Writer’s Craft #22 – Not the dress!
Reading Jaleta Clegg’s novel, Nexus Point, I encountered a scene that struck a resonance with one of my own about a female protagonist rejecting a dress.
Here is Clegg’s heroine, Dace, threatened with a pink dress:
“Keep thinking pink, Dace. Tell me enough of the truth and I’ll find something much more suitable for you.”
“Do they teach this kind of torture to all undercover operatives?” Anything to stall him, anything to avoid answering. I wanted Will to like me. He’d called me pretty.
“The pink dress torture is reserved for very senior agents.” Will kept a straight face. “What are you hiding?”
And my take on the rejection of ladylike attire from the draft version of Gathering Storm: Part 8 of the Okal Rel Saga
“I am not wearing this!” Sanal declared, and proceeded to wriggle out of the rest of the fantastical pink construction that rippled down her lean body in tiers of soft loops, like rich icing, creating — Horth thought — a rather pleasing esthetic effect even if it did look odd on his space-hardened sister.
Rohan and Solar reacted with something like horror while the servants in the room either stared or panicked at the revelation that Sanal wasn’t stopping at the dress, but shedding her new, Demish underwear, too. One man pulled his apron over his head, poking his cheek with the needle stuck into it for safe-keeping.
Tough girls rejecting dresses. Why do we write such scenes in SF? Have you? Got an explanation? Or an example to share?