1. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    dressing a character:impractical clothing and other stuff

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by afrodite7, Oct 30, 2010.

    -hey um,i worry about how practicality of clothes in my novel.
    -my main character always tears her long skirts short for fights .she's a battle mage and in this novel,people usually summon weapons except for daggers.

    -ANYWAY,
    because of that,all mages,police,knights,bounty hunters,and military people(knights,bounty hunters,military,and police unform consist of jumpsuits,boots ) sleeves wear pinned scarves with badges to identify themselves.

    -in my main character's coven,they all wear fitting black jumpsuits ,black see through blind folds,a white harlequin mask over their faces except the mouth(sometimes they tie a scarf over that)and fingerless gloves with gauntlets .now the girls where low wedge heel boots and corseted mini skirt over their body suits,with a train skirt and ribbon in the back(the ribbon is short).the guys have vests with trains on them too and regular combat boots.

    are the trains impractical?I thought it would be useful to whip it off and use it to deflect bullets,stop attacks,vanish into, and well the clothes are actually dark matter and shadows...called the cloaks of Aa'zraa...
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are realism an issue? Are you aiming for realistic fights or are you going for wuxia story (like "Crunching tiger, hidden dragon" and "Hero")when people just look really pretty when they fight?

    Decide for one alternative and go for it. Either make realism a part of you creative agenda, or decide that it isn't.

    Its okay to say "Realism isn't going to have a role in how I tell my story", but then you go to sell that to you readers, the same way you got to sell that wolfs talk in fairytales in you are telling them "The little red ridining hood". It's unrealistic, but a part of the story.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    In manga and anime, it seems like the more impractical the clothing the better. Of course, nearly all the clothing drops off the women anyway at the first explosion.

    About trains--well, ask any of my friends who have worn a wedding gown with a long train, 'is a train impractical?' and they'll fall into mad hysterical laughter at the memory. No, it's not possible to 'whip one off', so trains are not useful for anything... not for anything at all, except getting wound around the spurs which completed Daddy's regimental blues, perhaps... (As Sarah Ferguson struggled down the aisle toward Prince Andrew, her father was heard to mutter, 'That's right darling, keep pulling!'--her train was going against the nap of the red carpet.)
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    In regards to the train issue, though, you said they wear miniskirts, so is the train actually dragging on the ground, or is it just hanging down past the end of the skirt? If it drags on the ground, I would lean toward not using it, because as Madhoca has said, trains are friggin impossible. However, if it's just hanging down past the end of the miniskirt without actually dragging on the ground, I think it would be ok. Provided these trains are not made out of some sort of super heavy fabric.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The important thing is that you are asking the question. That means you are thinking, and not just dressing them for fashion coolness. It's like the whole cape thing in The Incredibles. Sure, capes are a long-standing component in superhero garb, but why, given the obvious disadvantages?

    One of the reasons for capes was to make the hero easier to see in the early comics, where the printing process was crude, especially on the low quality paper used for those early magazines (it's also the reason for the brightly colored costumes). One of the first superheroes to break from the capes tradition was the Silver Age Flash. A cape was an obvious drag (literally) for a character whose power was his speed, so his costume was form-fitting and capeless.

    For you own characters, think it through. What could happen because of these clothing standards? Why did the standadrd come about, and does it still make sense?

    British footsoldiers used to wear crimson uniforms. But it originates from a time in which wars were won by intimidating the enemy with your overwhelming advantage in numbers and discipline. But then came the American Revolution. The colonists didn't fight fair. They blended into the landscape and picked off their brightly colored opponents, ushering in a whole new standard of warfare.

    So think it through. That is one of the things that makes for interesting writing - showing the consequences of choices others take for granted.
     
  6. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    As a kid, I always thought superman’s cape was the apparatus that allowed him to fly—a kind of wing--more than just identity the superhero, a cape provided some of his powers.

