Thursday, 13 June 2013

What I learned by conquering the Iron Throne

Okay, I didn't really conquer the Iron Throne. But it was fun to pretend for a few moments.

The Game Of Thrones costumes and props exhibition is in Belfast at the moment on the last stop of the tour. The studios where they film in Belfast are a matter of minutes down the road, and I can only imagine that some of the props will be heading down there for Season 4!

My Dad and I got some tickets to go down and see it. Below is a picture spam. Please forgive me if your internet connections are slow!

Note: I'm trying to look empowered here. I just look uncomfortable.
This is why I'm not an actor.

But I learned something very important from the exhibition. The name of the game is detail. It was mind boggling to wrap my head around the detailing on some of these costumes. On Sansa's Winterfell dress (2nd from the left on the top picture) there are stitched gold leaves on her collar. Why? I mean, why when it already takes so long to make costumes would you put in so much detail into something that won't even show up on camera?

Because it needs to feel real. If the Game of Thrones world was real, that character would actually have put little gold leaves onto her collar.

The same goes for writing. Why would you put in extra details that have nothing to do with the story? Because it gives your characters depth and colour beyond the story. They feel alive, and that's because the details breathe life into them.

But at the same time, you can't go overboard with detail or your plot and characters will get lost, suffocated under all that detail. Lets keep the costume metaphor going. If there had been gold leaves all over the dress then it would have looked ridiculous, and fake.

An example of little useless details that I've put into writing: In my current WIP my protagonist is getting her feat measured for boots by her friend who is a leather tanner. She knew him as a child when he was a kind of Grandfather figure to her and he taps a mole on her foot and makes a 'boop' noise the way you would to make a kid giggle.
This isn't important information at all. But it colours that scene a bit more than it would have been and I really like it.

What useless little details have you put into your writing, or anything else that you do just because you could?

Sarah x

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