Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Attire - for your characters

Day one of the Challenge!

Can you feel the adrenaline pumping in your blood? The excitement that all 600 of us have to work together to have a ton of fun! I am lucky to be a participant two years in a row and this year a co-host.

What. an. honor.

So what am I waiting for? Let's dive in!

Attire- for your characters.

Character.

Is it important while writing to know what your character would wear? Short answer - yes (at least from my point of view).

If your main character is a fairy named Fina (yes I have a fairy named Fina) she'll have different clothing than a normal human. One has to be careful with her wings. Are her wings able to bend and form a sweater or are they soft enough to cover up?

What era do they live in? Is this a contemporary novel or a historical novel. If I dress my character as Marie Antoinette and she's going to the supermarket chances are others will notice and the reaction will not be what it should.

So make yourself a character arc. Properly learn not only about your character's personality but also what they should wear!

So how do you work with your characters?

156 comments:

Mary Aalgaard said...

How does a fairy put on a shirt? Are there extra wing holes? I'm number 814 on the list. I signed on at Alex's blog. This is an epic challenge!

Vicki Rocho said...

I struggle dressing my characters because I'm not into clothes. I'm tempted to put them all in jeans and a sweater/tshirt and be done with it! hahaha

Sarah said...

Attire is my weak point. I work hard on my worldbuilding, and this is definitely part of it, but probably the part I neglect the most! Great start to the A to Z challenge--it's been fun seeing what people come up with!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mine's a space pilot, so he has a flight suit. I'm sure Hart would rather her characters were naked though.

damyantiwrites said...

The protagonist of my last story wore very little, and that in itself was telling :)

Good beginning to the A2Zchallenge :)

Emily White said...

I have to admit clothes are usually one of the first things I think about! Hahaha! I might be a bit of a girly-girl.

Bish Denham said...

My fairies wear flower petals and many of my characters are animals...

Susan Fields said...

Attire is actually pretty important in my current wip. My tomboy mc is forced to wear short skirts and sexy tops, which she hates. But they do catch the eye of her crush.

Have fun with the challenge!

eclipseofthemoon said...

I have to admitt - an important stuff - although the characters in my "stories" are mostly invisible... :)
Many thanks for the warm welcome Jen, and for your kind comment. I stumbled upon the A to Z challenge via some other cyber friends and now I'm in....I know it will be fun, the sites like that are an amazing inspiration.

Wishing you a wonderful afternoon
Love/Sanna

Kirsty said...

What a shame, you've just given me an excuse to go and look at clothes shops and surely you must know what their clothes feel like too - shopping here I come.

Pam Torres said...

I'm notoriously an underwriter when it comes to attire.#lazy On the other hand I tend to be a bit wordy in general.#lovethesoundofmyownvoice
So when I finally joined this blogfest at 721st I knew it was the perfect challenge for me.

Bev Hankins said...

Very good advice for all us budding writers! It is interesting thinking about your fairy and what she might wear (and how)!

I'm number 288 on the list.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Hi Jen

Great to make your acquaintance. Thank you for the warm welcome.

This is a super start to the Challenge. I love working on attire. part of my current WIP is set in the 60's and 70's so I'm having a great time with winklepickers and flares!

Look forward to following your blog and writing.


xx

Linda Fischer said...

Adam and Eve are characters in my story. I don't have to worry too much about that for the first few chapters! But then, oh my! How did they keep those fig leaves on? :)

Marian Allen said...

Good point, Jen! If I write a piece in another time or another world, the last thing I think about is what they wear, but I have to know, so I usually waste time out of writing figuring that out. It would be a lot better if I figured it out first! Thanks for putting a finger on something I try to ignore. :)

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Tiffani Rose said...

Good advice. I don't write but I would have never thought about clothes before.

Catherine Denton said...

Great thoughts! I have to make lists or I forget little tidbits about them.
My Blog

Ella said...

Great A post! I can see a lot of potential for comedy, if one is not careful! Thanks!

Stephen Tremp said...

