26 March 2010

Much ado about nothing...

I'm struggling through book two of my paranormal series at the moment. Besides my own lack of confidence, life issues and plot-knots, there are other difficulties making it hard to write. One problem being that the hero of book three plays a small part in book two. He's a secondary now--one with major attitude--yet, while I'm working on this book, he's trying to dictate his story instead. I have a hard time writing two different projects at once. :\

(Men can be so difficult.)

My other problem is I have to figure out all the nuances of his character--and his talents/abilities, etc--so that they carry through from one story to the next. Personalities I can handle fairly well. Making up my own mythology isn't quite as easy. Plus, I have to make sure that whatever I write now is something I can live with for the long haul.

One particularly tricky aspect seems a bit...well, silly. But since the hero of book three is a shape-shifter, it is of utmost consequence to both him and the story itself. My conundrum is this: What to do with his clothes when he shifts?

The mere question brings to mind the old Incredible Hulk television show where the hero went through several shirts per episode. (Morphing muscles are hell on poly-cotton blends.)

Is that what I want for my hero? No, I can safely say I'd rather he have a modicum of control over his shifting. Much easier on the clothing budget--not to mention it adds to his innate heroic bent. Heroes must be in control. At least in some respects.

So then I have the option of him undressing every time he wants to morph. That could work. However, it also makes for other tricky and perhaps, funny, situations. Hmmmm, he really doesn't have a great sense of humor. Do I dare try it? Not sure. Also, he doesn't seem the type of man to take a moment and neatly fold everything into a small pile to be retrieved for future use.

I can also use another, less popular plot-device and have the clothing become part of his animal-persona. Yeah, I kind of like that one, except I wonder if it comes off as a cop-out?

I might even try the 'magical wardrobe' idea. However, that concept has been used by at least one of the more popular para-romance writers around. Would I seem like a copycat? :\

What to do? Any ideas? At the moment he's quite naked...and more than a little cold. ;)


Tori Scott said...

Let me know when you figure it out. Grace pointed it out to me that I'd had one character take his clothes off first and another morph with his clothes on, but no mention was made of them being naked or clothed when they morphed back.


Xakara said...

Hey Meg,

Sorry I didn't see this yesterday. I write shapeshifters as well and I went with the idea that natural fibers and materials shift with them, going into the extra dimensional space that holds the extra bulk from their were-form. Everything comes back slightly altered but only shifting in something over a period of time could change it completely.

As for none natural materials like plastic and such, the theory is that it's reduced to its based components and thus basically obliterated. I haven't had someone purposely shift with an item that wouldn't come back so it hasn't been handled on the page yet.

Using the "shifts with but changes" means that it fits if a character gets undressed beforehand or if they don't. You may not want to shift in that $5000, perfectly tailored business suit if you have a choice, but if you don't have time to change few people will notice the subtle shift from true black to charcoal so why not shift and be done.

Hope that helps. We can all band together and make that the new standard! :)


Meg Allison said...

X, very interesting idea -- and I really like how you've thought it through. Thanks for sharing. I am leaning toward the clothing becoming part of their new form, but haven't quite decided.

Tori, that's another thing we really have to watch out for as writers -- continuity. For some uneartly reason I gave a secondary in DREAM WALK five brothers! So now that she's the heroine... I have to deal with them, too. LOL!