Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All the stars have hung their carnival chains of light for me. (Adrienne Rich)

Yes, they have. And today, my vision is still a little blurry. I spent last evening taking Alexandra Sokoloff's advice, casting the actors of my choice to play the characters in my novel-to-be. Alexandra says "I’ve talked before about writing a character for a specific actor. And as authors, we can use this technique even more easily than screenwriters can - because we don’t have to go out and get the actor to play the part (and then compromise later with the ninth choice on our wish list)."

Wow. It was like Christmas morning. You mean I can have Liam Neeson? Meryl Streep? Nicole Kidman? And omigod, Robert Downey Jr.? He's perfect!

Now I actually have faces and voices to go with my hitherto amorphous characters. It is just so cool. The best part is, I'm not limited by the age of the actors at this moment - I could have a young Sean Connery, if I liked - though I won't, because I think he improved greatly with age, and besides, my story is set in Philadelphia and New York. I can even use actors that are no longer living. Hmmmm. Paul Newman - or Shelly Winters - might fit into my story.

While I was shopping for actors, I also established birthdates for most of my characters, and I started looking for incidents in the wider world that would influence the course of their lives. I found some, too.

This is the fun part, isn't it?


Kathryn Magendie said...

I can't do this ... my brain just doesn't work in this way. I can't picture characters - i know, weird - but I can't picture them when reading a book or when writing one! Strange brain!~

But, sometimes I do try to think who would play a certain character in my book - and still, my brain refuses to cooperate!

Sure miss coming by here - so much to catch up on!~

Sandra Leigh said...

I'm glad you did come by, though. I've missed seeing you. Hey - pretty soon, I'll be able to read Tender Graces, and I'll let you know how I picture your Virginia Kate! ;>)

Angie Ledbetter said...

I've heard Alex speak several times and she always has good info. to share.

Sandra Leigh said...

There's my To Do list in a nutshell. Attend writers' conferences. Listen to the experts.

willow said...

You can match the zodiac sign of the actor up with the personality of your character!

Sandra Leigh said...

Willow, that's an interesting technique. I was going to respond to your suggestion in today's post, but I went off on a tangent, instead. Tomorrow, I'll talk about how my characters are already bossing me around.

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