Monday, January 10, 2011

Modern . . . Faces

So the other night as hubby and I were flipping through the TV while the kids were staying with their grandmother, we came across one of those movies. You know the ones--threat of the end of the world (or at least humanity) through weird and/or crazy source. You've got your main characters, at least one of which you assume will live through the movie, and then a slew of secondary characters that you just assume will die in some horrible, unexpected way.

Like, you know, a lawnmower. That's all I'm saying.

Anyway. Starring in this particular movie (which had a few hilarious lines, just FYI) was Mark Wahlberg. He's in a ton of movies from the last few years that dominate our television for long stretches, and when one of the networks was on an The Italian Job kick, I was trying to put a face to one of my characters. I saw good ol' Mark E. and thought, "Yeah, sure. He could be my Smith." And matching a face to my leading man really helped me, for once, feel like I knew him a little better.

I shared as much with my hubby the other night, and he said, "Seriously? I always pictured someone more like Dolph Lungren for Smith." Me: "Seriously??"

LOL. Hubby and I have this problem frequently. But which I mean, 95% of the time. He will form an image of my characters that bear little or no resemblance to my idea of my characters, and will argue his opinion to the point of accusing me of describing them incorrectly in the pages of my books. ("I know you say on page 23 that she has blond hair, but you were wrong. I'm sorry, honey, but she's a brunette. She just is." LOL)

Which really just goes to show that the beauty of books is that everyone puts whatever face they want on the main characters, regardless of what book covers or comparisons within the novel tell us. My Smith is a strong guy, a SEAL, and the heroine describes his face as more angular than she is used to, and so European. Hubby's mind jumped to as-angular-as-you-can-get, which makes a certain kind of sense. Not what I pictured though, ha ha.

Authors, do you usually pick famous folk (or spot regular folk) to pair up with your characters? Of do they remain nebulous in your mind? Readers, do you enjoy visualizing them yourself, or do you prefer when an author gives you a comparison within the novel? I'm always curious about how we visualize this sort of thing . . .


  1. Oh, yes. I created a character and had him pretty well pictured in my mind. Then I ran into him. Yep, there's someone at my church who looks exactly like a character in my book. This almost ended up being a problem when I nearly called him by my characters name!

  2. Haha half the time when I'm reading books I imagine my own characters, whether they're described or not, because I usually disagree with the author on what they look like. LOL
    "That guy shouldn't have a mustache, or that girl's hair is so totally strawberry blond - NOT brown!"
    Usually it's with the guys though. :-)

    Katy and I, as authors-in-progress(hehe) do find pictures to go with our primary characters. For the guys, we actually found characters actors played in certain movies and used those pics. For the girls, we just found random pictures. :)