In the spirit of the day, here’s a quick, odd idea I bounced off someone a while back.
Underwear choices say something about us.
I mean, think about it. Who’s going to see my underwear? Who’s going to know about it except me? Sure, a lot of us may have that special someone in our lives, and they’ll get to see it, but for the most part our underwear choice is a little, personal secret, like a password that changes every day. Hopefully.
In a way, underwear is kinda like a tattoo—it’s something we get more for us than for anyone else. Depending on what else I’m wearing some other folks may see my tattoo, and they might enjoy it or be scandalized by it. But that’s not why I got it. It’s a very personal choice.
Some folks spend the bare minimum on their undergarments. Others spend a lot. Some might want to spend more. There are people who wear incredibly sexy underwear every day and some people… okay, look, there’s only a couple holes. It’s good for at least another wash or two. Sometimes it’s a style choice, sometimes it’s about comfort, and sometimes it’s just about what’s at the top of the drawer because who the hell puts any real thought into that sort of thing.
I’ve known people who’d be horrified by the idea of going commando or braless and others who wouldn’t think twice about it.
Goofy as it may sound, think of your latest cast of characters. Picture them all in their underwear. What are they wearing? Why? Boxers or briefs? Thongs or bikini? Mens or womens? Cotton or silk? Fancy or bulk-pack? Would they care if someone else saw their underwear? Whether or not they were in it?
Now, just to be very clear—none of this means I need to talk about underwear choices in my story. If I’m introducing Wakko, there’s not too many circumstances where we’d have to know what he’s wearing under his jeans. Or not wearing. I don’t need a random scene of someone changing in a locker room or walking around their apartment without pants.
But—like a lot of character details
—it still might be a good thing for me
to know. It gives me a sense of what kind of person they are. How they think and how they might act and react to different situations. And that’s all good stuff to know, because it help make this person more real in my head. Which makes it easier for them to be real and distinct on the page.
No matter what they’re wearing.
And speaking of characters, next time I’m going back to the A2Q to talk about characters.
Until then… go write.