1. Bunnii
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    Bunnii New Member

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    Clothing. Details and Description

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Bunnii, Apr 15, 2013.

    I need help with describing an outfit.

    The main idea is for space suit, like from prometheaus. But I need to know how you could go about describing a space suit, any help ?
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    what colour is it?
    what's it made from?
    what temperature is the wearer?
    does it have any cosmetic features?
    any special functions?

    imagine you were telling your friend, who hasn't seen the film, about it...


    PS Is this the new attire of your stableboy? :)
     
  3. Bunnii
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    Bunnii New Member

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    How about this !

    The voice belonged to a tall strawberry blonde male, dressed in a light grey space suit. Fibreglass enforced chest plates, flexible making the suit almost skin tight. Heavy black boots that stopped just under the knee, also skin tight. And black gloves to match.

    And nope :)
     
  4. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    The voice belonged to a tall strawberry blonde man dressed in a light grey space suit. It was skin tight and flexible, with form fitting fibreglass reenforced chest plates. On his feet, heavy black boots that stopped just under his knees. They were also skin tight. On his hands he wore black form fitting gloves which clutched a pair of laser-light death ray pistola.
     
  5. Bunnii
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    Bunnii New Member

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    Thank you !!
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    How does it sound to you? Have you read it out loud?

    I don't think you have to describe his every thread. When you say he was dressed in a light grey space suit I imagine Neil Armstrong with a goldfish bowl for a helmet.

    Have you ever seen baggy boots?
    What's happening your spaceman?
    Can you fit the suit description into his actions such as: Bullets bounced off his reinforced chest plate. His heavy boots bogged him down as he tried to evade aliens. Or his spring heels helped him evade certain destruction as he bound over moon dunes. His black gloves now red with the blood of his victim.

    Know what I mean?
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Form fitting gloves? As opposed to foot shaped gloves?
     
  8. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Depends on the impression of the character you want to give to the reader, but if you want to seriously describe a gruff, stoic warrior (don't know if you do, just giving an example here), I'd avoid adjectives like "strawberry blonde." What adds to the mental image I derived from the description was that in French, the "e" in the end of "blonde" denotes a female character whereas a male would have been "blond." Then again, if he's a fun-loving metrosexual, for example, it works fabulously.

    Also, if he's a warrior, skin-tight might not always be the best option from a practical standpoint: skin-tight generally means there's no protection (if the material was padded, thicker so it provided protection, it would no longer be quite that skin-tight). In space, skin-tight makes sense because of the lack of pressure, but those combat-inclined, would likely have additional protective gear over a skin-tight undersuit. I was also wondering, wouldn't they be beyond fiberglass from a technical standpoint if they're advanced enough to have these spandex space suits? Such as nano fibers of some sort that harden upon sensing impending impact or some such, for example, or you could come up with some other armor composite.


    :D
     
  9. Bunnii
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    Bunnii New Member

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    I used "strawberry blonde" as he is meant to be the dumber more imaturee of the two charecters, hence why I have also made the main charecter a dark haired man. Seeing as that helps to fit the whole Strong dark handsome Charecter steryotype. Although my main charecter is rather short which wouldnt be the norm for the hero, this gie the oppertunity for the blonde to make jokes and poke fun at him, again insinuating the blondes imaturity.

    And yes I see your point, any sudgestions on what I could use for the armor that is veriably thin or could even be sown into the fabric making it bulletprooft or heat resistant or whatever.
     
  10. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you need to write a whole piece, google what you don't know or make it up. Then after following site regs, bring it back for critique. It won't benefit you if you come here every time you're stuck on something :)
     
  11. Bunnii
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    Bunnii New Member

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    I know, I know. I did this time because I went on google and it came up with NASA space suits and thats not what I wanted at all heh
     
  12. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    You don't need to say anything too specific about a space suit, because you should trust your reader's imagination to fill in their own details. However, there are times when you should go into more detail. If that person's space suit is custom-made, then everything about it reflects their character. Or if there are parts to the space suit that have functions in the plot other than to protect them from space, or if something about the space suit relates to a theme in your book, etc.

    In the first book of The Hunger Games, Katniss wore some pretty cool outifts, but they were never just fashion for fashion's sake. They reflected her character, the plot, and the theme as well.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't describe any aspect of the suit or the person wearing it, unless it is not what the reader would expect in a fairly important way. For example, Ben Bova goes into some detail describing form-fitting nanosuits and contrasting them with hard shell suits. The nanlosuits are a new development in the time period most of the novels occur in, and how different characters feel about the two technologies differentiates the characters' experience and temperament.

    For most purposes, the default expectation of a bulky pressure suit with a hard helmet and a forward facing transparent visor is sufficient.
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Strawberry blonde doesn't equate to dumb. If he's dumb, show us through his statements, thoughts, and actions, and the reactions of others. And T is right about the other incongruous connotations. Similarly, dark haired doesn't equate to intelligent. I've met plenty of dark-haired morons, and some very intelligent blond(e) haired folks.