Great question ... My character are pretty much all casual. One guy, Bennie, likes to think he's a jet setting hot shot and dresses up for work in suits and power ties. But most of my characters are grad students so they wear jeans, shorts, whatever.

Matt Conlon said...

I find this to be one of the most difficult parts to keep track of.

Mara Nash said...

My faeries use magic to deal with clothing and wings. Isn't magic the answer to everything when you're a faerie?!

I agree that attire is important for your characters. I like to be able to visualize the characters as I read, and knowing what they wear is is essential to understanding them as people!

Laura Pauling said...

Depending on the character and the story I'll pay more or less attention to clothing, but it's important to think about!

Mara Nash said...

and P.S. - thanks for co-hosting!

Teresa said...

I think you make some very good points and I also think this why I am a great reader and not a great fiction writer. I have an imaginative mind but not enough to be able to picture all the things that need to be illustrated through words in a book. So you keep writing I will raed and then I can write about what you write :) I like the name Fina

Teresa

http://icecoldpenguin.blogspot.com

Better is Possible said...

Stopped by to say hi and read your post. Nice start. See you around!

http://clpcs-betterispossible.blogspot.com/2011/04/fourtieth-post.html

Mary Vaughn said...

Fun way to teach. Enjoy A-Z!

GigglesandGuns

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Attire is really an easy thing to overlook and can be a big gaping hole when it comes to visualizing characters. Good start to the challenge Jen!

Fourth Grade Teacher said...

Oooh, the first challenge post I'm reading, and it's full of excellent advice! I'm not a visual person (I would be horrible as a police witness), so thanks for the reminder that my characters shouldn't be running around naked unless it's pertinent to the story! So far all anyone's wearing in my Challenge: A is a head scarf! Oops! :-)

Karen Walker said...

Oh, didn't think much about this before. Thanks, Jen.
Karen

Sarah Ketley (constance) said...

*nods*

what else to say. So important to know what they are wearing, it changes everything, attitude, thoughts even the way they would be walking.

GREAT blog!

Sarah

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Fina should so flaunt those wings! If you got it, show it! :)

Great A topic.

Melissa Sarno said...

I love dressing my characters! I write contemporary and I'm pretty particular about what my characters wear. That's how people express themselves so I think it's important. Great post! :-)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Some characters I focused more on their attire than others. Book II's Sarah was a tomboy, so she wore a lot of tshirts and jeans, but it was fun to mess with her and stick her in something girlish.

Gregg said...

Not being a writer I don't have any characters to clothe or to be concerened about their attire. However, this is a good reminder that I have "character." I need to be very concerned about my attire in order to have a good character vs bad character. Great beginning!


Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

Katie Mills said...

I have to remind myself to describe clothing every once in awhile but yes, staying true to character is key.

Joanne said...

In honor of the A-Z theme, let me synchronize my Comment ... AWESOME post :)

busy91 said...

There are only a few times I concentrate on attire for my character, other times I just let it go by the wayside. Interesting thoughts though. :)

Carrie said...

Good one. I'm always worried that I shouldn't be telling readers what my characters wear and that I only do this cause I'm a wardrobe girl. It's good to know its important.

Jessica Bell said...

This is a crazy challenge. I can't believe how big it has gotten! I met you during last year's challenge. Remember? :o)

Cindy said...

My characters, since I am not a writer, are only my own girls. Though in a way, with my photography I form characters... but it can be very expensive to attire them on my own so I hardly ever get quite what I am going for because I am making do and on a budget...

Matthew MacNish said...

I think it all depends on what you're writing about. Some writers never describe their characters, or what they're wearing, and make it work. I'm not good enough to pull that off.

Tamara McRill said...

I visualize my characters in scenes fairly well, so clothing (or lack thereof) is easy. As a reader, I've been totally pulled out of otherwise great books by what a character is wearing. Not just the mechanics (mainly in fantasy) but when the choice seems 'off.'

Teenage Bride said...

I think this is probably one of the reasons I love stories set in diffent time periods so much. The attire is so fascinating and fun to imagine!

