Saturday, January 29, 2011
Choosing Characters for a Novel - Helen Bianchin
It becomes a question of where to begin - An general outline of the plot works best for me.
Then it's a question of deciding on names for the two main characters, followed by a picture or art photo for vizualization.
Let's begin with the male lead - the hero in a romance novel needs to appear heroic, don't you think?
GQ is a great magazine from which to select a picture of a male model -Gabriel Aubry, anyone? The model in the Davidoff advertisement?
Actors - Daniel Day Lewis as he appeared in "The Last of the Mohicans"? Xavier Bardem in "Eat Pray Love"? Ryan Reynolds in "The Proposal"?
OK, names - somehow Bert doesn't conjure up the right image. Maybe Brad? If the hero is of foreign heritage, there are multiple choices in several languages - think
Rafael, Alexei, Nicolaos.
For the heroine - Do you want her to be demure, feisty, quietly determined? Emma, Ana, Mikayla, perhaps matched to the picture or art photo of a model or actress you feel will match the role you've chosen for her to play.
The difference between a writer's choice of names and the visual image the reader gains of the characters depicted in a novel intrigues me.
As a writer, my choices are my own. I love books. I'm an avid reader of several genres, and I like to gain a visual image of the writer's characters as I read, to the extent I'm so engaged with the story, the characters, the setting, that in my head I'm there, transported by the magic of the writer's skill with words.
Is this how it is for most readers? Is it important for you to identify visually with the characters in a novel?
And writers? The process differs from one to another.
It would be interesting to hear what both views ...
On an end-note, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, with good health, happiness and success.
Helen's next release, ALESSANDRO'S PRIZE is due for UK release in June 2011. Visit http://www.harlequinpresents.com to learn more about Helen.
Posted by Lee Hyat at 12:05 AM