Apr 6, 2012

G is for: Glamour - what kind, how much, how do you know what to include in your MS?

There's a sorceress character in Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series who has the Glamour. Simply put, she's able to subtly alter her appearance to fool everyone around her into thinking she's younger and more beautiful than she really is. In Child of the Prophecy, her granddaughter inherits that ability and Marillier uses that tactic as a plot point in several ways. (BTW, if you're into magical realism, I highly recommend that series. I love them so much I own every book!)

We all want a little bit of glamour in our MS, whether it's the supernatural/trickery kind or the expensive clothes/manicure/transformation scene that so many novels have. There's something so alluring about subjecting an MC to a harsh adventure which results in split ends, ground-in dirt and torn clothes, only to rescue them and surround them with silky opulence. This transformation is used in many ways - think Pretty Woman vs. Wizard of Oz vs. The Hunger Games - but is so common, it requires a little thinking and skill to avoid the cliche.

In my WIP, THE TALISMAN, I go the reverse route. My MC is wealthy, beautiful and used to things going her way. She's a bit insulated from the real world and part of her transformation includes an intense experience with harsh conditions, grime, hunger and lack of water. She's kind of a reverse Cinderella - her personal growth can't happen until she's out of her comfort zone.

Whether your plot includes rags-to-riches or richest-to-rags, how do you manipulate your readers' inner desire for the richness, safety and comfort that money can bring? How could you use glamour to strengthen your plot?

10 comments:

Krista McLaughlin said...

This is a great choice! In my current WIP, the princes is forced to live as a captive with a group of dirty children that only have two pairs of clothing. They live in the wild and she, with her rich dresses and beautiful silk veil, does not enjoy it. It's fun to design the clothing in my mind. :)

Kyra Lennon said...

I never really imagined using glamour as a plot strengthener, but my WIP is set in Los Angeles, so there is plenty of room to play around with it!

Lynn Proctor said...

hmmm you ask some hard questions--have never really written about riches-will have to try that!

Laura Marcella said...

Hello, Melodie! You ask intriguing questions. I haven't written about riches or wealth, but this is definitely something to consider if I do!

Have a great weekend and happy A to Z!!

elizabeth seckman said...

I don't know exactly how I could use it in my plots, but I sure could use it on myself.

Nicole said...

Very true! I've used this in a few of my WIPs.

Kimberlee Turley said...

When I think of "riches to rags" I often think of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.

Really enjoyed the comedy aspect and witty banter.

SherryE said...

Enjoyed reading your post. I've honestly never thought about how glamour could be added to enhance a plot. Interesting concept!

Sarah Pearson said...

None of my plots involve glamour - in either direction - but this post makes me want to play with a riches to rags idea :-)

Tara Tyler said...

great post! my fbi agent glams up for a party only to end up crawling thru an underground tunnel =)