Carolyn V said...

Attire? Awesome! I think what a character wears says a lot about them. Great post!

Ann Best said...

For some genres, Attire is definitely a must. A+ for this post!

expatgab said...

I've only just started writing so I've lots to learn but I never, ever think about what my characters wear. Great post. It's given me lots to think about.

Laura Marcella said...

It's so important to know what your characters wear. Clothing can say a lot about a person!

Ann said...

Dressing like Maire Antoinette to go grocery shopping… hemmm. Now there is an idea. I once saw a woman who thought to dress like Anne Boleyn to attend the Other Boleyn Girl. It did look odd, will rethink that one.

Rachel said...

I LOVE the comment from the person who said they wanted to put all their characters in jeans and sweatshirts and be done with it. Heheheheheh! That works for me!


Jen,
Thanks so much for your comment on my blog; I'm happy to be following you.
(I think I was 964 on the list.)

Melanie Schulz said...

I can see your point. It adds alot more to the picture you are creating for your readers

Becky Wallace said...

Ooh! I love dressing characters. My male MC is so EASY. Flip flops and a baseball cap...but it's all him.

Laura Josephsen said...

I've been thinking about clothing of my characters a lot recently. I don't like to do a lot of description on clothes (especially constantly), but because I created an alternate world, I had to know how different people would dress. (I also, too, had to figure out how shirts would go on around/over wings.) And different clothes can say so much not only about the culture, but about the character.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I should remember this. I hardly pay attention to what my characters are wearing. Must change this attitude.

Jessica Hill said...

Great post! I sometimes forget about attire, as I do with most description, so it's something I have to constantly remind myself of and go back and add later if need be.

Have fun with your blogfest!

Jen said...

Attire is my favorite part!! Great post and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Trevor Peck said...

For real - that was some solid advice! I know for most writers that may be "um, yeah, no duh", but for people like me - who enjoy writing but kinda (it's a word in my book!) suck at it - that would have completely slipped my mind. Wow, long way to say thanks!

PS - you're now being "stalked" by me! Thanks for co-hosting!

Bethe77 said...

Jen thank you for popping over and saying hello and introducing yoruself for the A-Z blog Challenge. Im so very excited to see where this will take me in my writing.
I was up late alst evening writing my first one A.
Then went to bed dreaming what each letter would be.
Im very excited to read others and learn and grow.
Again thanks for coming by.
Blessings

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss jen! cool post. hmmmm for my fish story they all wore scales cept for shak the shark and he work shark skin. ha ha. in my dragon fly story gunther the goat and rowdy raccoon wore fur and fletch the grellowbird wore feathers. wow how easy is that! ha ha.
...hugs from lenny

Rosalind Adam said...

I have to say I often fail to dress my characters - I don't mean they're nude. They just have generic coverings. But I'll start thinking about it from now on... I want a fairy called Fina.

Thomasina said...

Whenever I read a book, I get joy from imagining what the characters are wearing. I like it when the author describes the clothing because it makes the characters more real. Make sure you stop by to see what I'm coming up with for the challenge.

Brigid said...

Interesting thought, yes, I am big on detail with my characters, says a lot about a person what they wear.

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

I have to admit clothes are the last thing I think of, and I am a woman!

In the first discarded draft of the book I work on now, the main character wore overalls. Yellow ones, I decided that my world needed characters to dress according to their gifts.

Then I saw yellow coverals and thought they were the ugliest things around.

So I started again and now she has jeans and a t-shirt with a gorilla on it. At least it's better than yellow coveralls.

Great challenging first post!

walk2write said...

You're right! Clothes are very important to the story, and I usually don't pay enough attention to details like that. Your post has given me a great idea for a story. Thanks for the idea and for co-hosting.

Tea said...

Enjoyed reading about the "attire" of the characters. I'm not really a writer. When I do write a short story or novel, I will remember your advice. This is so good.

Stephanie said...

