Writing Exercise: Clothing

There’s no need to detail your characters’ every piece of wardrobe. Oftentimes, you just need one or two details for each character. You need something that stands out. You need something representative of the character.

The Clothing Itself

  • #17a. Let’s talk shoes. High heels? Sandals? Hiking boots? Combat boots? Slippery soles or ice-safe shoes?
  • #17b. How about hats? Large and floppy? Practical? Silly? Colorful? Dapper? Does he take it off when he goes inside, or does he always wear it?
  • #17c. What about glasses? Plastic rims? Gold rims? Thin rims or thick rims? Near-sighted or far-sighted? Thick lenses or thin lenses? Hidden super spy camera or no hidden super spy camera?
  • #17d. Skirts? Pants, jeans, overalls, dresses, jumpsuits?
  • #17e. Sweaters, vests, dress shirts, T-shirts, suit jackets, blouses, ties (bow-ties or straight)?
  • #17f. Embroidered, plain, white, dark, colorful, clashing, subdued, embossed, silk-screened, loud, soft, smooth, silky, rough, ragged, ripped, dirty, bright, torn, well-worn?

Clothing Issues

  • #17g. What does your character’s clothing say about him?
  • #17h. What is one piece of clothing that you could use to represent your character?
  • #17i. What is one really bad clothing memory that your character has — something awful that happened that he associates with clothing?
  • #17j. What’s the character’s favorite piece of clothing?
  • #17k. How does your character feel about clothing in general?

More Clothing Exercises

  • #17l. Open your morning paper, a magazine, or a catalog to the clothing ads, or to any photo that shows you what someone is wearing. Cut out the picture. Write a couple of paragraphs about the kind of person who would wear those clothes.
  • #17m. Pull some of your clothes out of your closet. What do you think they say about you? If you were to write a story about a character who wore those clothes, what would that character be like?
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