1. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Ever See One of Your Characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by EdFromNY, Sep 22, 2012.

    I had the most extraordinary experience today: I had just received a book on a subject related to the novel I'm working on; it turned out to be something of a picture book, which I was not expecting, but the amazing thing is that as I was paging through it, I came upon a photo, and in that photo was one my characters. I mean, I made her up, but there she was, staring out at me exactly as I had imagined her - the eyes, the high cheekbones, the dark hair blowing in the wind, and her expression captured my character's persona perfectly - young, determined, idealistic and committed to being part of a great venture.

    I've never experienced this before, and I was just wondering if anyone else has.
     
  2. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    It's happened to me here and there.

    Although I think it's easier for me since I'm kind of bad at visualizing what my characters look like (it's always something of a vague image), so it's easier for something real out there to match the (vague) description I have in my head. Well, except for my main characters, perhaps. Main characters are always more difficult to imagine, because my internal descriptions of them, while still vague, are, also, at the same time, much stricter.

    EDIT:

    Actually, what I really like to do is find pictures of people/drawings/cartoons/anime that look like my characters online, then save them to my hard drive. It really helps me visualize them since I really am not good at clear visualization.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Once I was browsing in a bookstore and saw a copy of some of Ezra Pound's later poems. There was a picture of Pound on the front cover, looking old, grizzled, but somehow intense, and I realized he looked exactly like the main character in my novel. I don't remember if I'd clearly pictured the character before that moment, but I sure knew what he looked like from then on! Now, every time I see a picture of Pound I see my character. Funny how the mind works.
     
  4. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    My characters are larger than life and I deal in fantasy, so if I ever experience this phenomenon it will probably be while watching Zombies vs Alien Samurai vs Demon Ninjas Part IV.
     
  5. serowden
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    serowden Member

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    I know the feeling, largely because the project I am working on now was originally designed to be a comic that my ex-girlfriend was the artist of. With my directions, she drew all of the characters I made and brought them to visual life, something that I had never seen happen to one of my characters until that point.

    It's very satisfying if done well.

    Now that story is being told as a novel, and it's strange to have sketches of what things I imagined look like.
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I've seen two that both look like my MC when combined. Take Jennifer Lawrence's eyes and combine it with Allesandra Toressani's face, figure and black hair and you've got my MC
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see my characters photographically. For that matter, I don't see my friends photographically either.

    Oh, I can look at a friend, and see all the details, but I don't unless I am planning a portrait (which I don't do all that well anyway). I see their expression, I see their spirit, I see their presence. Similarly, I see my characters through the lens of my associations with them.

    So no, I have never seen a photograph or a person on the street and thought, "That's Stef Navreena!" or, "She's Sarah," or, "That's Drew."

    I have a very clear thought image of each of my characters. But it's more like an imprint than a photo.
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    In my case an artist friend of mine, the some girl who make the drawing in my avatar (used with permission of course) drew my MC, and it, without my friend's knowledge because she's never seen the woman, wasn't exact but fairly close to Alessandra Toressani. My friend used a combination of description and personality to instinctively create the MC.
     
  9. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I just realized yesterday that I have no clear idea what any of my current characters actually look like. It's interesting.
     
  10. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually "cast" my characters in advance so I don't really have this happen as a shock to me. If I know who's playing them, it'll happen, but I'll expect it. lol
     
  11. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually use actors to cast as my characters, as I like to go through my stories like a movie in my mind before I write it down. But this one bastard character, I could not picture him. I couldn’t find him anywhere. I just had this vague description I had made, but there was nothing in my mind. Then one night I was channel surfing, and came across an ancient Russian movie, and lo and behold, there he was. Suddenly he couldn’t look like anyone else. The attitude, the personality, the movements, it was all perfect. I even watched the movie even though I had no idea what was going on.
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Potemkin?
     

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