Layering - the art of fashion and writing
Which, I realized later in the day writing in a café, was not unlike the moment in my WIP when I decided the young duchess who is the wife of the murder victim would also be the sister of the hero's best friend and the daughter of the hero's spymaster. Suddenly my plot had added layers of resonance and the complications for my hero packed an added emotional wallop. in both cases I started with a piece I liked--whether clothing or plot material--and then layered in details that made the piece pop and gave it extra dimension.
A change of shoes or earrings, the addition of subtraction of a scarf, can turn an outfit from office-appropriate to evening ready. Similarly, one can start with a basic plot premise--for instance a young woman compelled by circumstance to marry an older wealthy man--and depending on which "accessories" one layers into the plot, one can have anything from bedroom farce to family drama, from romance to mystery to coming of age story.
A good reminder, that it can be worth it to step back and consider the options for layering and where they can take one, whether in putting an outfit together or plotting a book.
Which brings me to the picture above. At a Merola Opera Program event this weekend ("Wagner Bowling") a crown and a Brunhilde hat gave my dress (the same one I had layered the weekend before) and Mélanie's party dress and coat a whole new sense of fun :-).
What are your favorite examples of layering, in fashion or in fiction?