    Skin tight boots strike me as uncomfortable and painful.
     
  15. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Boxing boots are skin tight, very flexible obviously and almost sprayed on so's not to accidentally trip an opponent
     
  16. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I suggest you google current and future combat armors, what materials they utilize, why, and what the future seems to hold for them at this point. You could even create a material of your own and base it on some of the more advanced concepts used today or in the immediate future.


    I'll definitely check out his works because that's what me and KaTrian are doing in our current WiP. Cheers for the heads up.


    I suppose there's skin-tight and then there's skin-tight: boxing and wrestling boots/shoes are very snug, but around the ankle and over the instep there's some extra space to warrant better movement/comfort whereas I usually think of skin-tight as just that: a garment that doesn't break contact with skin around joint areas (even when the joint is bent) as much as it stretches while maintaining contact. Kinda like snug leather gloves vs. gloves made out of the finest, thinnest surgical latex.
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The speaker was a man in a grey vacuum suit and accessories--not a bulky military issue uniform, but instead an 'outfit' clearly custom-tailored for fashion. The impractical close fit, the expensive black boots and gloves, and the form-fitting ceramic chest plates all shouted 'tourist'. The final touch, the last straw as far as Protagonist was concerned, was expensively cut strawberry-blond hair that somehow remained un-rumpled even after three hours in a helmet.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Mars Life comes to mind immediately.
     
  19. AshleyFinn
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    AshleyFinn Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't describe it. I find those details to be a waste of the readers' time. I'd only describe the details that were significant. Like if the helmet was glass and broke in a later scene.
     
  20. Kaga
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    Kaga Member

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    You do have something called the BioSuit, which is a skin tight suit that use physical pressure rather than atmospheric pressure to keep the astronaut from going kablooey. Here's a link to an early prototype/proof-of-concept-thingy they have:

    http://www.slatesenergy.com/biosuit-122.jpg

    As for thin body armor there are at least a couple of options, but that depends on what you're planning on stopping. For bullets and such you have anything from ceramics to socalled liquid armor, which is basically bulletproof vests filled with either a shear-thickening fluid (think oobleck) or something called magnetorheological fluids which turn solid when you expose it to a magnetic field. If you want to stop more exotic stuff like charged particle weapons or lasers you can use ablative armor or the old energy shield.
     
  21. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Cheers, man, will check that out.


    That's a good point. In fact, I'd say there's no such thing as bullet-proof armor, only bullet-resistant. Also note that the better the protection, the bulkier the armor: protective vests designed to stop handgun rounds are relatively light and comfortable, but a more powerful cartridge will breeze through it like it was no more than a t-shirt. If you want to stop anything from .308 upwards, you need some serious armor plates because some of those rifle rounds will penetrate walls or, if you fire into a crowd, pass through several human bodies. Also note that weapons development is always one step ahead of (personal) armor development: by the time they come up with something that's light enough for practical applications yet strong enough to stop a .30-06, there are probably a handful of new weapons/rounds that will penetrate that armor.
     
  22. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whoops! Blonde-ism? (that's sort of like racism but directed at hair colour) Wow! Why not make them both dark haired? What makes you think dark-haired people are inherently smarter than fair-haired? What makes you think hair colour has any bearing whatsoever on a person's intelligence? I think you risk a lot of reader alienation with such stereotypes. One of the funniest counter-types I've ever seen was a brown-haired guy who was a total "blonde" ditz. Although it was not a comedy, THAT was funny playing against type and it worked. Stereotyping, however, tends to rile a lot of people as well as cheapen your stature among potential readership.


    The first thing that came to mind here was Kevlar. It can be stitched as a malleable fabric but can also be made into a solid, molded, formed shape. Think a hockey goalie's protective cup. Believe me, if you ever stop a 5-hole shot at 105 mph ... Kevlar is your best friend! Bullet proof vests are possibly the best example of pliable, stitched fabric Kevlar. Another up and comer is Dragon skin. It cannot be sewn but is used as an internal layer, overlaid plates of ceramic. A Kevlar outer sheath with an inner layer of Dragon skin would be quite affective against most blasts. But, as T.Trian already noted, it is not going to be especially lightweight or thin. You can move around in it but it is going to be relatively heavy.
     
  23. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There're problems with that model too, specifically how to keep e.g. the groin area and fingers from getting damaged. Also these suits are a bitch to put on, afaik, so one can write a pretty funny scene if they want, like, about a gruff warrior pulling on this catsuit and worrying over his nuts when he's about to step into the nigh-vacuum of space.

    As for the description of the suit... this seems to vary from reader to reader. I usually want to know this stuff, but a chunk of lecturing may get a little boring and really disrupt the flow. However, one thing I dislike even more is oh-so-convenient magic suits, their details completely left unexplained ("yes, tell me why is your suit not white? There's a reason why EVA suits are white").

    Maybe a happy medium? Imagination and science hand in hand, and I'm sure you'll come up with something cool :)
     

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