Thursday, June 30, 2011

From Dress to Fin and Back Again

I've been watching H2O Just Add Water on netflix with my kids. In the show three Australian teen girls get transformed into mermaids. Its cute and the mythology is fun. They have super powers all related to water and life is hard on the Gold Coast of Australia if you instantly grow a tale when water touches you.

Here is what the transformation looks like:

So the thing is that their clothes morph with them and when they dry their clothes, including whatever shoes they are wearing, morph back to normal. Is clothing optional when it comes to transformation magic? I have a shapeshifter in my latest story (not a mermaid) and I'm trying to figure out the clothing issue.

Should clothes morph with the magic, such as in the mermaid story or should it rip up and fall off like the shapeshifters in Stephenie Meyers' stories?

What do you all think? Dress to fin or fin to skin? Both scenarios present obstacles and advantages.


  1. (I think my girls watched this one time)

    I appreciate the clothes morphing back with the magic. However it does seem less "realistic". I can't remember who your shape shifter is. If its who I am thinking, the bad lady, she should be able to keep clothes with her cause she uses dark magic. Otherwise the riot scene would have all sorts of bad implications.

  2. I think you should have a society of nudist shapeshifters. Then you don't even have to worry about it.

    I always like the words, "Clothing optional."

  3. If you're trying to make the abilities scientific, no clothes. If it's magic, yes clothes. Boom.

  4. Wow, way to bottom-line it Graham. I would agree with your conclusion. It always bugged me how on the old Incredible Hulk TV show his shirt would tear off but the pants just got frayed below the knee. If the science makes the clothes come off, they should come all the way off. Just sayin.

  5. Graham that is an interesting difference. I hadn't really thought of it that way but I like it. Its not Newton's Laws of Physics or anything but for writing I think its a good rule to follow. So when people ask why her clothes change with her I'll just say, "Cause its magic. If she were a mutant or something they would have to rip up and fall off."

  6. Oh and Debbie, the nudist shapeshifters cracked me up. It would make Graham's law obselete and life much simpler, except for how to rate the book. If handcuffs equal erotica then would nudist shapeshifter move my YA to "Adult" fiction?