Clothes play a HUGE part in A Bitch Named Karma...Lexi is a total fashionista...gotta have awesome clothes!!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Oh, I love this post! What they wear does say a lot about them. I try not to weigh my work down with too much detail. What's your secret?

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth Mueller ¨*•.♥

Tracy said...

Actually in my first book, sinhce my character was a dog, attire was NOT an issue...luckily one less thing to worry about :)

jabblog said...

The characters and the setting decide the clothes. Of course, if it's a period piece much research must be done to avoid anomalies ;-)

Paula Martin said...

I have to make a conscious effort to include some references to clothes (in my contemporary romances). I don't like too much description unless it's really relevant to the story.
Look forward to more of your A-Z blogs - and good luck with the challenge.
http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.com

Jennifer Shirk said...

Great post! I think what your character wears can really say a lot about them and their confidence.
(Unless they're a fairy, of course) Then they might not have a choice. LOL

Debora Dennis said...

Clothing my characters is so much more fun that shopping for myself - no need to worry about things on sale or going over budget! I love this part of the characters creation :)

Tracey Neithercott said...

Great post! Mine has a scar from heart surgery running down her chest. She's self-conscious about it so she never wears low-cut shirts.

Krispy said...

Wings are always hard to work with when it comes to clothes! Love this topic because it speaks to both character personality and like the logistics of the physical world. Haha.

Congrats on the co-hosting gig! I thought about trying out the challenge, but it seems too intense for me!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Excellent start to the challenge, enjoyed the post very much.
look foward to the rest of the month.

Yvonne.

paper said...

This is an (A)awesome start, Jen! :)

I wanted to drop by as promised, and thank you for the warm welcome to the fold of the A to Z April 2011 challenge.

You were my first commentor in connection with the blogfest,and I thought I'll dedicate the month to visiting your blog, and finding an adjective for each post, the first letter of which corresponds with the letter of the day! :)

To answer your question: I have not been writing fiction for a while, but when I do, I would like the clothes to also tell the story of the personality of my character in a subtle manner that adds up at the end of the story.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Before I forget, thanks for helping to host this. What fun!

I agree about attire being important, esp for YA. It also gives you an easy way to have your first person narrator talk about her own appearance (always tricky).

Laura Howard said...

This is a good point.. Sometimes books give too much clothing detail, and other times there isn't any. I thin finding the right balance is important. I plan to add these kind of details in my revisions, since it's not setting that comes naturally to me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jen .. the A for attention to detail that's needed to 'put' a novel into print .. and so right about attire ... it has got to match the character and the age. Thanks cheers Hilary

Hannah Kincade said...

I don't actively think about what my characters are wearing, I just follow my instincts and let it happen while I'm writing.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I alway mention attire with my characters... They can't walk around nude... Can they? lol.

Myne Whitman said...

I really don't pay much attention to attire in books, and when a lot of detail is used, I skip when reading. But I will notice though if the time periods don't match, LOL..

Crystal Pistol said...

Great topic! I'm actively concerned with the dress of my characters.

We are all judged immediatly on our appearances, like it or not. I wouldn't want my homeless man to be confused with my wall street banker! :)

RosieC said...

I love thinking about my characters' clothing. My biggest problem is describing those clothes too much in my prose. :)

Rosie
East for Green Eyes

natz said...

Hullo!
Thanks for the welcome and the comments (and tweet)!

I usually don't think about what the my characters are wearing. I kind of assume that as most of them tend to be teens/college, they're most probably in jeans. So I'll only mention something about clothes if they decide to dress up or are going to some event or something.

anna

Marjorie said...

You don't necessarily have to write the clothing in much either. Just to know it gives you the power to write accurately.

Christina Lee said...

Yes- this is a GREAT one, J!

The Book Gatherer said...

What a magical post to start the challenge. I'm off in search of a fairy.
Here's my start to the A-Z challenge. I'm really looking forward to the month ahead!
http://thebookgatherer.blogspot.com/2011/04/first-day-of-april.html

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I always forget to dress my characters. It's embarrassing when I realize they are nekkid. :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Clothing and other details that define a character's personal style are super important to my development stage. They are some of my favorite things to think about!

