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Expendable
January 4th, 2006, 04:34 PM
What is your protagonist's choice in clothes? What do they wear for working and for going out? Where do they shop? Do they have a large wardrobe? How do they view clothes? What accessories might they have? What's in their pockets or purses?

KatG
January 4th, 2006, 07:19 PM
You know, one of the really funny things that happened to me was when I realized I needed to figure out and write down exactly what two, three of my main characters were carrying with them. One, because some of it was going to come up later on. Two, because they lose some of it. Three, because it came up as I was writing that they'd better have such and such in their pack. I mean, you don't think of this stuff right off the bat, but it ends up being really important once you get into a story.

Expendable
January 4th, 2006, 08:14 PM
Two icons that scream Sherlock Holmes is his deerstalker cap and a drop-step pipe, which you'll see on tiles at the Baker Street station in the London Underground and various images - only Conan Doyle never once mentioned "deerstalker" among all the hats he put on Sherlock's head or a drop-step pipe.

An actor, William Gillette, made them famous while playing the part of Mr. Holmes on the stage. He couldn't stand the straight pipe bobbing up and down while he gave his lines so switched to the drop-step pipe and it's been used ever since.

Dawnstorm
January 5th, 2006, 07:48 AM
What's a super-hero without a costume? :D

Anyway, I'm usually attrocious with writing clothes. I just try to avoid have them run around in rain drenched clothes for days on end. :eek:

The funny thing is, even though I never really thought it through, I have no real problems sifting through their wardrobes if I have to. (And I'll find even those things that they wish nobody'd ever see, yet they can't bring themselves to burn it...)

Holbrook
January 5th, 2006, 12:25 PM
Costumes can reflect part of your characters' persona, taste, position in society.
So, depending on what you have your characters wear you partly create an impression of who and what they are for the reader. You can also use their garments in the same way with regards to the rest of your characters. People do judge others by what they wear, do and say.

All tools in a writers box.

KatG
January 5th, 2006, 01:26 PM
I do get rather tired of the extreme descriptions of military uniforms and armor that goes on in pre-industrial fantasy, I have to admit. I really don't need to know the exact colors and fetishes of each ranks uniform, the insignias and where they appear, the type of greaves they're wearing, etc. If it's useful to plot, characterization or setting the scene fine, but I don't need to know what the color of all the footsoldiers' boots are. It can drag down the pacing.

On the other hand, I've seen about three-quarters of the film "The House of Flying Daggars" and it is in terms of visuals and coloring in the setting and the clothing, stunning. But then, it's a film. A bit harder to pull off in written fiction.

onions
January 9th, 2006, 04:18 AM
I hardly do clothing descriptions.

That's cause I usually do third person limited POV's from a male point of view - and you know how much men pay attention to the exact colour and grain of a silken ball gown. :)

I tend only to describe specific details that might spring to attention.
Like, I'll have my character note the worn state of the other person's shoes (and then treat him differently because of that).

Billy Rhomboid
January 12th, 2006, 12:34 PM
likewise painstakingly described scenes of putting on armour. it always shrieks "Look! I have researched this minutely and will list the greaves etc, just so you are aware of that!"
Even Eriksen is guilty of this one occasionally. "his vambraced arms" etc

Dragon Child
January 27th, 2006, 03:18 PM
Describing clothing has always been an issue with me when writing. I never know how much is toomuch or too little of detail, not to metnion trying to work it in so that it still flows right. This is especially a problem as fashion design happens to be another one of my arts and when I first create my characters I almost immideately design an entire wardrobe for them based on personality, background, etc. It's how much of that I should reveal in the actual writing process that gets me.

As for the "Don't judge a book by it's cover" rule, I honestly don't think it should apply to clothing in the least! Of course, it's not a reliable tool, but it's natural that when you meet someone new you look to the clothes as a sort of clue as to what that person might be like. Thus it can also make for a good tool in writing to help the reader relate to the character.

virangelus
January 27th, 2006, 11:41 PM
Teehee I'm one of them weirdo's that gets a kick out of imagining what her characters look like in different wardrobes.

One character has to wear different styles of wardrobes too, because he has to go undercover alot. Oh yeah, it's fun too do. :)

Most of the clothing in my current WIP is "functional" or "utilitarian." The characters wear it because it's most apporpriate. You know, uniforms and stuff.