Writing

You’ve Got the Look

I am certain I have mentioned it before, but it’s been weighing on my mind lately, so I thought I’d share my mind weight with you all.

You’re welcome.

I cannot write without having an image in my head of both the hero and the heroine–real people, always actors, and with some of what I perceive to be their characteristics.

Fine. Good. For Hero of My Heart (Loveswept, 4/13), the actors were Clive Owen and Maggie Gyllenhaal (in certain photos; at other times, not so much). For The Hero’s Return, I originally pictured Sean Bean (as Sharpe) and Rachel Weisz. I was even able to find a picture of them together, although of course Sean is a bit longer in the tooth than Rachel.

But through the course of writing the book, the way I’ve pictured him in my head is changing–now he looks more like Richard Armitage in MI-5. Yes. Another dark-haired Brit, like Clive. At least Richard has blue eyes, not green.

So I feel like a heel, tossing Sean like an old shoe because someone dishier (to me) comes along. But the hero just isn’t acting like Sean anymore (like I know what he’s like and everything!), and he is rather than Lucas North from MI-5 (at least the episodes I watched).

It’s a silly writer problem, but I won’t be able to continue forward on the book until I figure it out absolutely, and stick with my choice.

I’m at 50,000 words now, easing up to 85K, I think.

Do you picture people as you are reading or writing?

Megan

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Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

I am having this same problem right now as I start a new project. I think this will entail hours of looking at movie star pics. Sigh 🙂

Megan Frampton
10 years ago

I know! We have a tough job, Amanda, don’t we?

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

I do the same thing, although, since I’ve been through all the movie stars I fancy, I’ve turned to other sites. Model agencies are good, although a lot of the men are way too pretty.

I am dipping my toe into Pinterest and there seems to be no end of …um….opportunities to research characters.

I can’t move on until I have the right images. I totally agree.

Beth Elliott
10 years ago

This is a great club to belong to – examining pictures of handsome hunks goes with the job. I collect faces before starting a new story. In fact, I collect a variety of characterful faces and put them up on Facebook as my Friday Night Special. It seems quite popular as a boost to flagging female morale. I adore Sean Bean as Sharpe and feel wounded that he’s been cast aside. But seriously, have a peep at David Gandy…and then there’s Ildebrando d’Arcangelo and – sorry, off to splash my face in cold water.

Louisa Cornell
10 years ago

I always create a notebook for each book I start early on and it always includes photos of my image of the hero and heroine and for a couple of books I had images for the villain and some secondary characters as well. It definitely helps! And yes, looking at photos of hot hunk after hot hunk is a tough job, but SOMEONE has to do it. 🙂

Elena Greene
10 years ago

I do this, too! I don’t think you have to feel guilty about Sean, Megan. I haven’t used him yet either but that doesn’t mean the right hero won’t come along and want to look like him at some point. What is true for appearances is true for names, too. I’ve had characters go quiet on me until I changed their names.

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