Saturday, October 22, 2011

What to wear? What to wear?

How do you decide how to dress your characters in any given scene?

My characters personalities, professions and time period dictate their clothing choices. You're not going to see my DNR characters wrangling black bears in a ballgown or a tux. They're going to wear their uniforms. Just like you're not going to see the yoga instructor/new age store owner wearing a Chanel suit.

I try not to go overboard describing clothes unless it's integral to the plot. There's a certain author that I know of who goes to great and torturous lengths to describe every intricate strap, every buckle or grommet on her character's impossibly tight, black leather dresses. The same amount of detail is paid to her legion of male characters. Every silken ruffle, every scrap of lace and every pair of tight leather pants is described. Often for paragraphs. Unfortunately, none of these descriptions are integral to the plot. When I was still reading this series, my frequent thought was, "OMG, I don't care how high the slit is--just fight or have sex already!"

In erotic romance, we kinda need to see what's being taken off, shoved up or pushed down. It's not only part of the genre, but it's also part of the whole atmosphere of the sex scenes. However, we don't need to know there are mother of pearl buttons...unless of course they're being ripped off and are rolling across the floor, because that right there (done right) is kinda hot.

Also, on an only vaguely related side note, someday, I will write a story in which the heroine gets to wear this dress. Because I love it.

1 comment:

Patricia Kiyono said...

I love the dress, too! Be sure to let us know when it makes an appearance in your stories.

And I agree - some description is nice, but too much of it makes my eyes cross! Thanks for posting.