Im having trouble describing a character


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Thread: Im having trouble describing a character

  1. #1

    Im having trouble describing a character

    (((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 and thanks for the help in advanced

  2. #2
    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."
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  3. #3
    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.
    DUBW

  4. #4
    I agree. Way too much detail.
    Publisher of the Durham Skywriter (Hidden Content ), Durham NC's online community paper, and host of TV Skywriter, Sundays 7pm USA Eastern time, on YouTube and Google+'s "patriciaAmurray" page. Currently working on my first nonfiction book, "And Then We Saw an Eye: Caring for a Loved-One with Alzheimer's at Home"

  5. #5
    Creative Area Specialist (Fiction) Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outiboros View Post
    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.
    I was fighting with temptation but I didn't want to win.
    A man like me don't like to see temptation caving in.
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  6. #6
    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.
    Last edited by Silvyy; January 23rd, 2014 at 07:47 PM.

  7. #7
    (((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.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Silvyy View Post
    (((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.
    DUBW

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    Creative Area Specialist (Fiction) Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patskywriter View Post
    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.
    I was fighting with temptation but I didn't want to win.
    A man like me don't like to see temptation caving in.
    Leonard Cohen

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