When I’m getting ready to write a new story, I often have a much easier time figuring out the characters’ personalities and voices if I can form a picture of them in my head. Some characters arrive with a distinct physical presence — I knew what Cass from Give Up the Ghost looked like before I was totally sure what her story was — or immediately bring to mind a particular actor or public figure. Others are more ephemeral, so I browse through scores of photos online until an image clicks. Either way, by the time I sit down to write, I can “see” all of the major characters.
If you’d like to find out how I “saw” some of the main characters from The Way We Fall, click on the links below to see the pictures.
The Kaelyn in my head looks a lot like actress Carmen Ejogo. She’s younger, and her hair would be un-highlighted, and she’s not actress-level pretty. But otherwise, that’s her!
I’ve always pictured Tessa as looking quite a bit like actress Bonnie Wright, but I didn’t actually track down a specific photo of Wright until I was putting together this post. It was a little hard to find one that completely fit my image of Tessa. She needed bangs, and she shouldn’t be wearing a noticeable amount of make-up, and she’d look fairly serious. I’d say this one comes the closest, though my mental Tessa is a little paler and has more freckles.
My image of Gav is a composite — his face reminded me of actor Logan Lerman, but his hair was light brown and curly. Rather like Shawn Ashmore’s! Mash them together, and you pretty much have Gav.
Leo only appears in The Way We Fall in flashback, but he’s so important to Kaelyn I needed a visual impression of him. My searching brought me to actor Jang Geun Suk. I wanted to be able to see both the happy-go-lucky side of Leo and the more serious side.
That may be how I saw the characters, but I’m sure every reader pictured them differently. I’d love to know, how close were my images to what you imagined?