Here’s a costume/setting question from one of my readers. Maybe this will help in our discussion of contrasting your character with the setting.
Reader: I think shoes matter–especially on a protag. They can reveal a lot about a character. My opening paragraph involves my protag staring at her shoes in church. It’s October, in the South. She’s OCD. A perfectionist, Christian school teacher, mother of three teens. She’s focusing on her shoes to avoid thinking about her problems. What kind of shoes would she wear? Color? I have someone editing for me. I couldn’t decide what kind of shoes to put her in. Hoped it wouldn’t matter. My friend caught it. Thanks.
Lynne: Depends. If she’s a by-the-rules kind of person, she probably wouldn’t feel comfortable in sandals, but in the south in October it’s still hot and everyone disregards the seasonal rules and wears them. She could be contemplating her pedicure or lack thereof (because having the money for such a luxury with 3 kids is questionable). Or she could be crammed into a pair of sensible heels (without hose)—conforming to what is expected of her on Sunday. If she has a rebel streak in her she could have on heels with a pop of color or bling, but if she doesn’t like to call attention to herself, her shoes would be black or brown and maybe a tad out of date. Does that help? If not, get back to me with more about her. No matter what you put on her, make it conflict with who she thinks she should be in church and who she really is.
Reader: Thank you!! I tried to slip it by one of my readers without saying what kind of shoes. She caught it. Now I’m forced to figure it out. 🙂 Shoes are really so important. Which reminds me of the ACFW Denver fancy dinner. I wore cheap but silver sandals. They matched my dress but fell apart right before we started. I had to duct tape them together….THANK YOU AGAIN.
Lynne: I remember that shoe debacle. 🙂 Thank God for duct tape. Glad to help. Yep, shoes matter…especially to a woman.
Reader: You really helped me out. I figured out exactly what kind of shoes to put her in. And, she got them on pre-season sale. Very important to this character.