Dark Discourse

Characters’ Recipes: Sam’s Fiery Chili

If you’re an avid reader, you want authors to show you what the characters are feeling, You want emotions to drip off the pages. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.” –Anton Checkhov
If you’re a writer you understand how hard it is to accomplish this.
Fellow writer Charles French takes “show not tell” seriously. Below he shares a fiery chili recipe that one of his characters would cook:

charles french words reading and writing



In my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, one of the main characters is Sam, a retired homicide detective.  In his spare time, he fancies himself a good cook of basic foods, and one of his favorites to cook and eat is spicy chili.

I was thinking about what some of my characters like to eat and cook, not necessarily because this information appears in the novel, but because the more I know about the idiosyncrasies of the characters I write, the better I can show them. This idea is similar to actors creating biography sheets for roles they are playing.

So, what is this recipe?



Sam’s Fiery Bowl of Red Goodness


One pound chuck roast,
One 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes,
One Spanish onion,
One sweet green pepper,
One poblano pepper,
Four habanero peppers,
Two chipotle peppers,
Two jalapeno peppers,
One can dark…

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