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  #51  
Unread 11th of December, 2012, 14:26
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Along the lines of "something a housewife would've worn in the golden age of America, conservative and simple. Long, too. It was sky blue, with white trim, and dots on a diagonal grid. In its time, it might've been cheery, wholesome. Now it felt like someone had taken a cheap tablecloth and made a dress out of it."
Not sure how to describe the pattern of the trim on the torso. Obviously has a pretty snide tone. I'm not sure how to describe it neutrally, I think I'd get word salad too. I don't actually think it looks like it was made out of a cheap tablecloth (specifically, the fabric), but the pattern itself sort of fits.
I especially feel bad because I don't want to pass judgement on whoever designed it, it looks nice. Where is this fitting in the story?
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  #52  
Unread 11th of December, 2012, 15:39
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“ Originally Posted by zachol # Not sure how to describe the pattern of the trim on the torso. ”
Piping?

“ Originally Posted by zachol # Where is this fitting in the story? ”
SarcasticGoth is trying to get PinkNerd to wear something that isn't a dress over jeans (I mean, really?) and picked that because A) it would look nice and PinkNerd, and B) Isn't something SarcasticGoth would be caught dead in.

Maybe I should just post the entry for context.


EDIT: This is the draft version, so it's full of typos. Red is my feeble attempt at description.

“ I'd been dreading something awful, like a dinging little charity store, or worse somewhere overrun by the ironical 'trendy', but it wasn't that bad. Bigish place with an airy feeling, empty this time of day, with a pretty wide selection of clothes, some of them clearly new despite what Robyn had said. We browsed while I set about trying to draw Robyn back out of her shell.

Amicula: At least try it on and see.
Robyn: It's not my style.
Amicula: That's kinda the point.
Robyn: What's that supposed to mean?
Amicula: You'll look good in it.
Robyn: Not my style so I'll look good in it? Thanks.
I was holding up a sky-blue dress, patterned with a white pattern and white piping. It had a halter neck, but would hang down to the knees, nothing I would be caught dead in, but it would have looked pretty good on Robyn, and was a break from her usual set of outfits. I honestly didn't care that much about what she wore, but it was only when I started suggesting outfits for her that she had strung more than two words together, and the last of the upset sensation had disappeared, replaced by her embarrassed-roses scent, so I pushed the issue.
Amicula: You know that wasn't what I meant, but you do have a terrible sense of fashion. Jeans under a dress? There is a word for that, the word is 'no'.
Robyn: Know what the term is for gothic fashion tips? Oxymoron.
Amicula: Hey, black is a universal and timeless classic. It doesn't make me goth.
Robyn: Universal? That's right, let's see. Full length black skirt, a black top with – is that black gauze on the collar? Completed by a black leather trench coat, black boots, and I'm not even going to touch on your make up. That's a lot of black. Come to think of it, is your hair naturally black, or do you dye it?
Amicula: Aren't you meant to be a nice shy girl?
Robyn: I've fallen in with a bad crowd, they're a terrible influence on me.
Amicula: The scandal, what will your parents think?
Robyn: How about this, as soon as you walked into the store, you noticed corset right?
Amicula: They have a corset?

She wasn't wrong. They had it on display with a black taffeta over skirt, and full length black petticoat, paired with (silverish) sixteen-button black silk gloves. The corset was a steel boned, black, over-bust, front and back lacing, with black (of course) satin panels that had celtic knot detailing. Put together the entire thing was an over the top gothic stereotype, impractical, stupid and totally gorgeous. I wanted it very badly, and thought I'd been subtle about looking, but apparently not enough.
Amicula: Oh so they do.
Robyn: Take that as a yes.
Amicula: Maybe.
Robyn: Are you going to buy it?
Amicula: Hell no.
Robyn: Don't think you can get away with wearing it under your uniform to class?
Amicula: Probably not, but you shouldn't ever buy a used corset.
Robyn: Why?
Amicula: People have sex while wearing them. I mean even if they've been cleaned ...
Robyn: Eww.
Amicula: Yeah, so look but no touch.
Robyn: My point remains valid, goths have no fashion sense.
Amicula: I'm not going to drop this just because you're being mean.
Robyn: It's too revealing.
Amicula: It isn't even close. Halter neck sure, but it's got a high collar. It'll just show your shoulders and you're tall, so someone might get a glimpse of your knees. You'll be fine.
Robyn: I can't.
Amicula: Why?
Robyn: Um, it's too cold, I'd freeze to death.
Amicula: You can wear a jacket with it, and tights. Note I said tights, not jeans. Or just hold onto it until the weather gets warmer.
Robyn: It isn't really something I can wear.
Amicula: Just try it on and have a look, you'll like it.
Robyn: I can't.
Amicula: It's not cold in the store, you'll be fine.
Robyn: I can't.
Amicula: Sure you can.
Robyn: Please.

