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  1. AuthoressM

    AuthoressM Member

    Jun 11, 2008
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    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by AuthoressM, Oct 20, 2008.

    I find that I have trouble, most of the time, when describing what characters are wearing. When it's important, that is. Therefore, the descriptions tend to get complex and not easy to read/follow. I've tried to fix the ones below so that they flow better, but I know they aren't quite up to snuff, as it were. Any suggestions would be wonderful, such as seperating some into paragraphs, changing up the sentences (or even moving around parts within a sentence), and so on. I'm usually not overly specific about what type of 'cloth' or 'fabric' a character is wearing, so try and not get too upset by that.

    Oh, and of course, try to be nice .:-D.

    These are the three descriptions (and yes, some of it may not make sense because you don't know the surrounding plot, but please try to give me any help you can):

    1) Joy was clothed in another white dress, but it was quite different from the one she had been sporting earlier. Her cloak was gone, and her blonde hair was free to flow down her back. It boggled her mind as to how the group had acquired the clothes her and Thom were now wearing, but since it was necessary, she hadn’t pressed the matter. The cloth of the gown was neither stiff nor loose. It wasn’t pure white either, as her dress before had been. It was more of a cream color that seemed to glow whenever a sliver of light shone on it. The sleeves ended at the surface of her hand in a pointed fashion. All up and down them were intricate designs that had obviously been sewn by someone of master skill. The front was as beautifully decorated as the sleeves, but to a lesser extent. The adornment on the front was in the shape of an upside down triangle. It was wide towards the top of the dress where her collarbone lay and continued to get narrower, ending in a point just past her waist. The way it glimmered made her want to touch it to see if it was real, but it was evidently delicate. The rest of the gown reached down to the floor. Some parts of the cloth folded over each other in a vertical fashion, creating soft pleats. When they had first been prepared to walk in, Joy had been presented with a shawl that acted as a cover for her shoulders and upper arms. It was too elaborate to be merely called a wrap. This helped the blonde immensely, for her shoulders were exposed due to the style of the dress, and she wasn’t particularly comfortable with that. However, it wasn’t long before she would be mildly persuaded, or practically forced, to remove it.

    2) Thom, on the other hand, felt right at home with the attire he had been given to wear – with a few exceptions, of course. It was basically something he would have worn at home, and it was strangely a lot like the garb he had been wearing the night before he had left for the antique shop. Brown boots, a shade darker than his hair, ended right below his knees, where they folded over to make a cuff. The texture of the material felt like suede, but he couldn’t be certain. The grayish blue pants were simple, so they were naturally tucked into the boots. His sleeves were grayish blue as well, but were being concealed. They were being hidden more or less by the long fabric that hung from his shoulders, which was pin straight and would fall back whenever Thom bent his arms, at which point one could see the tight fitting material of his sleeves.

    On his torso, only part of his shirt could be seen, but another layer mostly covered it up. This covering was a dark, dark red, almost unrecognizable to be a variant of red, and it had a thin border of gold. The corners of this top layer were hooked one onto each of his shoulders, and the bottom was neatly tucked into his pants.

    The component that Thom felt a tad awkward wearing was the cape. It couldn’t be called a proper cloak because it wasn’t long enough, since it only fell to just below Thom’s waist. It was of the same dark red as the sheath that covered his torso. The cape seemed to make a vertical wave on either side, creating a royal air about the warrior. The hooks that held the dark red cloth on his torso also held the deep colored cape onto his shoulders.

    3) Kelly was now dressed in the outfit she had been so mesmerized by in the neutral zone town. She hadn’t imagined that she’d be wearing it so soon, let alone that it would be helping her serve a bigger purpose. For the most part, it was a maroon color with variants of red throughout. Covering most of her torso was a red vest that stopped in her middle, and it had a lining of decorative gold. However, the long sleeves of the vest were a vermilion translucent fabric instead. On both arms, they came together at her wrists, where a thin band of red with the same gold lining made a cuff. Underneath the vest was a shirt, the same color red, which ended right above her belly button. Her pants were of the same fashion, with the top part being a maroon color while the pant legs were the same translucent fabric as the sleeves, but only in maroon. They, too, came together in a cuff. Slipping on a pair of intricately made slippers, Kelly was ready to go into the castle. She made sure she had her little pouch with her; it would be discreditable to go so far only to forget her Tarot cards at the last minute. With her hair tied tightly back, her look was complete. Now she would surely pass for a fortuneteller and be let into the castle to tell the ruler’s fortune. Sam would not be wrong.


    Again, thank you for any help or suggestions that you have! Please be constructive!
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Any writing posted for comment must be posted in the Review Room, Writing Issues is not intended to help fix specific writing excerpts, but rather the approach to take.

    I will answer your uestion in a general sense, though. Description is written from a point of view. Always ask yourself if the point of view would be describing what you are describing. For instance, if your POV is the character you are describing, she is unlikely to describe her hair color or eye color, nor would she probably be describing her usual look. After all, how often do YOU think of what your usual look is, out of the blue. Unless you have a real reason for the POV to notice certain details, don't descrinbe them.

    The second consideration is not to describe beyond the point that it enhances the story. Describing every detail of attire is excessive in almost any situation.

    I'm closing this thread. If you want to ask the question without sizeable excerpts, please do, but this is really more than can be allowed in this part of the site. We have to draw a firm line to prevent people from using excuses to post material for review outside the review room in order to sidestep the requirements.
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