Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dressed to Kill

Hi Everyone!
To celebrate the release of The Blood in the Beginning, I'm giving away two SYKED Tees. Just pop in the comments your favorite character's (film, TV or book) get up to be in the draw!  

The two winners have been drawn! They are 1) Suzanne and 2) Sarvah! Congratulations, and please email me: enchantmentATkimfalconerDOTCOM. I'll need you postal addy, and size.

When it comes to revealing character attributes, an often overlooked technique is attire. What heroes and villains wear, as well as how they wear it, speaks volumes. A writer can also hint at complex states of mind in how characters go about the act of getting dressed, their approach to wardrobe, laundry etc. It delivers to readers information about who the character is.

For example: Are they rich and flaunting it? Ripped and want the world to see? Not giving a flip what others think? Too depressed to care? OCD?

From profession to personality, culture and period, the character's relationship to her clothing reveals much without having to spell anything out.

In my latest release, The Blood in the Beginning, Ava Sykes's clothing is part of who she is.  From her layered tees, black jeans and steel-toed Tims to her Jujitsu gi, MMA gloves and UCLA pre-med lab coat, her get up reveals deeper levels of personality - even strata of soul!

"We automatically categorise people based on their clothing whether we realise it or not. In fact, it takes no more than a description of their clothing to build a variety of pictures of a person in our heads." -- Bridget McNutly

Attire also serves to set the scene. From page 134 of The Blood in the Beginning:

Krysten Ritter is Jessica Jones
     I emerged from the elevator at street level in my black jeans, Poseidon tee and boots. Headset switched on and ready for work.
     ‘Ava!’ Billy punched my shoulder as I took over for him at the door. ‘I liked you better in the dress.’
     ‘Skirt, but settle down. Nothing to see here.’
And page 180, at the martial arts academy:

‘Rourke didn’t show,’ was all Dom said. Then he eyed my uniform. ‘This is a no gi class. In the cage today.’
     ‘I only brought my gi.’
     ‘You can wear your pants and sports top. Let’s go.’
     Yeah, summary dismissal. I took off my belt, gi top and tank, and folded them on the bench, then got back in line.
The brand of shoes our heroes pick for the day can reveal in a single word or two, more about a character than pages of narrative. It's a handy tool, one definitely worthy of remembering.
Again, to celebrate the release of The Blood in the Beginning, I'm giving away two SYKED Tees. Just pop in the comments a favorite character's get up to be in the draw! From film, tv or book! Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author with her latest release out now - The Blood in the Beginning - an Ava Sykes Novel.

Kim posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month and runs Save the Day Writer's Community on Facebook and


Ali Rayner said...

Celaena Sardothien.
She is an assassin and hates wearing dresses, so impractical.

""Beautiful," said an older, female voice, and Celaena pivoted, the yards of cumbersome fabric twisting with her. Her corset—the stupid, cursed thing—pushed on her ribs so hard that the breath was sucked from her. This was why she mostly preferred tunics and pants."

- Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
Page 45-46.

Sarvah Rayner said...

In the novel A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah.j.Maas, the main character Feyre is not only “Dressed to Kill”, but is as beautiful as she is deadly.
Feyre is my favourite character in so many ways, one of them includes the way she dresses— which mirrors the power and deadliness she wields in the novel.

“… and the dress … I’d never worn anything like it, and doubted I’d ever wear anything like it again.
Crafted of tiny blue gems so pale they were almost white, it clung to every curve and hollow before draping to the floor and pooling like liquid starlight.
The long sleeves were tight, capped at the wrists with cuffs of pure diamond. The neckline grazed my collarbones, the modesty of it undone by how the gown hugged the areas I supposed a female might enjoy showing off.
My hair had been swept off my face with two combs of silver and diamond, then left to drape down my back. And I thought, as I stood alone in my bedroom, that I might have looked like a fallen star.” (chpt. 44, page 428)

I love how this one piece of clothing encapsulates Feyre’s new-found personal power, her immortal abilities, as well as making her look damn dazzling.

Ali Rayner said...

Another quote about Celaena Sardothien, turns out she has a lot of awesome clothes, most of them deathly practical, beautiful and intimidating. Very femme fatale.

“...the already-sizzling temperature of the southern islands meant Celaena was sweating buckets beneath her clothing. But her discomfort was worth it: as they’d strode through Skull’s Bay, heads had turned at the sight of her—the billowing black cape, the exquisite clothing, and the mask transformed her into a whisper of darkness. A little intimidation never did any harm.”

- Sarah J. Maas. “The Assassin's Blade.”

billabong1502 said...

Dr. Maura Isles
No matter what she wears - from classy dresses and high heels to casual outfits (with the "works"/accessoires), to sports outfit to godknowswhatelse.... it's always totally Maura.
It 100% reflects her character and traits (educated, goofy, gentle, caring, knowledgable, quirky, honest, straight forward,...)

Another one is Abby Sciuto.
Whatever she wears - it's uniquely her. Nobody else sports the outfits + tatts as well as she does.
We all know Abby - so 'nough said!

I reckon there defo should be a Maura meets Abby episode... hellz! that would be so much FUN!! *squeeeee*

Unknown said...

My favorite would have to be Olivia Moore from iZombie.

The clothing she wears varies from her own personal style when she's not under the influence of someone else's brain to including elements of other people's style all the way up to wearing outfits that are completely foreign to who she is as a person, depending on who the most recent occupant of the morgue is (and how important image was to them when they were alive). It makes for great visual storytelling.

It also helps that I adore many of the outfits that Liv chooses for herself when somebody else's brain isn't driving her decisions in that regard. Her style reminds me of my own in a lot of ways (I've even gone looking for a few things she's worn to buy but they were sold out! Oh well).