Characters and perceptions of appearance

running1

I wonder if anyone else does what I do. I often have a character spring, fully formed, like Athena from Zeus’s brow, into my story. But I am a very visual person and it helps me to have a pic that represents that person. My userpic on this post is a picture of Rayne, my FMC in my fantasy story (that is probably going to be multiple volumes if I can ever get anything done.) It actually came from a fanfic I wrote long ago and had posted on the Seven Pillars website. They thoughtfully provided an image to go with the  story and she became Rayne. Often I have an actor or such in mind to fit the physical description and then I find an appropriate picture to go with it. But sometimes I have to hunt. I’ve found a couple of places that have pics of somewhat unknown actors looking for work and I peruse them and that’s how I find the faces of my characters. The first couple of pages of my documents are usually pictures of the characters I’m writing about, including the animals if there are any, because they’re important to the story as well.

Am I weird or does anyone do anything similar?

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3 Responses

  1. Heh… that’s a great idea… Only today in the supermarket I became acutely aware of the strangers around me and automatically started to wonder what they did, who they were and so on. I haven’t done fiction yet but I will keep this tip in mind.

  2. I do the same thing sometimes, speculating about a person’s story just from their appearance or mannerisms. Maybe that’s unfair, or profiling, but I suppose as long as I don’t shout out something derogatory, I’m safe. I could be imagining something completely innocuous…;-)

  3. I do it, too. I knew exactly who Jay looked like long before I even started my WIP. But here’s something odd — Katie changed appearances in my head! I had to go back and correct descriptions of what she looked like. (Just like Katie to make me do more editing! *G*) Jay, however, is the only character I have who resembles someone I’ve seen. The rest are just in my head. So far.

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