Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Looking for a Few Good Men...And Women

I'm a very visual writer. I like to have a picture in my mind, or better yet, an actual picture close to my computer, of the characters in my story. So I started looking around the Internet for pictures of people that "feel" like the characters I'm currently working on.

For "The Girl Most Likely" I need a slightly more mature heroine. Cara is 43 and I picture her as volumptuous, although she thinks of herself as fat. She's got shoulder length straight blonde hair and hazel eyes. I think she kind of looks like Genevieve Gorder, from TLC's "Trading Places" and HGTV's "Dear Genevieve". (Apologizes to Ms. Gorder who is not yet 43. Cara just looks really good for her age!)

Genevieve has the kind of wholesome good looks that I imagine Cara has. But her love interest, Finn Cooper, has to be a stunner. He has dark brown hair and amazing blue eyes. And for me one of the best looking guys out there is Canadian actor Paul Gross.

Paul could be the inspiration for just about all my heroes!

After Christmas I'm starting some serious rewrites of my WIP "Welcome to Paradise". Again, I need a slightly more mature heroine, about forty. Bridget is tall with really curly red hair. 

Maybe someone like Sophia Milos here. I'm not certain. But the curly, curly thick red hair is important to Bridget's character. It's a legacy from her father, so it must remain. 

Bridget's love interest, Jack, is a harder guy to pin down. He's attractive, about 42, blonde. I have a guy in my head from the Masterpiece Theatre version of Jane Austen's "Persuasion". Perhaps he could be my Jack. Rupert Penray-Jones is so-so British.

He was quite adorable as Captain Wentworth in "Persuasion".

For the manuscript that I hope to write during the Saskatchewan Romance Writers Book of the Week extravanganza in January, my character Daniella is petite, of Italian descent and feels her nose is too big. I can see her in my head but she's not an easy girl to find a find of. 

This is Mila Kuniz, from "That '70s Show" and the upcoming movie "The Black Swan". I think she's a little too beautiful for my Dani in "Always a Bridesmaid". Part of Dani's motive for doing the things she does is because she doesn't believe she's attractive. But Mila Kuniz is petite like Dani, about the right age, with very dark eyes and hair. I'll keep looking for this character.

Dani's love interest in this story is Zach. I don't have a handle on Zach yet, physically or personality- wise, but I think he's going to be tall, broad-shouldered and of course, handsome. He could be someone like Blake Shelton here,

or perhaps someone like British actor Lawrence Penray-Jones, brother to Rupert above:

I must do more work on Zach's character until I know who he is as a person and what he looks like in my head.

What do you do to figure out who your character is? Do you like an actual picture of them or do you prefer a picture in your head? Based on the physical characteristics I've given my characters, can you suggest any other people who might meet my requirements? 

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