When I read a novel, I imagine what that character looks like. Then, as I read the novel, I see that character in my mind’s eye. I am often disappointed when I see the screen adaptation of a book I’ve read. For me, Lee Child’s six foot five, two-hundred-and-fifty-pound Jack Reacher is not the same as five foot five, one-hundred-and-fifty-pound Tom Cruise! (I’m not the only one who voiced this.)
I cast the characters in my novels as if I were producing a movie. Any actor, any person, any time period, I cast the look I want for my characters. This helps me a lot when I need to describe a physical characteristic. Does he tower over other characters? Does she tie her long hair in a ponytail? Does he have a twitch, a limp or a stutter?
Do this fun exercise:
Make a list of your characters. Now, YOU are the casting agent. Assign actors to your characters. Who would you pick for the starring roles? Don’t forget supporting actors! This will help you visualize your characters as you write.
Some readers wanted to know where to get a character questionnaire mentioned in the last tip. Try this web page:
PPS – Save the Date
Thursday, July 27th at 7pm MST
I’m hosting my first Facebook LIVE “Dwayne Clayden’s First Aid for Writers” where I’ll answer your writing questions and get you thinking about medical and Canadian police procedures scenes and how to make them accurate and realistic.
If you have author and writing colleagues who would also benefit from this information, please invite them to join us.
I cover a new topic every week so send me your specific questions and they could be the next email. Send to: DwayneClayden@gmail.com