Friday, May 28, 2010

Dressing Your Characters for Success

By Author and Guest Blogger - AC Katt
There are several ways in which to subtlety dress your characters personality besides the obvious description of physique, hair and eye color. For both you and your readers to intimately know who your character is, his dress is a unique part of his personality.
In my book, A Matter of Trust, Donald K. Drummond is the owner of a successful commercial real estate empire. If I had said Dona
ld wore a suit and tie, it would not have properly conveyed certain aspects of his personality that were important to the story. Instead, I created a word picture for the reader to digest that portrayed Donald as a man who used his mode of dress to overcome his humble beginnings. Donald Drummond dressed in Savile Row suits and Lobb shoes. His ties were fastened expertly in a Windsor knot. Donald’s shirts were handmade with French cuffs and cufflinks.
This word picture describes a meticulous man who is particular and demanding. Contrast that with the description of Brian Murphy from the same novel.

He wore a pair of beige Dockers and his well-worn Oxford shirt spilled halfway out of his pants. The left side of the shirt bore the brunt of the stain. He had a white plastic pocket protector with about three or four pens attached to the pocket on the right. The kid’s belt was black, but his shoes were brown. His tie went askew and the clip showed along with the black elastic fastener. He wore huge horn rimmed glasses held together at the nose with a band-aid and hung from a croaky. When the boy wore the glasses, the sparkling blue eyes with long, light brown lashes remained hidden.
The description of clothing in that paragraph describes a different type of personality. This man was either careless of his dress or unable to afford decent clothing. His style of dress bespeaks an innocence of Donald’s world.
Using clothing, an author can convey nuances of personality without using backstory or overt narrative description, thus can dress their character for success.
My novel A Matter of Trust is available from XOXO Publishing at For additional information about my books visit me at

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Hi AC and welcome to the island!

I completely agree that the descriptions of their clothes, as well as how they wear their clothes speaks volumes of the person inside. The second paragraph said to me that the man was probably some kind of brainiac who couldn't be bothered with his clothing as he had much more interesting things on his mind. :)

Thanks for today's post!

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