    So to respond to the original question, addressing the practicality your heros clothes, I suppose it depends on whether or not you are placing priority on real life realties, or imaginative freedoms. Either approach is fine, so long as it is consistent with your story as a whole.
     
  7. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    tricky question. I once saw a anime of a swordfighter with really tight fitting cloths, and after he got his sword from seemingly out of nowhere (I mean where had he been hiding the darn long thing?!) I could NOT stop thinking about that! It messed up the entire show for me, because I completely lost focus everytime he pulled his sword out (which was a lot)

    All I'm saying is, is that when things aren't too weird or unreal (without some believable explaination, like the swords dissolves by magic when it touches his skin or whatever) you can pull it off. But if things get too unreal, and not explained, things might get funny. (I laughed my ass off every time he drew the sword, while it was a very dramatic show)
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another great example of telling a good story dont need to have anything to do with realism but creating as story that consistent is Scott Pilgrim. They created a fantastic story who you accepts as a viewer/reader because it setting is introduced really well.
     
  9. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    it kinda hangs ,but it doesn't touch the ground...i'm aiming for somewhat realistic but not quite.see in my story,the aliens mages charge energy into stuff to alter it,like hurlingenergy at a concrete wall can turn it to dust or sending energy at a mini dress they can make a gown...
    i might have to post an example:

    [​IMG]

    -actual outfit is closer to the first one,in fact very simular...


    [​IMG]


    -but no high heels,thats a bit much...
    -also,when my characters summon their weapons,they kinda just pull it from hammer space...(really,the weapons they have appear as invisible tattoos on whatever body part they are bound too.now if someone releases energy over the invisible tattoos,they become visible and they glow the color of the mages eyes,the same thing happens when they summon the weapons too...so i guess realism isn't the entire focus but i don't want it too unrealistic.in my universe things are explained it doesn't just happen there are laws)

    also what are these realy called?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Afrodite
    That picture looks like what we called a 'mullet' or 'showgirl' skirt when I used to work making film costumes. A train actually has to touch the ground, and it is only at the back of the skirt, not the sides. They can all be detachable, but in order to stop them just falling off when you don't want them to, they have to be fixed to the main garment quite firmly, usually with hooks and eyes. I don't think it would be practical to do this in battle--a cape would be much better.
    The second picture is like a Roman Centurion, or Gladiator, skirt.
    Even if your story is fantasy, I think it should be a bit realistic, but that's my personal view. I guess I'm not the best person to ask, since I don't enjoy most fantasy. I've read some because my daughter adores it.
     
  11. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    From your description, it sounds like you're making a story with anime-styled battles with lots of visual magic effects and pretty costumes.

    If so, I think impractical and impossible costumes are part of the genre conventions, and most young people will recognise it for what it is, and not expect it to be very realistic.
     
  12. MissPomegranate
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    MissPomegranate Member

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    Are you writing a graphic novel? If so, it doesn't matter because graphic novels are all about pretty costumes and anime-style battle scenes. Realism is not a big deal.

    However, if it's a strictly-text novel you might have a bit of an issue. However, unless you're planning on going into excruciating detail about the costumes, you can probably get away with it if you're vague.

    In terms of battle, though, I personally wouldn't want to be wearing that outfit. It would most certainly get in the way of butt-kicking. I'd much rather wear the gladiator skirt (your third picture) if pants aren't an option in your world.
     
  13. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    One thing you should do is edit your first post. Writers should always be in the habit of doing that and making sure that everything they type is as grammatically correct as possible, especially if you're doing a serious discussion like this.

    For discussion of the costumes, it all really depends on what you're aiming for.
     
  14. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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  15. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    True. But the main reason was movement. When instilling static images with a strong sense of movement, you'll wanna add in everything you can to give the movement direction and force. A cape works wonders in this sense.
     
  16. MissPomegranate
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    MissPomegranate Member

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    I suppose it was, though you have to admit most action graphic novels contain costume more intended for style than practicality. Not always, but usually.
     
  17. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Comics is a media, not a genre, no matter of style or country of origin.
     

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