nance

I have short short hair.
Recently after a stranger touched it, she said, “Your hair is really soft.”
“It’s new,” my surprised self blurted. “I’m just getting it back after chemo.”
Few people know what to say after I mention chemo. But do you think it is weird that people touch my hair? Maybe I’m missing something. A guy at church touched it last Sunday after he gave me a compliment that it looked good.
My mom thinks my hair is great. I’m her baby (still) and she thinks everything I do is great. Even growing hair. She tells everyone it is growing. She is excited because my hair is starting to curl.
The curling part is not my favorite, but I don’t complain. Any hair for me is better than no hair. However, IF my hair were straight, it would look longer and not stick out in every direction when I wake up in the mornings.
Does your main character have distinctive hair? Does one of your characters have short hair, another long? Is your main character bald? Does one character have black hair and another brown and another bright blue? Are your characters clones so everyone’s hair is the same? Do people touch your main character’s hair? Or comment on their hair? Is your character fussy about her hair—constantly looking in the mirror or using a comb? Or is your character someone who only using her fingers to brush through her hair once in the morning?
In scene details make a story come alive.
Details make a character real.
But is “hair” one of the details needed in your story?
I heard Lois Lowry speak about her series The Giver when the third book was released. She said in the first book, she never mentions colors until Jonas sees the red apple. I’m not sure I caught that detail the first time I read the book. Well, not until Jonas sees the apple.
I remember another author (can’t recall who) saying that she purposefully never described her main character and was always interested when fans wrote to tell her how they envisioned the character.
You are the only one who knows what details are needed for your book.
I’ve heard it said that you need “just enough” details, not too many.
How do you know when enough is enough?



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3 responses to “A Day of Accountability AND Miss Debbie!

  1. Growing hair after chemo must be wonderful. I don’t think it’s weird for people to THINK about touching your hair (I do that sometimes) but it’s weird that they follow through and actually do it. Like touching a stranger’s pregnant belly…not okay.

    One of my characters goes from bald to short sticking out all over the place hair, and since it’s different than everyone else’s she notices hair on others big time. It plays a HUGE role in her motivations and how she perceives herself, so yeah, at least in that book I think it’s important.

    Otherwise I think it’s nice to give each character at least one memorable trait whether it’s physical or behavioral, not necessarily having to describe them in detail. Maybe one guy has a misshaped beard, another constantly sniffs, or looks down every time he talks But you’re right, only you know how much detail is needed.

  2. benschwensch

    GREAT questions, Debbie! Thanks for making us THINK!

  3. Stephanie

    Little Women!

    Is hair like a pregnant belly? Everyone feels like they have a right to touch it.

    Great questions to think about. Thanks!


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