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Writing characters that aren't naked. My battle with clothing. Hello all, i hope you can help.

One of my biggest flaws as a writer is that i am god-awful at writing clothing.

 I've read works by some authors that describe every tiny detail of someone's clothing right down to the filigree on the buttons.  I've been bored to tears by times where everyone and their mum strides around wearing a 'doublet' of some form or another.

But how do you describe everyday clothing in works of fantasy fiction. It's like, sometimes i want to say that somone scratched their arm on a tree because she is wearing something short sleeved and made of a light materiel, but i don't want to say 'cotton top'. Word's like 't-shirt, shirt, top, bottoms, trousers, leggins' all seem a bit too mundane and close to our world. On the other hand i want to stay away from anything  like 'Doublets (again...i really hate them),  dresses, breeches, skirts,' which don't fit the every day travel clothing that i'm trying to write.

Do i want too much? Thank goodness for a trusty robe is all i can say.

August 20, 2016, 04:03:49 PM
Re: How much did you write today? I've set a target of 1000 words a day to make sure i'm working every day. Some days i hit 2000, most i manage 1500. Every little bit helps.

Of course i am on a six week holiday form work (I'm a TA) so i imagine when i go back it will be much harder.

August 21, 2016, 09:45:40 AM
Re: A little pronunciation problem . . . I actually still have my dissertation (I wrote fantasy anyway, such a rebel)

'The writing is innovative and engaging, however the use of the fantasy genre has led to blah blah blah blah'

This from a man who published a poem about what comes out of his...lower regions.

August 21, 2016, 08:45:17 PM
Re: Executive meddling :Changing your character's race and gender. Well, Rowling stated that she never described her as black or white. The movie chose white, the play chose black.
Both are adaptations and expansions of the book universe, neither is 'changing' the race because the race was never stated.

That being said, I wouldn't have a problem with someone changing the race of any of my characters. Or gender for that matter as long as the character's core personality traits remained consistent.

August 27, 2016, 05:40:35 PM
Re: Executive meddling :Changing your character's race and gender. The worst thing is, in the movies they had black actresses playing Lavender Brown until she became a love interest for Ron and then bam, suddenly she was white.
August 27, 2016, 05:46:11 PM
Re: Avoiding writing, or: How many words didn't you write today? Six weeks off from work (I'm a teaching assistant don't get excited) full of productive writing. Go back to work tomorrow and already it's 'No...i had so much unfinished business. I'll write in a minute, i've got to do XYZ first!'
August 31, 2016, 02:23:31 PM
Re: A rant on "Balance"
Anyone who's not writing a specialized story of a particular subject in our world, has already absorbed enough from cultural osmosis by the time they're 20 to write the story they want. They don't need more life experience, what they need is to learn the craft, the techniques, reading, and most importantly actual writing time.  Writers don't need to be amazing human beings. They just need to be great writers.

+1 To balance.

I don't think you can ever experience everything you'll be writing about in your work (I found throwing fireballs to be a particular hurdle) but the more experience you get the better.

Sure you can have read about some things and 'cultural osmosis can fill in some gaps, but i think if you're basing your writing around what you've gleaned from others then it really becomes just a fascimile.

I mean, yes you're 'putting in the time' cranking up the wordcount, but i think i'd rather know that my writing had at least some elements of my own experiences in, even if nobody knows about it.

For instance, i recently climbed Mt Snowdon in Wales carrying nearly 50lbs on my back for charity. I later went and rewote a scene from my work to add in stuff that i felt would add to the sincerity of one of my characters as she climbed up a steep mountain path with a bag of her own. How the bag dug into my shoulders and pulled me backwards, how even though i wasn't out of breath, my voice was still a bit wheezy and most of all, my utter desire for a rest even though i knew the scheduled break was half an hour away.

I think the whole thing was less than three paragraphs and people might read over it without a second glance, but when i read it, i know that it came from experience. I wasn't guessing, i wasn't replicating someone else's experience.

Basically, the best travel writers don't write their books while looking at TripAdvisor. They put in the time to write, but they put in the time to live.

August 31, 2016, 02:50:40 PM
Re: How much did you write today? 800 :(

I knew this would happen though >.<

Hashing out a stead 1000+ words a day while off from work, go back and three weeks later i've barely managed 100! Resolved to taking my laptop to work with me for that sweet 45 minute slot between when i arrive and when i actually have to start working. Hopefully i can get stuff done then because i'm obviously useless by the time i get home.

September 25, 2016, 03:37:38 PM
Re: Penguin is looking for writers (sorry, UK only) Well, i found about this on the day of the deadline after i got in from work.

Don't think i'll stand much of a chance because I rushed the entry, but it's the first time i've sent my writing out there for someone other than my friends to read so thats a step forward at least.

Of course the bit where they ask you to answer how you meet their criteria was a bit awkward, theres just no casual way to say 'Well you asked for gay people so y'know...hello sailor.'

October 31, 2016, 08:13:22 PM
Re: How much did you write today? 400 because i'm worthless and let myself conform to things like 'having a job' because i 'need' to 'eat'. I hate being so mainstream.
November 01, 2016, 05:07:15 PM