One of my favorite things to do for each main character I put in a book is turn them into a paper doll. No, not literally (though I totally would if I had the drawing skills). Instead, I create a fashion set that highlights their personality and general wardrobe sense.
|Penelope Blue: Jewel thief, cat burglar, breaker of laws|
I will admit that this sounds a lot more like a way to procrastinate than anything else – and to some extent, that’s true – but there’s something about the visual component that helps to make a character seem more three-dimensional.
Also, it’s fun to play dress up—virtually or otherwise.
Lots of authors I know do this on Pinterest or by “assigning” celebrity doubles to their characters, but I prefer to do my visualization on a website called Polyvore. It’s more of a fashion tool than a writing one, but the general idea is that you can create magazine-style pages of your favorite outfits and trends and then share them with the world. (The idea is also that you’ll then click on one of the outfits and spend a gazillion dollars buying it for yourself, but everyone’s gotta make money somehow, right?)
From a visually artistic standpoint, I’m pretty lacking as a human being. I can’t draw, I don’t do interior design, and my own fashion sense is pretty much yoga pants and t-shirts. I can’t even make those cute, colorful journal planners that everyone’s doing these days—and believe me, it’s not for lack of trying.
I think that’s why I love the idea of dressing up my characters so much. Even *I* have the ability to rifle through a well-stocked wardrobe and pick out the best outfit, especially since I don’t have to pay attention to things like price tags and fit. It’s like being a costumier for a play—a job I’ve always thought might be a nice backup plan if this whole author thing doesn’t work out.
Plus, it's fun to show people exactly how they, too, can dress like a sexy cat burglar who's married to an FBI agent. Next year's Halloween, anyone?
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