Flick through any magazine and it is filled with pictures of people ready to be your next hero, heroine or villain. But its not just about looks, other wise all tall, dark and handsome heroes would be very similar. Would your hero really smile like that? Is that a dress your heroine wouldn’t wear even for a million dollar bet?
Somehow the picture has to convey the essence of your character.
For my latest WIP I needed a detective. An unsmiling Jensen Ackles summed up my hero’s grim attitude towards life, in my mind I added a decade to make him the right age.
My heroine was trickier. She had to have blond hair and blue eyes, but she needed to be both confident in her abilities and searching for approval. A ‘guess’ girl fitted the bill, she looks a little vulnerable even as she stares at the camera.
So I stuck my two main characters to the wall near my writing desk in the hope they would inspire vivid character descriptions.
Did it help? No. Because no picture can ever match the character that lives in my imagination, or the readers.
Was it fun? Yes. And I got to call the search 'productive writing time'.
Will I do it again? I already have :)