Roza M said...

I usually go with their names, like if it sounds more like a great punk rocker name then the people will be wearing some punk attire.

Love this post! Thanks for the comment on mine and yes, getting your book published is ambition if you will do anything possible to get it there. =) Cheers.

Jo Schaffer said...

What they wear says so much about them and about what they think of themselves. I like dressing them. (;

http://www.writerscubed.com/

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love the idea of a character dressed as Marie Antoinette at the supermarket - had an instant visual affect for me. Thank you for pointing out this very important characterization method - I think most of my poor characters have been walking around unclothed because I've forgotten to clothe them. Oops.

Rachel Giesel said...

This is a good thought that I think is often overlooked. Nice post! Congrats on successful day one! 26 more to go! (:

Aubree said...

my problem is describing the clothes without sounding like a straight up description. "she was wearing a shirt and jeans" that just sounds lame!

Penned Pebbles said...

Thank you, I'll be sure to dress my characters. Would hate to leave them exposed all over blog ville. :-)

Thank you for the visit and encouragement!

Penned Pebbles

Whitney Boyd said...

I LOVE describing the clothes my characters wear. I think it makes everything so much more interesting! Love it!

TS Hendrik said...

That hits right at one of my biggest problems with writing. I am horrible at remembering to describe what people are wearing.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Stopping by fronm the A-Z challenge. Great A word!

Monti said...

When my characters get caught up in the action of the story, it doesn't seem to matter what they are wearing. Or, maybe I just forget to tell or show!

Monti
MaryMontagueSikes

Rhonda@laugh-quotes said...

Attire is an awesome A, and a good thing to think about when we write. Following from A-Z challenge.

Rhonda
laugh-quotes.com

Erin Hartshorn said...

I now have to write a short story where someone dressed as Marie Antoinette goes to the supermarket. :-)

Laura M. Campbell said...

After choosing my character's age, I develop their personality then decide what type of attire they would wear. A characters appearance can say a lot about them, and I think it's very important.

Jan Morrison said...

I know what they'd wear but I don't neccesarily write about it - not unless it has something to do with the plot anyway.
good idea - see you around the fest!
Jan Morrison

Madeleine said...

Great A post.
I get pics of how my characters should look and that way I can imagine what they wear. :O)

Jennifer Hillier said...

I definitely do include references to clothing because what a character wears says a lot about them. Just snippets, like a vintage t-shirt or custom suit can say a lot!

Lynnette Labelle said...

I have a questionnaire that they must fill out, then I work on their GMCs.

Lynnette Labelle
www.lynnettelabelle.com

nutschell said...

Jeans! They're kids after all. Plus jeans are great for roughing and tumbling and all that jazz!

Tundiel said...

My MC mentions clothes a LOT, it's just part of who she is. There's a lot of costume changes throughout too...

Good luck with this whole thing! I missed it last year, but talked myself into doing it this year. It's fun scrolling through all the blogs. :)

J. D. Brown said...

Hi, nice to meet you. I'm going down the list commenting for the challenge. I love your blog, you seem like such a fun person. Love your post too. I have vampire characters and they like to dress old fashion - long skirts, conservative blouses, except for Jesu, he doesn't really care what he wears and likes jeans and t-shirts.

Lindsay said...

I do love clothes, but the characters I tend to write seem to have some 'I'm not really into fashion' attitude. LOL. I'm going to give this more though now though :)

K.C. Woolf said...

Yes, guilty as charged. My characters have a documented wardrobe.

Only the 1st day of the Blogging Challenge and already I'm making confessions. Where will this end?

Elaine AM Smith said...

I had so much trouble deciding on a uniform for the magical school in my wip. I needed it to help me world building as well as having them reasonably attired in something that could deal with a little rough treatment.
I mapped out the whole school curriculum, rankings for the Masters and the grading system as well as the the time table. My school was attired weeks before the kids were ;)

Fa L'Americana said...

