More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Going Beyond Bedroom Eyes, or, We All Look The Same With The Lights Out.

I've read a few novels lately where the author seemed to actually forget to describe the heroine. Yep, completely left it to my imagination. I'm sorry, but why did I pay almost $8 for your writing if you aren't going to give me the basics? Let's not foget the hero. There are a lot of tall, dark, and handsomes out there. What makes your guy so different? Perhaps he's a blond (did you know that a majority of bad guys in novels are blond?) or my personal fave, a huge red haired Scot.

As an author, where do you get your inspiration for the way your characters look?

I have a confession to make. I look at porn. No! No! Sorry, but it just seemed like you wanted to read something drastic. Besides, the men in porn aren't exactly hero material. Actually, I scour male modeling sites. In fact, I keep getting distracted as I write this because I'm looking at Oooh, so yummy. This is a fab site with no registration requirements of freaky pop ups. Clean and easy. has a way to look for male models of certain ages,but if you have a very specific look in mind, check out New Faces Male, female, height, shape, hair color. It's all there.

Story Casting is a cool way to have your friends, family, Beta readers, suckers you find on the street to give you their 2 pennies on who your characters resemble. It's free to set up your novel on story casting, then search their database for actors to fill in character spots.

What if you are like me, you know, creating paranormal universes? Well, sign up for free catalogs and get your scissors and glue ready, cause it is craft time. Paste your Frankenstein together and hang it up in front of you so that you can have a visual of what they look like, like you would with any photo that seems to be the essence of your character's physical being. It may be a little strange looking, but it works better than a list that reads like a wanted poster.

Pull out a copy of Vogue or other fashion Magazines. This guy, he is my Val (Fae NIghts).Well, except that Val has long, straight, black-blue hair, silver-blue eyes, and has a bit more meat to him. It's the bone structure that I'm getting at.
Thanks to Veronica over at MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH FASHION for this hump day hunk.

Morgan, from my novel Fever, is most definitely this guy

Guys are easy. We know what we like. But what about the leading ladies? Mine rarely have anything in common with me. They may be a little curvy, like moi, but Eve (Fae Nights) has kinky black curls, Lily (Immortal Love) has shoulder length ash hair and is petite, and Jessie (Fever) has long blond hair and is all woman. I have a thing for red-heads, as I've always wanted red locks, but it'll take a special character for me to give her that.

So, do you model your characters after you and those you know, search for inspiration through photographs of actors and models, or are they in your head, waiting for their likeness to be painted by your words?


Kelly Daniels said...

I love to make up casting sheets for my characters! It makes a great reference point to have pinned above my computer as I write. I've been trying to find guys for the new YA book I'm going to do for NaNoWri Mo and will be checking out the site you mentioned very soon. Thanks!

Gail Hart said...

Thanks for the links, Robin! I've been having trouble finding the perfect Steve, so I'll have to check out those sites. The thing is, I see him so clearly in my head...

Robin said...

yeah, Val is pretty clear in mine to, but it's nice to have something to look at when I'm describing an angle, or shadows. I have a folder on my laptop filled with photos of men. for inspiration, mind you. I'm lucky my hubby isn't the jealous type.

SarannaDeWylde said...

My heroines are always curvy. Even if they aren't as oh-my-god-scary-tall as I am.

I can't seem to write petite women. Not that they always look like me, that would be boring.

I think it's because I live more in my heroes' heads than I do my heroines'. I think I'm probably the odd duck with that one.

My hero in this new book is a blond. Isn't that something in Manga that most of the baddies have white hair?

Deborah Blake said...

You know--that's about how I saw Val, too. You must have done a good job of describing him! I found an actor and an actress for my two main protagonists (WIP), but I'm still looking for a face for my second love interest. He's a big guy, a blonde Viking type. Any suggestions?

Robin said...

Hmmm, Deb, that'll be some fun research :)

Anonymous said...

That's why I made Drue bald and peirced! No stereotype casting from me! I know what you mean about the whole forgetting the heroine angle; it irks me, too. But then, with smaller presses who use online photos for covers, it's tough to find the right pic. In River Rats, Alex was cavefish pale and Sam, hispanic. You know how frigging hard it is to find an Hispanic Modle with a whitebread girl? I do because the cover artist dragged me into the search!

So perhaps they nix the description so it doesn't conflict w/ cover. I'm not doing that though, Robin, you know hoew pasty-faced the people of Sullivan County get over the winter ;-)

I'll stop ranting all over your blog now Divas.
--Jenn Hart

Gail Hart said...

Hey Jenn, no problem, we're all about ranting! ;-)

Liane Gentry Skye said...

Great links, once again, Robin. Thanks so much. For the links....and the bedroom eyes, LOL!

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