I Know Your Real Name Now: Initial Descriptions of Main Characters

I used to enjoy adding little bits of first-draft writing to my old blog, so I’m going to do it again with this new book. These bits aren’t edited and will almost definitely change as the book progresses, but they make for a nice bookmark as to where things are now.

I Know Your Real Name Now has four main characters. Here’s my initial descriptions for each.


Aw, I remember the old you,” Banks said. And then she framed me with her hands. A skinny kid with quick metabolism about to run out, as if you might get your freshman fifteen before making it to college. 170 pounds, 5’9, white kid with okay-cute dark features. But you picked and chewed your nails. You did not know how to take care of your fingers. Straight hair, cut just below his ears, black. Black eyebrows, somewhat thick, not like it is now. Dark brown eyes, but a strong, angular nose, the only chiseled thing on you at the time. Your skin was only halfway healthy, and a little bit freckled, but only if you looked really close. You parted his hair down the middle, like the singer from Savage Garden or the kids from Hanson, but a bit shorter. And you put gel in it to slick it down and it looked halfway like it belonged in 1997. You started combing it back with your fingers almost as soon as I broke up with you. You wore Hawaiian shirts. You only owned two pairs of shoes: one of them were girls shoes, but you wore them to prom because they were your only nice ones.”


Banks was 5’4, curvy, 130ish pounds. Black and luminous. She was born in Toronto, and so were her parents. She’s third generation, she told me. Her grandparents were from the US. She had the bright cheeks, full light pink lips. She loves those frosted pink Lip Smackers from Claires. Her hair is tight up front, her thick hair tied into two buns, except for on nights when she straightens it (like dances [but not tonight?]). She liked earrings, thin ones that dangled down. She kept her eyebrows thin, her Grey-brown eyes perfectly placed. She wore thick mascara on dance nights, so her eyes would dazzle more. She had glowing skin that radiated under party lights. She liked showing off her shoulders. She usually danced shoulder first.


Ram’s light brown eyes were close together, and she had a thin nose for her face. She slicked her hair back with thick gel, and would regularly change her hair’s colour from dirty blond to the wrestling teams deep blue with manic panic, but she wouldn’t wear the cap properly and so a bunch of the stuff would always be smeared on her neck.

Her laugh was conquering. She was the strongest person she knew and it gave her impenetrable confidence that she wore like a fur coat. She never hunched, and always took up as much space as she could in any car.

Her muscles weren’t defined in the way you’d see in magazines and on pro wrestling. They were defined like you’d see in strongman competitions and the beefier hosts on the nature channel. You didn’t see glisten and torque when she flexed, but she could pick up the back half of your car and pull it a while.


Fourth was a somewhat squat girl at just over five feet. She had wide thighs and thin shoulders, big brown eyes and black choppy hair. She wore old converse to every occasion. She owned three pairs and they were they only shoes she had. In the winter, she wore high top chucks. She wore a beautifully flowy and layered dress that, if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear it was lit from her belly. It glowed white and yellow. But she still just had the street shoes on. She’d be the most comfortable punk at the dance.

Fourth smiled at me. She had wide cheeks that made her face seem somewhat football shaped, like a cute chipmunk. She credited this on her Japanese grandmother. Glasses only furthered her optical illusion as one of the rescuers, or a Disney animal from the early seventies. It was a face they all loved, and she found herself beloved by people she’d never actually spoken to. Her face warmed the heart and disarmed the teenage cynicism that would carry through for this generation until they died.

February 10, 2018