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Silvyy
January 22nd, 2014, 08:04 PM
(((Im having some difficulty with the fallowing paragraph no matter how many times i re write it it always comes off as clunky to me any pointers or recommendations as how to better re word it to be more fluent would be appreciated.)))

(((( His choice of dress wasn’t at all to out of the ordinary for a resident of wonderland he wore a emerald and blue striped collared shirt, pants striped a darker and lighter shade of green with a checkered hem at the bottom, a dark brown paisley vest that hugged his chest tightly, plaid tie slung over his neck and under his collar but Jack made no effort to tie the thing so that it simply waved about carelessly, high riding leather boots bound buy spats constructed of the same paisley fabric as the vest, and to top it all off he wore a tail coat that he himself had personally tailored it was of a dark grassy green with loose billowy sleeves that extended just past the tips of his elongated fingers as to disguise his disfigured arms.))))

The original text can be found hear (http://www.writingforums.com/threads/144332-Jack-the-Rabbit-WIP-(looking-for-advice-critiques-etc-)) and thanks for the help in advanced

Nickleby
January 23rd, 2014, 12:02 AM
For one thing, it's a single run-on sentence. You could split it into four or five separate sentences with almost no work.

One could assume that, since this isn't "out of the ordinary," you've already described the typical costume for someone in Wonderland. All you need do, then, is specify the colors and variations.

Rather than stop the narrative to describe his appearance, you could have Jack manipulate some of these items to keep the reader's interest on him and not on an inventory of his clothing. "Jack's long sleeve, of emerald and blue stripes, billowed as he pointed to starboard, but it still covered his fingers, his hands, ... and his disfigured arm. His plaid tie, loosely slung about his collar, caught the same playful breeze."

Outiboros
January 23rd, 2014, 09:26 AM
Or don't describe it at all. Frankly, as a reader, I'm not interested in his clothes at all, and I'll have forgotten about them by the time the description ends. Only the long sleeves are relevant; the rest is not.

In daily life, how much do you remember of what people wear? It's the same with characters. Their personalities stick with us, their pants don't. If you have five of these descriptions, or even two, I wouldn't have a clue what anyone's coat looks like afterwards. The longest I ever spend describing someone's outfit is one sentence. Crimson red robes a size too big; a wrinkled lab coat and jeans; kid's hiking shoes and a backpack shaped like a ladybug; etcetera. I'd rather have my readers remember one or two plot-relevant clothes than try to get them to memorise a dozen.

patskywriter
January 23rd, 2014, 09:45 AM
I agree. Way too much detail.

Blade
January 23rd, 2014, 10:51 AM
I'd rather have my readers remember one or two plot-relevant clothes than try to get them to memorise a dozen.

I would agree with the whole post but this sentence seems to sum it up. Elaborate and extensive wardrobe descriptions tend to clutter up the drama and introduce a dimension that the reader is likely not interested in. An off hand and brief description may be effective creating an image but an elaborate recording is a chore.

Silvyy
January 23rd, 2014, 07:32 PM
Thank you all for your input ill go back and tone the description down. Occupationally I'm hoping to be a fashion or interior designer so i guess i do tend to Exaggerate details in/on clothing and characters.

Silvyy
January 23rd, 2014, 07:49 PM
(((How About this?)))

His choice of dress wasn’t at all to out of the ordinary for a resident of wonderland though it did have some quarks. He clad himself in long striped trousers and dress shirt with a tight vest worn over it. But what made the outfit peculiar was the Emerald Green tailcoat that he wore whose sleeves ran past the tips of his fingers by a inch or two so as to hide his disfigured hands.

Outiboros
January 23rd, 2014, 08:14 PM
(((How About this?)))

His choice of dress wasn’t at all to out of the ordinary for a resident of wonderland though it did have some quarks. He clad himself in long striped trousers and dress shirt with a tight vest worn over it. But what made the outfit peculiar was the Emerald Green tailcoat that he wore whose sleeves ran past the tips of his fingers by a inch or two so as to hide his disfigured hands.
Much better, though I do believe you mean 'quirks'. Quarks are subatomic particles.

Silvyy
January 23rd, 2014, 09:41 PM
Much better, though I do believe you mean 'quirks'. Quarks are subatomic particles.

*scratches back of head* Well that i did though i'm sure that his outfit had some subatomic particles as well.

Blade
January 24th, 2014, 02:49 AM
I agree. Way too much detail.

An odd analogy pops to mind here. Do you remember as a kid playing with colouring books? The artist supplies the outline and you complete the finished picture with your own colours. I think readers prefer to participate by filling in their own impressions rather than have the character imposed in great detail.:peaceful:

patskywriter
January 24th, 2014, 03:29 AM
That's much better—well done!

Darkhorse
January 24th, 2014, 04:29 AM
For one thing, it's a single run-on sentence. You could split it into four or five separate sentences with almost no work.

One could assume that, since this isn't "out of the ordinary," you've already described the typical costume for someone in Wonderland. All you need do, then, is specify the colors and variations.

