• If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
    Elmore Leonard
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37

Randolph Lundine Writing Prompts

Writing prompts, news, information, and resources to help expand your writing community, hone your writing habits, and to waste time in a way that feels like you're working on your writing.

On character

My friend--yes, the adverb hating one--has a strong reaction when writers describe a character's clothes. She hates it and will judge you accordingly (she can be a little scary). While my rules aren't so hard and fast (and I admit to being a bit of a fashion junkie), I see what she means. It's a bit of a cheat. Readers want to know your character, to understand her. Not to understand what she's wearing.

I've occasionally argued with this friend that what a character is wearing can be a piece of the puzzle--there is, after all, a difference between a woman who wears a leopard jacket and one who wears a track suit. But I can only carry this argument so far. Clothes might help me see your character, but do they help me know her? Should it be the primary way in which I do? 

In his recent article (from the great NY Times blog "Draft"), Silas House offers some advice about creating memorable characters. With perhaps some Miss Havisham-like exceptions (or am I the only one haunted by that disintegrating wedding dress?), shaping characters with depth and complexity has little to do with their clothes: http://nyti.ms/1chxZeY

Just Write (28)
Just Write (28)
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Thursday, 21 November 2019