In honour of the Fall Fires blog tour, I decided to give the authors the same guest post, and get their insight into how they picture their characters.
This time is the turn of N. Wood, author of Woodshed Wishes.
Ben, a young gay romance author, loses his way in the forest one stormy evening and is found by a ranger. When Ben pitches in to help his new friend Peter in the woodshed, he discovers that he may have met his match. Will Peter make Ben’s woodshed wishes come true?
When you write, do you have a specific picture of the characters in your mind that you work from, or do you like to allow them freedom to grow as you write? Also, does it bother you if your readers see you characters in a different way?
Usually when I plan a new story, I decide on characters names and a rough description first, along with a potential title for the story and a rough outline for each chapter. I open a new document specifically to list these on so that I can go back at any time to remind myself, such as which person had what colour eyes and hair. At first, I can only picture each character with the colours I chose for them, but it’s not until I begin writing the actual story that the rest of their features take shape. I may not write what a person’s nose is shaped like, or their ears and their jaws, but it’s all there in my mind. I can then clearly picture the characters while I write their stories, without them being based on anyone in particular. The only story that hasn’t been like that is my upcoming novel, Take A Gamble. For that story, I had the mental image of two chosen actors to play the parts of my main characters. However, once the story took on new twists and turns, the characters morphed their appearances and became completely new people.
As far as whether it bothers me if my readers see the characters in a different way, the answer is no. I believe each to their own. How I picture my characters to look will most probably be nothing like my readers picture them. When my covers are designed, I try not to show the face of any of the models used otherwise that will then sway the reader into thinking that’s how I want the character to look. Truthfully, the model chosen might look nothing like how I want my characters to look, but the way in which the person is posing might be the reason for it being selected to be used. I don’t want to provide a picture and say, “This is the person you have to imagine while you’re reading.” I would rather the characters presented themselves to the reader in their own time.
I suppose it’s much like reading a book before watching the movie or even knowing what the actors for each character looks like. Take, for example, the fact that I read Twilight before watching the film. I had no idea who were playing the characters, even though at that point New Moon had just been released on DVD. When I read Twilight, I took Stephenie Meyer’s descriptions of her characters and formed a mental image of what each looked like. When I finished the book, I bought the DVD and watched it. My idea for Edward and Bella were different from the actors, whereas my mental image for Carlisle, Jasper, and Emmett were pretty much spot on. Once I had finished watching the film, I picked up the New Moon book and began reading it. Having seen the movie, I knew what most of the characters looked like and they were so clear in my mind while I read. In a way, that was a good thing and I enjoyed reading it more when I knew exactly what they looked like, but for a book that doesn’t have accompanying pictures or a movie, then creating the characters in your mind while you read is just as good.
About the author:
N. Wood is a budding young author living in Cornwall, United Kingdom. She developed an interest in writing when her poetry was first published at the age of nine. Since then, she has moved onto writing both short stories and novels focusing on gay romantic themes.
Also by N. Wood:
Waves Of Healing
Coming Soon from Renaissance Romance Publishing:
Take A Gamble, Second Edition, on November 12, 2013.