Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Characters with Faces

I've been feeling excited about the book lately and to help me visualize the characters I wasted entirely too much time surfing the net looking for photos of my cast. The kids watched PBS. This is so much fun for me. I also did about 2 hours of research on locations and logistics. Part of my book happens in Santa Barbara and I've decided I'm just going to have to go there to get a real feel for it. :) We'll see about that.

I actually don't plan on doing a lot of extensive physical description. A bit here and there, for guidance. But I think it's cool when the reader forms their own picture. These pictures were chosen for expression as much as anything and to help me picture them as I write.

Anyway, meet my characters:

The main character, Derek, definitely shares some features with Cillian Murphy. The dark hair and blue, heavy-lidded eyes makes him a bit of an enigma. He is attractive, but with a certain melancholy to his face. However, Derek looks more Polynesian (way less Irish), so I liked this photo as well. Kind of a Polynesian Hayden Christiansen.

When I saw this photo I KNEW it was Derek's love interest, Tali. Gorgeous, but with self-possessed intelligence. The kind of girl who is beautiful, but unconcerned about it.

Tali's father (who yet remains unnamed) plays a crucial role in the story. He is large and kind and just happens to need a few tattoos. (Although he doesn't dance with fire or wear traditional Polynesian clothing)

Derek's mother, though absent for much of the story, plays one of the most pivotal roles. She was one of the first that solidified in my mind. Her hair has always been the forefront physical feature in my mind. She is gentle but very strong-willed and the wisest of all the characters (besides the blue whale, but we won't get into that). Yes, Diana Ross in this picture is the very essence of Jenel. (Though Jenel wears no makeup)

Antonio Banderes without the accent makes a great Rork, Derek's father.

Stevan is my antagonist. He is very charismatic and handsome and his features must be strong, but he is power-hungry and cruel. Dark hair is a must. I don't know who to base him after. Any suggestions?


SzélsőFa said...

I have no concept (as of yet), but the idea itself is so very interesting!
I like how you excluded the heavy makeup (and assumedly, all surgery) from Diana Ross to form Tali's mother :)

Sarah Hina said...

I like your process, Hoodie. I think it does help to have photographic triggers like this--I did something similar for my last novel to help me visualize.

For some reason, I thought of Benicio del Toro for Stevan. Or a young Pacino. Just some thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Very cool post. I like the idea of matching photos to visions of your main characters. I may have to try this.

Vesper said...

This is very interesting, Hoodie. I think you did a good thing. I do that sometimes, but I only feel a need to put a "real" face on one, maybe two characters.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this! :-) It's hugely helpful to tie down an image of a character like this.
I must say though, I find Cillian Murphy disturbing rather than melancholy - he always gives me the creeps in movies - I think it must be from his role in the Batman remake.

Beth said...

I have never done this ever. I find it such a wild process. I love how much you're enjoying it.

The Quoibler said...

I had a teacher in high school who would have been perfect, though he was blonde. He was sweet, but looked like he'd be a total meanie. Very handsome. Mmmmm...

Ooops... sorry... what were we talking about again?