Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Sunday, 8 April 2012

LINDA PONDERS HEROES


I don't know about anyone else but when I'm writing a new hero I do need a 'visual' as I call it. Often I will tear a picture out of one of the Sunday glossies - I've even been known to use a model from the Cotton Traders catalogue. I pin said picture up on the wall to one side of my computer screen and then Jack/Henry/Bill is always there so I don't forget his eye colour or the way his hair flops, or his sexy smile.
However, when I was creating my hero, Seth, for my debut novel, TO TURN FULL CIRCLE, I couldn't find a face (or indeed a body) to flesh out the character I was creating. I knew I wanted Seth to be tall, to have moral strength rather than the bus-pulling variety. Although I have always been drawn to fair-haired men (preferably with brown eyes - fab combo!) - and curly hair will always do it for me in real life - I knew I didn't want Seth to be a curly-haired blond.
And then I saw him - my Seth! He walked into a moorland pub where I was having lunch with my husband. It was November - and okay, it was a warmish and sunny day - and this guy came in wearing shorts. Walking boots, binos slung around his neck, lumberjack-style check shirt, possibly lined - I didn't ask! He was a tall man with a large frame to go with it, although without a spare ounce of flesh on him. His hair was crow black and thick. I was inches away from asking if I could take his photo .....but divorce for me would have loomed if I had, I think. He was with friends - about four of them - all men. Now, I'm not saying I fancied the shorts off this guy - I didn't. But when I noticed how attentive he was when others in his party were speaking, and how easily he laughed at their jokes, I knew I'd found my hero.
TO TURN FULL CIRCLE is the first in a trilogy, so Seth will be with me for a while yet.
In the meantime I'm working on a novella - I have my hero's character, I have his height, I have his hobbies and his educational background.....all I need now is a face.
Curly-haired this time I think.....and because I think the world can never have enough pictures of Alan Davies' curly mop here he is ....just in case anyone else is looking for a face to fit their hero.

7 comments:

  1. Oooh, I love it Linda! Alan Davies captures the heart by being who he is, not how he looks - and at the end of the day, I think that's what women look for, not the superficial things. Mind you , for me, it helps if they can sing as well!

    Happy Easter!

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  2. Great post, Linda. I like the idea of pinning up your hero beside your computer and loved the story of how you found your Seth.

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    1. Thanks, Mary....that could almost be a book in itself, methinks....:)

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  3. I knew another author who did this every time and she wrote about twenty or so novels. It works for some authors and I believe some editors like it too, but I never use a picture myself. I have to fix the characters in my mind and I always hope the readers will visualise a person pleasing to them. Perhaps at the beginning a picture might help me remember the details more clearly. Do you use pictures for femail characters?

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    1. I often use a scenic picture for short stories.....an illustration from someone else's story but writing a whole new story that that illustration would also be appropriate for. I tend not to use a visual of a female character - that person is usually me!But taller, thinner, younger, fabulous hair....you understand??

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  4. I agree......I'm sure he would make me smile even doing nothing, just sitting there....and actually, I do rather like his crumpled up looks.....:)
    Hope Easter is being good to you???

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  5. Pictures do it for me, too Linda. Although sometimes it's the picture i have in my head of someone quite well known, but I just need to say the name to myself and there is a certain aspect of them that comes to life in my mind... Well maybe all writers are a little bit crazy?

    Really looking forward to reading about Seth.

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