Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Remember When . . . It Was Time for New Characters?

I'm toying around with a new story idea. This one would be a Regency, the plot of which I shan't reveal quite yet. ;-) But the first step for me is solidifying the characters in my mind.

I knew who my hero would be from the get-go, since I'm stealing one of my older ideas and revamping for this. Phillip Camden can still be Phillip Camden, though I've changed the setting on him. But my heroine . . . she was all wrong in that old story (for this setting). So I started by changing her name, which is now Arabelle Denler.

I wasn't at first sure what was going to make Arabelle so stinkin' special. I mean, she has to be pretty because of the circumstances of the book, but she made me laugh in the first few pages when I realized she lives in hilarious fear that her beauty's going to evaporate when she hits 30, just like Aunt Dora's did (whoever Aunt Dora is . . .).

I haven't described our fearful beauty, but I'll have to in the next scene, and I'm still trying to figure out a few basics. You know, like hair color. ;-) I figured I'd base her on a template--my first thought being an actress. Then I thought (looking at the lovely cover of Georgette Heyer's Friday's Child that I had sitting beside me) that it would be fun to base her on a painting.

So. In trying to choose between brunette (my first thought) or . . . no, I present to you two pictures to help me choose. =)

The one I first found is for some reason a copyrighted photo, though the painting itself out to be public domain . . . but anyway, she looks somewhat like this other one, though the nose is different. Close enough for a basic description, though. Dark hair and whatnot.

(If you're curious, the one I was actually thinking of can be viewed here.)

But then I stumbled upon Sir Frank Dicksee's paintings and fell somewhat in love with his depiction of Miranda from Shakespeare's The Tempest. Not that this was how I at first imagined Arabelle, but oh! the painting!! Gorgeous, isn't it? I'm inclined toward making Arabelle fairer than I intended solely so I have an excuse to stare at it. =) 

But preference of paintings aside, who has an opinion on which would make a better Arabelle Denler, great beauty who's fearful she'll sprout a beak of a nose at any moment?

Figure we might as well take a vote, LOL. No promises that I'll obey the decision, but opinions are definitely welcome!

14 comments:

  1. Oh, I would go with the blond. It seems to fit the name Arabelle. (IMHO) Isn't that picture just gorgeous? Wow!

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  2. I know, isn't it?? Blissful sigh . . .

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  3. Ooh, what a beautiful painting that second one is. I love the softness of it. (Oh yeah, pro painter word;)) I believe you have suddenly sparked an interest of art in my life. That's weird -- I never really thought about it before. I picked up a book of poetry the other day at the library. I'd never really done that before, either.
    LOL.

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  4. Definitely the blond. I like that with the name Arabelle and the blond looks a little more . . . free? Not sure what the word is, and I'm terrible with anything art, but she seems to have something deeper about her where when I look at the first painting, I just see any dark haired lady from that time.

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  5. The second picture makes her seem younger and more vulnerable. Maybe a little wistful. Are those qualities you want Arabella to possess? First picture portrays someone that, to me, is more composed, more mature, elegant, but with a sense of humor lurking below the surface.

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  6. The flicker one you couldn't post had a similar feel to the blonde just with darker hair. I don't think the hair color matters as much as that sense of vulnerability and whimsy.

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  7. Good point about the brunette looking more mature, Lisa--she definitely does. My Arabelle would be in her first Season, so pretty young. And a bit naive and wistful, yes, but with a sense of humor.

    Naomi, "free" is actually a good way to describe her. Of course, given the play it's based on, perhaps we ought to call her "tempestuous" ha ha.

    Emii, I kinda just decided in college that I should care more about poetry than I did, LOL. If you're on a self-imposed "spend some time with poetry" plan, allow me to recommend Gerard Manley Hopkins. You can actually find all his stuff online, and it's AWESOME. Especially (don't be scared off by the title, LOL) "That Nature is Like a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection." Also love "The Leaden Echo" and "The Golden Echo" (read together).

    Dina, excellent point. Not that that helps me describe her . . . ;-)

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  8. Oh, the second one! I love it. Although, the brunette you linked has the same essence. But as far as beauty and what captures my attention the most, is the blonde/red-haired one. Beautiful.

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  9. Roseanna, you're going to need to tell us what you decide and why. Especially if you go against everyone's advice and use the brunette.

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  10. LOL, Naomi. I'll probably go with the majority on this one. =) I was at first leaning toward darker hair solely because my last heroine had light brown/honey blonde hair, but I'm just so loving this Dicksee painting . . . and she DOES look like an Arabelle! Plus, as I study it, I can see details that fit her personality. =)

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  11. I am like the others, the second one. She has that soft look and young. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

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  12. I agree with everyone else! The brunette looks a little more practical than the blond. Definitely the blond!!

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  13. I too love the second picture because it's saucy looking. There's a lot of movement to the composition, so it feels to me like the girl in it is not one to pin down. It also feels very soft to me, that while she's a wilofthewisp, she
    's a sweetie.

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  14. Definitely the second one! :) She's beautiful! But I see hidden depths to her here as well. A sense of humor for sure... but even more than that. Like a gentle spirit overall but one that could be a spitfire when needed! Definitely a whimsical, fun, person. But one that can be serious and think through a situation too! Just my opinion... :) Great job as usual, my friend!

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