I pulled myself up short at Robyn's voice, which had dropped down into a strained whisper, and noted with some surprise the lengths her body language had changed since the beginning of the conversation. Her arms were wrapped tightly around herself, and was turned away from me. The loose bits of hair under her cap had fallen down to cover her face, which was pointed down at her shuffling feet, and I couldn't see if she was crying, but the emotion I was sensing had increased in strength and was now an equal mixture of the embarrassed rose and upset chill-salt.
Amicula: It's okay, you don't have to if you don't want to.
Robyn: Thank you.
Amicula: I tell you what, I'm going to buy it for you anyway. If you want to try it on later when we're home you can, if not you don't.
Robyn: Okay.
Amicula: You just have to carry it back.
Robyn: Okay.
Amicula: And my stuff.
Robyn: Okay.
Amicula: And dance for me when I'm bored.
Robyn: Ok- what?
Amicula: Too late! You already agreed!
All in all it wasn't a bad day, even if we never did get to the cemetery. I have to be more careful when working on Robyn so I don't push her too far, but she seemed to recover without any ill effects, and she does like the dress, that's easy to tell from the emotions that are coming from her when she looks at it – which she keeps doing, so that's something. Good day or not, it's been a long and tiring one, with the whole emotions sense thing kicking me all over the place, so I'm going to sneak a drink (or two) and turn in early.
”
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  #53  
Unread 11th of December, 2012, 17:06
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"I held up a sky-blue dress. It was broken up with white dots, in a sort of sparse diagonal grid, and white trim and piping. Real simple, long, sort of thing you'd see on an old TV show, but I thought Robyn would make it work. It was cute and plain, without being frumpy."
Don't know about the second bit. To be perfectly honest I'm not sure what a "halter neck" is.
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  #54  
Unread 11th of December, 2012, 19:20
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It ties up behind the neck.
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  #55  
Unread 11th of December, 2012, 19:37
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Oh, that makes sense.
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  #56  
Unread 11th of December, 2012, 19:38
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Goodness zachol, it's like you don't know anything about women's fashion.
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  #57  
Unread 12th of December, 2012, 02:17
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Since exactly when do you know something about women's fashion, itches?
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  #58  
Unread 13th of December, 2012, 01:01
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Check the description itself. Yoink out all the flowery adjectives and language they use and see what the basics are. Also, you don't have to describe in intricate detail every piece of clothing; that's going to get heavy-handed and unnecessary fast. If all you say sometimes is "grey cardigan" the reader's imagination can do the rest.

How I would describe it:
"It's a bright blue retro dress, with white polka dots and trim, and cute little pockets on the skirt. It's got wide halter straps that tie behind the neck, and elastic tubing on the back that helps the fit. The skirt's about knee length."

Tidy it up a bit to your character's voice, but that should be enough. Some of zachol's descriptions are good too; avoid the redundancy of "pattern" in your draft there.

“ They had it on display with a black taffeta over skirt, and full length black petticoat, paired with (silverish) sixteen-button black silk gloves. The corset was a steel boned, black, over-bust, front and back lacing, with black (of course) satin panels that had celtic knot detailing. Put together the entire thing was an over the top gothic stereotype, impractical, stupid and totally gorgeous. ”
Kill the parentheticals, and some of the "blacks." Try:

“ They had it on display with a black taffeta over skirt, and full length matching petticoat, paired with sixteen-button silk gloves. The dark corset was steel boned, over-bust, front and back lacing, with satin panels that had celtic knot detailing. Put together the entire thing was an over the top gothic stereotype, impractical, stupid and totally gorgeous. ”
"Gothic" and the first "black" are already going to conjure different shades of black fabric in that description, and still leave some room for reader imagination while flowing a little better. In the first section, with the parentheticals, it's black, but silverish? The buttons, or the silk gloves--if you're trying to describe the sheen, we already think it's going to be shiny in the light thanks to "silk."

Also, if one of the girls isn't as fashion-conscious, it's OK for her to use more generalities, too. Not all of us are into every intricacy of fashion.

Maybe I should poke my former roommate; she's a bit of a fashionista (especially compared to me) and has a great time succinctly describing clothing in her writing, without it overwhelming the descriptive text and the characters.
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  #59  
Unread 13th of December, 2012, 21:23
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“ Originally Posted by LynMars # Also, you don't have to describe in intricate detail every piece of clothing; that's going to get heavy-handed and unnecessary fast. If all you say sometimes is "grey cardigan" the reader's imagination can do the rest. ”
But the story is about clothes! Actually I know, there are only two scenes that go into detail about what people are wearing. This one (girls out shopping) and the one when they go on their formal dance date thing and I get to describe make-up too.


