I just finished putting together my inspiration collages to get me ready for my massive rewrites. I’ve been doing this for a while, but without much focus. Previously I used Pinterest as a holding tank for all things I liked, that might be useful for my writing, but it wasn’t done with much specificity. For instance, I might find dresses I wanted to use as inspiration, or houses for the setting, but they were all thrown together on the same board. But, listening to Episode 272 Tools for Casting on StoryWonk Daily I was inspired to do a little curating of my boards. So now I have a board for each of my main and supporting characters. It was hard, and frustrating to figure out what I wanted and also very, very useful! Some of my supporting characters now have a bigger role and so helping me define who they might be was so important! Here’s how I did it:
1) I started with a few physical characteristics of my characters. For instance, is she a blonde or brunette in my head? Then I skimmed through Pinterest looking just for those images. Inevitably you come across some actresses who have these characteristics too. I created a board of images for mood, attitude and physical traits. At last, I stumbled upon an actress who fit the physical and emotional characteristics I want my protagonist to portray.
2) I found actors who could play the roles. I was sort of resistant to this idea at first, but found that when I let this hesitation go the actor’s voice and quirks seemed to breath some life into the written or imagined role of the character (which, surprise! is what they do for a living, so why not do it for me for free?)
3) This also helped me with the weight match ups. For instance, I couldn’t very well let my “bad” guy (he’s not truly a villain, just not the hero) be WEAKER than my hero for the purposes of this story. So, having found my hero, I had to find an actor who had the weight and chops to give him a little run for his money. Same with my heroine. My hero-actor is GREAT, so therefore my heroine can’t be whiny or wimpy either. I have to think about balance and energies.
I have to admit, I’ve always sort of loved the idea of being a casting director, and now it’s my chance to play at it!