Rather than stop the narrative to describe his appearance, you could have Jack manipulate some of these items to keep the reader's interest on him and not on an inventory of his clothing. "Jack's long sleeve, of emerald and blue stripes, billowed as he pointed to starboard, but it still covered his fingers, his hands, ... and his disfigured arm. His plaid tie, loosely slung about his collar, caught the same playful breeze."

I like this is a good idea. Thanks for posting it.

Staff Deployment
January 24th, 2014, 05:07 AM
Hiding his hands in his sleeves is the only part of this which is interesting. I'd remember that. I wouldn't remember anything else, nor would I have much reason to do so.

But, honestly, don't worry about it. I say you should finish the story before you get all worked up about the unimportant minor stuff. Also, run-on sentences are fun.

Alexa
January 24th, 2014, 04:22 PM
His choice of dress wasn’t at all to out of the ordinary for a resident of wonderland though it did have some quarks.

I don't understand the "at all to" part. I think you could remove that? "His choice of dress wasn't out of the ordinary for ...".

I think you probably need a comma after "Wonderland"?


He clad himself in long striped trousers and dress shirt with a tight vest worn over it.

I think you don't need both "clad" and "worn", here? Just "... with a tight vest over it" is good?


But what made the outfit peculiar was the Emerald Green tailcoat that he wore whose sleeves ...

Again, you really don't need this "that he wore": we know you're still describing what he wore.


past the tips of his fingers by a inch or two so as to hide his disfigured hands.

"So as to" is perhaps a little clumsy? How about inserting a comma after the word "two", and removing the "so as" part?

That would leave something like this ...

His choice of dress wasn’t out of the ordinary for a resident of Wonderland, though it did have some quirks. He clad himself in long striped trousers and dress shirt with a tight vest over it. But what made the outfit peculiar was the Emerald Green tailcoat whose sleeves ran past the tips of his fingers by a inch or two, to hide his disfigured hands.

Edited to add: that should be "an inch or two". ;)

Olly Buckle
February 4th, 2014, 04:09 PM
His choice of dress wasn’t at all to out of the ordinary for a resident of wonderland though it did have some quarks. He clad himself in long striped trousers and dress shirt with a tight vest worn over it. But what made the outfit peculiar was the Emerald Green tailcoat that he wore whose sleeves ran past the tips of his fingers by a inch or two so as to hide his disfigured hands.

Definitely quirks not quarks :) Should 'Wonderland' be capitalised? What Alexa said about giving information we already know, but also both this and the original are almost entirely about his clothes rather than the man, and it is people who are interesting, as several people remarked his deformed hands made more impression than all the rest. So what colour hair was under his hat? Did his vest and shirt cover a pidgeon chest? Did the striped trousers make his long legs look even longer? How about the hook nosed face that appeared over his collar?

See where I am going with this, tie the clothes to the character, 'The lime green pants reflected his acid nature.' that sort of stuff, anyone could put the clothes on.

Diatsu
August 23rd, 2014, 04:10 AM
I would give you insight, but it seems as though everyone has covered all the points all ready. Well done critiques.

Xander416
November 28th, 2014, 01:47 AM
I don't understand the "at all to" part. I think you could remove that? "His choice of dress wasn't out of the ordinary for ...".

He should be using too instead of to in that sentence. "His choice of dress wasn't all too out of the ordinary for..." Essentially he's saying the character's dress isn't necessarily strange or native, but it's not exactly common either.

I often use unusual or uncommon wording like that, especially in fantasy, as it helps the immersion, IMO.


Much better, though I do believe you mean 'quirks'. Quarks are subatomic particles.
And greedy Ferengi bar owners on Federation space stations. ;)

LazarettoKiddo
June 15th, 2016, 07:45 PM
If you can find some way to interweave character traits into that description, go for it. The way they place their hands informs a lot about a character in a given scene, for instance. Say they're big sleeves. Does your character tug on them, hide their hands in the sleeves, or rolls up these long sleeves because they get in the way?

scubatim84
July 17th, 2016, 05:01 AM
Or don't describe it at all. Frankly, as a reader, I'm not interested in his clothes at all, and I'll have forgotten about them by the time the description ends. Only the long sleeves are relevant; the rest is not.

In daily life, how much do you remember of what people wear? It's the same with characters. Their personalities stick with us, their pants don't. If you have five of these descriptions, or even two, I wouldn't have a clue what anyone's coat looks like afterwards. The longest I ever spend describing someone's outfit is one sentence. Crimson red robes a size too big; a wrinkled lab coat and jeans; kid's hiking shoes and a backpack shaped like a ladybug; etcetera. I'd rather have my readers remember one or two plot-relevant clothes than try to get them to memorise a dozen.

Interesting. For a medieval fantasy short story I just started on (my first actually), I'm a couple pages into it and was thinking "oh crap, I've been describing the character and how he became a powerful mage but I haven't even mentioned what he's wearing"....so you're saying that it would be pointless to really go that into detail?

For example, would "the Mage took cautious, measured steps down the cobblestone steps of the passageway, his crimson robe rippling around his legs" be sufficient enough to explain his wardrobe? I would think the reader would want a better picture of who this guy is, what does he look like, etc. so they can visualize the character in their mind but maybe I'm overthinking it?