Writers like to try different techniques as they’re writing, or at least I do. Sometimes the process is easier than others. I’m always looking for ways to get my brain synapses firing. With Solace in Scandal, I tried something new. I posted pictures above my desk of people who represented my characters. Some authors do this with every story they write. This was a first for me – and I hesitate to even show them to you – because undoubtedly the characters look different inside your head.
That’s one of the things that makes reading so personal. The pictures we see in our minds are ours alone. We create personal visions of what we’re reading, and nobody else sees quite the vision that we do. That’s why people making movies from books need to be so careful with their casting. We each see things a certain way and we don’t want to jar that picture. So I’m posting these with the disclaimer that they were my models. These were the physical representations of Alex and Elena in my mind’s eye.
For Alex, I posted a picture of Stephen Amell from Arrow. Sigh… It’s one of my favorite television shows. I saw the Season 2 premiere tonight. The similarities between the character of Oliver Queen and the character of Alex Wolfe didn’t strike me until I was watching tonight’s show. They’re both rich and entitled and come from families that have disappointed them. I don’t know if Alex can do those salmon ladder pull-ups, though!
For Elena, I envisioned Nina Dobrev from Vampire Diaries. I’ll admit I don’t watch that show, but she had that innocent, beautiful quality that I was looking for.
As for the technique, having the pictures posted helped in the beginning, but I looked at them less and less as the book took form. And, honestly, looking at the Green Arrow was just plain distracting, so that didn’t help my productivity at all! I’d be really interested to hear or see what your visions of Alex and Elena are. Anyone willing to share?