General Writing My Characters

Getty Images Has Nothing On Me!

If you’re a character in a novel, I’d be willing to bet my last Godiva chocolate and a hot, steamy kiss that Getty Images, Big Stock Photo, and iStock will not even begin to have a picture that replicates the vision of you in your author’s head. I know this is true because I had a hard time finding photos, and the ones I might have selected barely came close. *Sigh* Did I really create someone so unique that no one on earth looks like them–even just a teeny, weeny, little bit? Appears so, sad to say. Though I must say *perking up* I marveled at the discovery. Part of me even felt a twinge of pride. Containing a vision of someone so unique that nobody even came close made me feel rather smug. It’s like I broke the mold after I birthed the person. What I found even more strange is how I saw the features of some characters more strongly than others. In Pleasure House, I see John, Daren, and Joe with much more clarity than I see Thomas or Rose–and Rose is, like, the MAIN character! Actually, she reminds me of a friend I met on my first orientation day in college. *Shudder* Okay, I must admit I hate to see a friend in that light, but it’s been such a long time ago. So Susan, if you’re out there, just disregard this post.

Now on to the next part: Voices. No, I’m not hearing voices in the way you think, but I did hear my characters’ voices. Their sounds were just as unique as their faces. Take my character, Ramon, for example. When he spoke in my head, he sounded like Antonio Banderas, though the didn’t look like Antonio Banderas. And the fact that Ramon is a cross-dresser in my novel made the comparison even more weird. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a hard time imagining Antonio Banderas in a red gown. *Sudder, again*

And would you believe it, even though I’m now working on the re-edits of my book, I still think about my characters from time to time, especially the two characters in my ending (which broke my heart to write, I must say. The “good-bye” of it all made my heart heavy at the time. I nearly felt like crying, and trust me, I’m not one for crying). But some of these characters stick with me. Yeah, I hate to admit this, but between you and me, I once had a dream of Daren and me–together. Well, enough about me . . .

But there are writers who model their characters after their neighbors, family, strangers they see on the street. I find myself starting to do that too. I’ll get a whiff of a personality here, and good bit of juicy “can you believe . . . ?” there, and then my mind starts to turn. These people make great fodder for novels. I have a neighbor right now who has been brewing in my mind, just dying to hatch out in a story somewhere. The problem is I just haven’t worked out the details yet. So don’t worry if your character comes up missing on Getty Images. It’s all right, just keep creating and enjoy the satisfaction of having one-of-a-kind.

scarletdarkwood

Certified Tarot Reader and Author of Fiction

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2 Comments

  1. I totally agree with you on that issue. I have my greatest character, Alexandretta, the queen of all witches, who truly has no counterpart in existence. I have not written her story yet, but I did just finish a short work that has her in it, a sort of artist’s sketch where I could begin to work with her; the model we chose for the cover simply did not convey the image I wanted. Too bad I found that out after the cover was completed. It was one of those things that kept gnawing at me, and finally I had to admit it. What you say is true and accurate; no one can really convey the images of our characters exactly, and I think I’m okay with that.

  2. Good for you, Robert! Even if you can’t find the “perfect” picture, Alexandretta will still be beautiful or diabolica, nonetheless. Do hurry and write her story, though. I’d like to read it! I loved The Witch House. I still think of poor Mary Vicar and Harold. And the cover on that book caught my attention, too, as well as the title.

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