Characters are always my stumbling block. I can think of a thousand great plots, but my characters tend to be limited to the second dimension. If you continue the "character" theme I'm sure I learn quite a bit though :-)

Karen Lange said...

Great idea! :)

Shelley said...

Comfy fleece pj pants and a hoody watching movies with a fire.
Shelley

LibbyLayla1984 said...

That's what I do when I write lol i even sometimes write it into the story. So glad i'm not the only one
Love the blog.
Now following
love
L

Dafeenah said...

I so never thought about that. I think because I can see it in my mind I assume people can too.

Thanks for stopping by. I think I just found me another dealer.

Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

Love the name of your blog! :)

Amy Wood said...

You make a great point! I don't give my character's attire enough thought.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Looking forward to what you'll have up tomorrow!

Siv Maria said...

Attire...hmmmm....My character would go naked if she wouldn't get arrested, she doesn't much care for fashion :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. What is tweeter anyways? I hear tweeter this tweeter that, maybe Norway is a little behind the times. Then again it could just be me :)

MM the Queen of English said...

Jen, thanks for your welcome comment yesterday on my blog, The Queen of English's Blog at queenofenglish.wordpress.com.
Blogspot took a lot of persuading to let me comment, but I think we are bfs now.

I love your blog, crisp and clean. Your blog brings back memories of research, but let's not talk about that now.
MM the Queen of English

Su said...

Sigh... this is a hard one. I wear whatever is at the front of my closet, but at least one of my characters has to care about clothes, right?

Cheree said...

I find dressing my characters the easiest. They usually end up in jeans, but that suits the sort of but-kicking characters I create.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I only mention clothing if it's relevant. I have read novels where it seems like a fashion catalogue and I prefer to create the character I'm reading as much as possible in my own head. So for me, just a few key points, that's all. Great post :)

Alison Miller said...

My characters either wear football or soccer jerseys or cheerleading uniforms. Easy.

Haha - mine are pretty normal, but I do make notes on their styles and what they typically wear.

Great post!

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Jen,

I try to visualize my characters and setting so that when I'm in scene, I have things nicely set up already. This is why I admire people who write Fantasy and Historical Fiction. There has to be soooo much more attention to detail.

Erin Kane Spock said...

I have to be careful not to overdo the attire. My interest in Elizabethan England started with the costumes so I know more than you average bear and tend to get too specific. I write, then edit myself down to something readable. :)
My critique partner does the opposite and it's my job to ask the question "What is she wearing?" Attire is as important to setting the scene as the environment.
Good post.

Jan said...

Interesting....

Jeanne said...

It is so important to know everything about your character. Paula Danziger, who was a prolific children's author did a workshop a few years back that I attended (just before she died). She talked about filling out a long questionnaire about your character, so that you know them inside and out. Not all the information would be shared in the story but you would know how they would react. Great post.

The Words Crafter said...

Girrrrrrl! I have a whole wardrobe for my favorite MC, Tangi. Yep, jewelry, too!

Love you topic!!!

Claire Goverts said...

Nice post. I tend to focus so much on my character's personality, thoughts, and feelings that I sometimes overlook their physical appearance/what they are wearing.

It's amazing how many people signed up for the challenge.

Lynda R Young said...

Maybe it's coz I'm a visual person, I'm always thinking about the clothes.

Duncan D. Horne said...

I've been writing a novel for the past four years which has sprung from both my experiences living in England and Malaysia. I focus a lot on the little actions they do in every situation, like tapping their fingers on their leg whilst waiting agonisingly for a fax.

It's a good idea to write about the type of clothing they wear too - I'll look into that!

I'm also doing the A-Z challenge; take a peek...

Duncan In Kuantan

Prem Rao said...

Interesting post, Jen. You have covered a point that many of us don't pay too much attention to. Thanks.

Melissa Kline said...

Love this post! I am very passionate about my characters. I collect props and costumes for all of my main characters. Having a visual reference is fun and useful! Helps keep the creative juices flowing. Thanks for the awesome post. I look forward to reading more!

