I keep getting asked about the novel I am working on. When I answer that the next novel is about shoes, people looks confused. Novels are about people, how can they be about shoes? You are right. So please let me explain. Watch this video first then read the rest of the blog post.
As a reader I notice repeated literary devices used in novels. Such as:
Weather used to reflect the emotional state of the protagonist.
A city as a character in the story.
These are fine and well. But as an author, I want my novel to be unique. So I decided to write a novel that uses shoes as a unifying theme. I find myself staring at all the shoes in my closet searching for inspiration for my novel in progress. What your shoes say about you? What can shoes say about the main character of my novel? What can shoes say about the other characters in my novel?
For sure I need to feature shoes that fit just right; are comfortable to walk in for when my main character is at ease. Like these white sneakers would be perfect for that. Easy breezy casual.
Then bam! Just when she thought all was well a sadistic stiletto heel will appear. O beautiful pain. The sacrifices that we make to be beautiful. What your shoes say about you? These say I am willing to do anything to have others approval.
In place of:
It was a dark and stormy night.
You will have:
It was a soul crushing foot pain.
Yay! I already know the first line of my novel. This method is already functioning.
I certainly need to include shoes that will inspire her to sing “These boots are made for walking.And that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.” French inspired, floral tapestry lace-up boot with hand painted leather trim and embossed leather wrapped heel. All the necessary ingredients to make you say “O la la”. What your shoes say about you? These say I am a creative soul so sure.
The story must contain shoes to inspire her to dance. This is a disco ball turned into shoes. Pink glitter …. need I say more
These studded red suede shoes will be used as a weapon in an act of violence. The imagination is starting to flow. I actually cut myself with these shoes. They are a non-concealed self defense tool. What your shoes say about you? I think these say I am feisty.
A pair with a sense of humor. These polka dot black, white a red shoes is laughter styled into shoes. With these on nothing can possible spoil my mood. What your shoes say about you? These polka dot slingback shoes say “I don’t care”.
Another with none whatsoever. These black loafers are comfy and practical but lack in personality. Even when I wear them with colorful socks …. something feels lacking. what your shoes say about you? If you are wearing these, it’s probably says you have no personality.
Boss lady. These grey suede ankle boots feature diamond patterned laser cutouts running up the front and they are covered in an intricate paisley design that can leave you mesmerized for hours.
Sexy lady. These black platform heels with pink soles remind me of much more expensive shoes that come with red soles. I prefer these ones. The drip is real with these ones.
Sad mood. Ballet flats always feel deflating.
Shoes that play with the balance of masculine and feminine. These pink and black Mary Jane shoes are the perfect combination of diverse things. Surprisingly, I get lots of wear out of them despite the color.
Something that reminds her of the unique shoes from Cinderella’s story. For the main premise of the novel is: “In a man’s world, can an ambitious woman smash through the glass ceiling while still fitting into the glass slippers. Or must she choose one over the other? ” This is a perfume bottle that my husband purchased for me last year. A lovely inspiration for my writing project
Aspirational shoes or dream shoes. Something that symbolizes the person she wishes to become but feels that it is out of reach. I have come up with three potential designs for you, my dear reader, to vote. Go to the provided link to choose your favorite.
A shoe that symbolizes how the novel ends, but I don’t know what that is yet.
Flip-flops for when she is ready to change her mind. I can’t believe that I paid only 3 dollars for these lovelies. They have been my companion through all sorts of sticky situations.
Old worn out trainers to remind her of the places she has traveled. Adventures she had. These ancient ones could tell a story or two.
Shoes for warmth. These black knee high boots are a recent purchase. I have been wearing them on repeat. They allow me to wear skirts and dresses in the colder months by providing that extra warmth to my bottom half.
Others for breezy summery days. These beautiful wedges that have a scarf as straps to make my summer into a freewheeling nonstop fiesta.
Orange shoes for when she needs an extra dose of vitamin C in her lifestyle. It was the orange shoes that started my obsession with shoes in the first place.
Shoes that look average on first look but have a unique twist when examined closely. Just to test if anybody in her surroundings is paying attention. These purple shoes always add a touch of elegance to whatever I am wearing.
What do you think? What other types of shoes should I write into the story?
Wearing something on our feet is a universal experience. All of us have had the joy of taking new shoes out of a box. Or the hellish experience of grinding your teeth as you step on a newly formed blister. I am imagining a character that expresses her feeling through what she wears on her feet. I am interested in the idea of how people develop connections with the things they wear. How it defines our identities. Our sense of who we are. How we use it to communicate with the world or perhaps use it to hide aspects of ourselves. Perhaps I am writing this novel simply to justify to myself my large collection of shoes. Perhaps this novel is my delusional effort to say: “See! I had to buy all these shoes as inspiration for my novel” or Perhaps it’s a brilliant unique way to tell a story. You! My dear reader will let me know once the novel comes out.