“ Originally Posted by LynMars # You smell. Try:
“ They had it on display with a black taffeta over skirt, and full length matching petticoat, paired with sixteen-button silk gloves. The dark corset was steel boned, over-bust, front and back lacing, with satin panels that had celtic knot detailing. Put together the entire thing was an over the top gothic stereotype, impractical, stupid and totally gorgeous. ”
”
Actually, that isn't bad. Want to re-write the entire novel for me? You're right about the repeated blacks, it's meant to be a joke but I imagine only I find it funny. As to the gloves ... I'm just worried about people knowing what 16 button length gloves are.
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  #60  
Unread 15th of December, 2012, 19:46
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Your description just confuses me as a non-native English speaker. While it may be very detailed, all the adjectives make it harder to use the context to figure out the meaning of words I'm unfamiliar with. Ofcourse I'm mildly exaggerating now... (I would have to look up 'steel boned' in this context and got no clue what celtic knots are; but yes, that might be because I'm a typical male nerd)
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  #61  
Unread 18th of December, 2012, 21:37
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My current working version of the clothes. Chances are good I'll revise it again at some point.

“ I was holding up a bright-blue dress dusted with small white dots, white trim and little hip pockets. Wide straps tied up in a halter neck that left the shoulders bare, and the bottom hem hung down to about the knees. Simple enough design, very retro without being outdated. Nothing I would ever be caught dead wearing, but Robyn could pull it off, even if it was a drastic change from her usual set of outfits ”
“ Robyn: It's too revealing.
Amicula: Not even close. A halter neck sure, but it's got a high enough collar, you won't be showing anything. Well your shoulders, and you're tall so I guess someone might get a glimpse of your knees. I've seen your legs, you'll be fine.
”
Thanks for the help guys.
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  #62  
Unread 30th of January, 2013, 13:58
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The fourth novel is out, and the print version of the first one (test case) should be ready sometime in February. Check out my new web site and I will keep you all updated.
http://www.davidvandykeauthor.com
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  #63  
Unread 13th of March, 2013, 12:18
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Does anyone else write things out longhand first before typing them up? Or am I that much of a relic?
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  #64  
Unread 13th of March, 2013, 12:24
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I do, but I do most of my writing when I'm on a train or otherwise out of the house. I find it awesome writing in a coffee shop, but I always feel too much like a pretentious twat doing so.
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Unread 14th of March, 2013, 02:20
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I ought to, because as you noted in our conversation, there are too many other distractions on a computer.
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  #66  
Unread 14th of March, 2013, 07:49
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I find that writing longhand is a great way to get the ideas out of my head and onto the paper, and then I can start revising as I type it out. I've already probably scratched in and out new words/phrases, made arrows for shifting passages, etc.

I also know that longhand first, typing next is how Neil Gaiman writes.
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Unread 14th of March, 2013, 09:47
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Longhand gives me cramps fast. Dozens of scattered text files and haphazard folders is the way to go.
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Unread 21st of March, 2013, 12:40
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I longhand ideas (mostly so I can draw at the same time), but I'm with zachol when it comes to actual writing.
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Unread 21st of July, 2013, 10:41
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I r a reel riter

Just thought I'd share some good news. A bit more than a year after I posted this thread (and published my first novel shortly thereafter), I have nine works of science fiction available, will have three more before the end of the year, and am selling more than a thousand copies a month on average, and rising. Yes, for real money.

Thanks to those who helped on my first book in this thread, and thanks to this site that hosted my roleplaying games for several years as I figured out I wanted to write professionally. If you like sci-fi action thrillers, check out www.davidvandykeauthor.com. Cheers and be well.

Dave
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Unread 22nd of July, 2013, 08:39
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Congrats, Wired*Nun. I'm in the process of writing a novel myself, but can rarely seem to overcome the writer's block that seems determined to stiffle my efforts. I will finish it one day, though, and soon.
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  #71  
Unread 22nd of July, 2013, 18:14
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“ Originally Posted by Wired*Nun # If you like sci-fi action thrillers, check out www.davidvandykeauthor.com. Cheers and be well. ”
Wow. NoScript really doesn't like that website.
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  #72  
Unread 24th of July, 2013, 12:28
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“ Originally Posted by itches # Wow. NoScript really doesn't like that website. ”
What's noscript?

Try my wordpress blog if the website is too problematic: http://davidvandyke.wordpress.com/
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  #73  
Unread 24th of July, 2013, 13:10
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NoScript is an addon for the browser that blocks various background scripts from running--a lot of Java stuff, for instance, unless you allow some or all of a page, temporarily or permanently. It's a way to protect your stuff from things like keyloggers that try to grab passwords.

I also run AdAware, which means I block 90% of all ads on websites too, which is often handy, and way less annoying.
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Unread 28th of July, 2013, 16:32
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I don't actually have a problem with ads, people need to keep their websites afloat somehow. What I have a problem with is the stalking.

But yeah, NoScript is mostly for security. For the most part it leaves you with a stripped down version of the website, text displays fine. But your one? It's just blank. You need to give several rounds of permission to get it to display anything.

That said, wordpress works fine.
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Unread 5th of August, 2013, 04:44
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Well, my wife set up the web site but she's only slightly more tech-savvy than I am, so...sorry about that.

In any case, just put out book 5 in my main series. On to book 6! It's never done.

By the way, whatever happened to that donate button? I was going to toss you guys a few bucks from my bounty.

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