~Melissa
Reflections on Writing

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I always struggle with how to dress my characters. Art imitating real life. ;-)

Arlee Bird said...

Oh dear, I tend to neglect clothes when I write characters. Of course I don't pay that much attention to fashion and clothes in real life either. If it's clean and it fits that works for me.

Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
Thanks.

Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

terri.forehand said...

Thanks for this challenge, hoping to make the most of it. I am not nearly as techie as I need to be but I love writing so this will be a wonderful way to post more cool stuff.

Thanks again, on to letter B.

Terri
http://terri-forehand.blogspot.com

Jemi Fraser said...

Perfect timing - I have a SNI floating around in my head and I haven't thought of clothing yet!

Rae said...

Hi, fellow Houstonian! *waves*

Funny you should mention attire. My main character competes on a dance reality show, so attires kind of important. I'm still trying to figure out how to describe it without saying too much.

Rae
Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Publication

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Oh...I don't pay a lot of attention to this aspect.

Great post!

Thanks, Jen.

Doris

Nicole said...

Thanks for reminding me to pay more attention to the attire of my characters. I don't write many books but work on different screenplays and often neglect that important aspect of the story when developing my characters.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great post. It's the small details, like clothes, that make the characters really come alive.

Craig Edwards said...

I can definitely see where the attire of a character would be a major detail to work out and build from. I don't write much prose fiction - I stick to screenplays - and there I also do give basics for wardrobe - but not in blistering detail because that would infringe on the costume designer's bailiwick - but that said I certainly try to point them in the right direction. Great post!

Poddys said...

As of right now, the number of blogs registered is 1,150! Isn't that amazing.

Manzanita said...

Day one behind us and beginning day 2. We're off to a great start. Clothes do make a character.
Manzanita
Wanna buy a duck

Juliet Boyd said...

Most of my stories are so short that I don't have time to dress the characters. Hmm, does that sound wrong? No, they're not naked!

Talli Roland said...

I love love LOVE dressing up my characters! :)

Clare C. Greenstreet said...

I love dressing my characters! I have list of clothes I've been that each character would wear. Lots of them come from the shop I work in cause I'm there everyday. I have to stop myself from going into Costume Porn when I write though.

Annikka Woods said...

What my characters wear is an integral part of their culture and society as well as something to cover their nekkidness. It's been fun designing the clothes worn by my different cultures. I borrow heavily from our own world but give things my own spin.

Sherri said...

I am hopeless when it comes to dreaming up attire and for that reason I have a lot of fantasy clothing websites I visit for inspiration. Once I see it, I can describe it in my story.

Corinne O'Flynn said...

I agree with you, clothing when described in a natural way can enhance so much about the character in a story. I struggle with this.

SO AWESOME to be hopping through the posts!!

On to B.

Cally Jackson said...

Describing clothing is always a challenge for me. I agree it's an important part of characterisation, but only to a point. I mean, we don't need to know what the MC is wearing in every single scene, only those where it helps paint the picture. Knowing when to explain the clothes can be tricky. I think I've probably got too many in my current draft.

Sari Webb said...

Good point, Jen! I think also, if you're writing to a YA audience, it's important to know what is in fashion these days. I read so many YA books where scrunchies are still mentioned, or midrif tops. It's a sure sign that the writer has clicked on to the change in fashion.

Tina said...

I'm a visual learner, so I definitely have a picture in my head of my characters. However, how much of that picture I share with the reader varies. For various reasons ;-) I'm sure I'm not the only one who is sometimes aghast when the book is made into the movie and the main character is COMPLETELY wrong. Tom Cruise in The Firm, for example. He'd been more Ryan Reynolds in my head. This is probably also a big reason why the movie is NEVER as good as the book.
Nice to meet you, and thanks for the sensible tips. Hope to be seeing you "around". Loving this challenge already!
Tina @ Life is Good

Kittie Howard said...

Loved the clothing suggestions for fairies. I learned in a course once that wings came about because the Greeks needed to pull actors off stage so constructed a pulley device under their 'wings'...had to be so-shaped to give balance when uplifted.