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On Being Dressed June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 2:19 pm
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Okay, I have been working on this crazy plot revision for my fourth book and it’s coming along. No, I’m not pounding out thousands of words per day. Can’t manage that kind of output when I am hacking away weeds and jungle growth from the first three drafts. However, I am getting close to the midpoint of my WIP, polishing and shining up the story as a I go along. I occasionally back track and fix something — a sentence here or there. While it may not be 100 percent DONE by Nationals, it will be close.

I’ll have to go back and layer in deeper POV, which I am feeling better about executing. Oh, and the setting is weaving together nicely, and if the plot is not what people want to buy/read/rep then I’m okay with it. I just want to prove to myself I can flesh out this story and see if it flies. It might die. But it might, it just might, fly.

However, as I’ve been merrily fixing the plot and heigh ho’ing through  my story line, my constant reading has opened my eyes to a big problem. My people aren’t wearing anything as they go about their business. The category and single title romance books have lots of descriptions of the clothing and hairstyles of the characters, usually as seen by another character looking at the person in question.

My characters are tooling around the USA on a publicity tour and I’ve forgotten to describe their clothing for at least 3 chapters. Despite the racy content, shall we say super sexy content, they do actually wear clothes. But I’ve forgotten to add that element. Yikes! My peeps are naked to the reader. Or will the reader miss the paragraph long descriptions about the clothing? I don’t know.

I guess I was so busy getting the plot and the pacing to work, that clothes were not on my mind for a while. Ah well, I’ll layer my peeps’ clothing into the story in bits and pieces. A slip of a dress here, a show of color there, a bejeweled hand waving at someone over here, and a heck of nice set of buns in tight jeans added as a dash of interest. Really FINE interest!

The thing is, I’m not a fashionista. I don’t have a lot of clothes in my closet. Some women might even be shocked by the fact that I SHARE my closet with Darling Hubby. Seriously. How many women share their closets? I know of some women who have two or three closets filled with clothes while their darling husbands have a woebegotten corner of a small closet for their stuff. Before darling daughter was born, I had more clothes, but honestly, half my wardrobe was BUSINESS ATTIRE *yuck*,  and I’ve cheerfully given that wardrobe the heave ho.

It was easier to dress my heroine when she was in starchy pin stripes and pencil skirts. But now she’s supposed to lose her business armor and go about in much sexier clothes. It’s a good thing I have a few fashion magazines hanging around (okay, just one and I think it’s my darling daughter’s magazine subscription), or I’d be in big trouble. Now my hero? Oh, he’s easy. Butt hugging jeans, torso kissing T-shirts, a Glock and other concealed weapons make him GOOD TO GO. He’s got to dress up on occasion, but throw the man in a tux and voila! I’m in heaven again.

Apparently, dressing men is just as easy as it is for them to buy pants and shirts in real life. Women? Don’t even get me started on how hard it is to find clothes that fit even the best of bodies, especially bathing suits.

I guess that’s why my wardrobe is so small. I loathe the hunt for the perfect fit.

So check out your own characters today. What are they wearing? Or did you forget to dress them, too?

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8 Responses to “On Being Dressed”

  1. JustineDell Says:

    I don't "forget" to dress them, but I don't think characters need to be described everytime you mention them. Readers have pretty good idea of what they want them to look like anyway. A simple statement (instead of a whole paragraph) would do. Like, "As he walked in she admired the way his white t-shirt clung to the muscle underneath" or something like that. To me, clothes are that big of deal…unless they are getting ready to come off. LoL ;-)~JD

  2. KarenG Says:

    I'm with Justine. Hair & clothes can be mentioned as part of what's happening but when the action pauses for a fashion break it's annoying. Sophie Kinsella does this so well in her books. I love how she incorporates clothing descriptions into her characterizations.

  3. Christine Says:

    Justine: I prefer my peeps to be in a state of undress as well 🙂 You're right that the readers already have a picture in their heads about the characters.

  4. Christine Says:

    KarenG: I love Sophie Kinsella's incorporations of clothing as part of the characterizations as well. And I don't like "clothing stops" in the books I read, either. I've read a few of them lately and it is annoying. A snippet here and there is all that's necessary. I need to reread Sophie's books!

  5. Martha W Says:

    Okay, this was priceless. I literally lol'd. Isn't it interesting the things that we leave out when we focus on other things? In my last one, I noticed they didn't eat. For three days. *grin* Best diet plan ever… 🙂

  6. I agree with the other comments. We don't need long descriptions of the clothing, but a quick mention here and there is okay, especially if it makes a statement about the character.And I'm so with you. I hate shopping, mostly because nothing fits the way I want it to. I share my closet too, and I only have 21 pairs of shoes. Half of them are either athletic shoes or flip-flops. I lost my girl card years ago. 😉

  7. Christine Says:

    Martha: that is a great diet plan! Haha. Mine eat a bit, but they actually are drinkers. She just had a fortifying glass of chardonnay. 🙂

  8. Christine Says:

    Gwen: I just can't seem to find clothing I LIKE that also FITS well either. Course, if I went on Martha's diet plan for her characters, I might be able to find clothes that fit LOL. I live in flip flops, but I do love shoes. I don't have an Imelda collection, but when I can't find something to wear, I buy shoes. They always fit.Speaking of buying something to wear, I still have to find a pretty dress for RWA's Golden Heart/Rita Ceremony. AACK.


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