Who do you think you are?

I’m not sure how other people see your characters but sometimes I think mine are based on actors and actresses in various roles.

Ok, in the first instance, they are an an amalgum of people I’ve met or seen before, but they always seem to have what might be called an avatar in the back of my mind.

So, as a case in point, some years ago I was writing a story, but I didn’t have a clear picture of what my character looked like. I knew most everything else, but it made it difficult to go beyond a certain point.

Then I saw Bruce Willis in the original Die Hard, and the character suddenly took form in my mind. Of course, Bruce Willis wouldn’t recognise that my character was based on him, but if the film of the book was ever made, back then, he would have been ideal cast as the mc.

In another instance I was writing a YA story for my granddaughter and after she read the first 10 chapters I asked her what she thought. It was a good story, but the characters needed another dimension.

We then sat down and discussed who we might ask to play roles if we were casting a movie version.

It was unanimous, Lily James was Marigold. Probably not now, but when we first saw her. Emma Thompson was the Queen, and Jeremy Irons the King. We had others for the captain of the guards, the good witch and the bad witch.

Sometimes it takes a casting call to picture how your character might take physical form, and if the actors selected are very versatile there are so many traits you can pick up.

The question is, do you cast you characters

One thought on “Who do you think you are?

  1. I visualize all my stories with the aid of a vast library of movies and TV shows . . . but that’s more for the scenes than for the characters. Meaning, the looks of the character are, in my mind, always indistinct. Amorphous and vague outlines. What is clear when I’m creating them are their actions and emotions and personalities. Meaning, were I to imagine Mal Reynolds, it would be the character itself — his personality — and not the actor (Natham Fillion).

    I don’t have a good idea who I’d cast for any of my characters, but I know what they are like; usually, aggregates of real and fictional people I’ve encountered or seen or read about.

    I’m assuming that’s the same for almost every writer since we must draw from experience to even describe personalities. I just don’t go the extra step to identify a potential actor. One criticism I get is my propensity to have minimal physical descriptions of my protagonists. I always prefer making my own mental image when reading and, invariably, when I “see” a character represented in print or movies, it’s not what I imagined.

    I can only think of one exception to me being disappointed in a movie after having read the book . . . Lord of the Rings. I think they nailed the characters in their casting and the actors further owned the roles they took.

    Thanks for the read.

    Liked by 1 person

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