Pearls of (Almost) WisdomThoughts On Writing

Ruffly Butt Skirts And Your Writing

At several points in 2002 and 2003, I found myself in London.

(Yes, the one in England. I’m not doing that thing where I talk about going to London and then you find out it was really London, Texas, or something.)

And on one of these occasions, I somehow ended up at an English barbecue hosted by a family of Neo-Druids. Well, I know the dad was a Neo-Druid. I don’t know about the son and mother. But really, this is neither here nor there and who even knows what a Neo-Druid is, anyway?

(Given the amount of rabbit trails I’ve managed to chase in the first few lines of this post, I’m extremely impressed with those of you who are still reading. You are true friends. Both of you.)


So anyway, I’m at this Neo-Druid barbecue somewhere outside of London, and as soon as I walk through the gate to the backyard I notice something that makes me want to leave. Immediately.

All the other girls look kind of like this:


And I look sort of like this:


Ok, not really, but I was in this outdoorsy-camping-hiking phase at the time, and let me tell you, it did NOT jive with the other girls and their pin-straight flatironed hair and their ruffly butt skirts.

This was one of many times when I realized that just because we all spoke the same language (sort of) did not mean English and American people were the same. I would NEVER have worn a ruffly butt skirt because 1) I thought they were ridiculous and B) there was a good chance someone would actually see my ruffly butt if I wore one.

Yes, I was more of a jeans-and-tee kind of girl. I did. not. get. the other girls. And I’m positive they didn’t get me either because none of them said a word to me the entire time. Luckily, though, my shoe would get set on fire later that afternoon, so there were plenty of distractions. (Long story. No time.)

So what does this mean for writing? Well, when I write – especially from a female MC’s point of view – I make her a character I would want to hang out with. I have not, to this day, written a protagonist that loooooves to wear ruffly butt skirts and straighten her hair. Or that enjoys gold nail polish and worries more about her lip gloss than anything else.

My MCs are very often a lot like me: Relaxed (almost to the point of laziness), indifferent to fads, and antagonistic toward shallowness.

What about you? Do you tend to write the same type of character over and over as your MC? Are they like you, or do you take the opportunity to write about someone totally different than you?

And more importantly, have you ever owned and/or worn a ruffly butt skirt? (I won’t judge. Much. Hee hee, just kidding, I won’t judge at all.)

8 thoughts on “Ruffly Butt Skirts And Your Writing

  1. Ironically enough, I actually HAVE a ruffly butt skirt that I got… in LONDON πŸ˜‰ It doesn’t have that many ruffles though. And it’s plaid.

    But I never wear it. I own about 40 t-shirts with various bands or skull designs on them (and like, one token plain white one) and I wear them all the time with jeans that have so many holes I really should just let them be shorts already.

    My MCs usually have something in common with me, but they don’t always have the same thing in common. I’ve definitely written the vain girly girl before, the pragmatic don’t give a crap about fashion girl, the depressed almost-goth chick. But I can’t write them convincingly if I don’t identify with some part of them. On the other hand, I like to explore what it might be like to be so interested in or obsessed with something that I absolutely do not give a crap about πŸ˜›

  2. LOL I know what a Neo-Druid is, I’ve never owned (nor will I eventually own) a ruffly butt skirt (although I love saying it), and I write characters that are…themselves. πŸ™‚

  3. I tend to write people that I would find interesting to know in real life. My MCs are private investigators, gympsy con-women, etc. Most of them are very differnt from myself. That is one of the fun things about writing for me.

  4. Ruffly butt skirts make me shudder. I have never worn one and I grew up in the 80s which was rife with Madonna-like ruffly stuff. But I do tend to write characters who are similar to me from a personality standpoint – but they’re much cooler and better looking. hehe. I think it’s important to try to break those boundaries, though and try writing someone different. Maybe my next female MC will have a closet full of ruffly butt skirts and super straight hair. And maybe the scrawny stick legs and platform spike heels….

  5. I think my characters are a mix of me and not-me. But so far I have yet to write someone who’s totally over-the-top with her femininity, cause that’s not me. I like fashion, but in the way that I think it’s fun to pair a cotton t-shirt with a skirt and tennis shoes (or heels. Either is fun.) So I’m weird.

    And I think I might own a ruffly butt skirt, but it’s definitely not as ruffly as that photo. It’s only a little ruffly.

  6. No ruffly butt skirts–my hips are big enough, thank you.

    As for characters, esp. MCs. I have written some “interesting” ones that have made me think, “I could never be friends with this person in real life–she would drive me crazy.”

  7. Alexandra: Yes! I would love to write a character that’s nothing like me, but unless I can identify with at least ONE thing in their personality, I won’t be able to pull it off. And we’ll excuse your ruffly butt skirt since you got it IN London, of all things. How ironic πŸ™‚

    Mireyah: Well I’m glad at least one of us knows what they are!

    Raquel: Yes, I could definitely see how writing people who are totally different from you could be really fun. I need to try it more often.

    M: Ha! Ah, Madonna. Yes. I am familiar. And you’re right, it is important to break down those barriers.

    Heather: We’ll accept it if it’s only a little ruffly πŸ™‚

    Connie: That’s awesome! I haven’t written anyone I wouldn’t want to hang out with in real life. But I think I need to try. I bet it would be good for me!

  8. Ruffly butt skirts, I love that! This is why you are so awesome, you always make me laugh! I love writing a different type of main character every time, though I must admit, none of my MC have been the ruffly butt skirt kind. Perhaps I shall have to try a character like that someday… πŸ™‚

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