Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Theory

Lately work has been stressing me out. There's a lot to do, not enough time to do it, and to top it off, my computer at work crashed about three weeks ago and I haven't gotten a replacement yet. I'm sure many of you can relate. Because of all of this, my attitude hasn't been the greatest on some days. I'm just tired.

But, last week I discovered something. I'm sure this isn't anything new, but for me it was like a lightbulb went on.

If I like my outfit for the day, my day is a little brighter, the frustrations aren't so grating, and my whole attitude is better. Now I'm a decent dresser. I tend to like what's in my closet comprising my wardrobe. But I am finding that my clothes are getting old. They still look nice, but I'm simply tired of wearing them. I've had them for a while and it's kind of a case of same-old-same-old.

Last week I made an effort to only wear the outfits that I really, really liked. And you know what? I had a great week!

I figured the same concept could be applied in my writing. In historicals, the description of characters' clothing is very important. It helps to set the scene and ground us in the time period. But even in contemporary romance, clothing can play an important role. If my heroine is down in the dumps, she's probably not all gussied up, but dressed in sweats and an old ratty T-shirt. If my hero is coming to pick his girl up for a date, he's probably shined his boots and pressed his shirt, not come striaght from the barn. It's those little things that make my writing authentic.

So the next time I get time to sit down and write, I think I'll pay attention to what my characters are wearing. And, I think it's time to go shopping and spruce up my wardrobe. A bit of "out with the old and in with the new".

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



L. Diane Wolfe said...

At least you found your happy button!

Debra St. John said...

Definitely! And today I got to be in a fashion show. Nothing like having someone pamper you with hair and make-up to make you feel really special.

Anonymous said...

Do you think this is a woman thing? I've noticed the same thing you have--and b/c of that I consider myself the best dressed teacher/prof on campus.

But my husband? He can/does wear the same clothes for a decade.

Great idea to carry it over into my writing though. : )

Debra St. John said...

Hi Drue! Glad to hear you're the best dressed prof on campus. Yeah, for the boys it's a little different. I consider it a good day if my husband matches when he goes out in public. *sigh*

Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Debra,
Even for a non-clothes-conscious writer like myself, your idea sounds like a good one. I wouldn't spend lots of time on a character's clothing, but small touches can say a lot about one's mood or personality.

Good post!

Bob Sanchez