Every time I begin a new story, I start to picture what the characters look like, as well as what personality traits they carry, etc. but it always starts with what they look like. Over the years that I have been writing, I have done different things to help out my imagination. When I was younger, I drew my characters, I sketched out floor plans of homes, and I looked through old pictures I took of pretty places in the world around me to add to my stories.
These days, with the internet being such a trove of photos and pictures to look over, I have gotten out of the habit of drawing my characters. I will spend hours combing through google images to find the faces of strangers, and sometimes celebrities, that fit my idea of who my characters are and what they look like. But I wonder if, by being less organic, I am taking something away from my stories. My drawings had flaws (lots of them). Faces were not smooth like airbrushed pictures, they were filled with crooked lines and eraser mark scars. (I’m not an artist of any real talent, I just have a love of creating) Am I doing myself a disservice? Does it change how well I understand my characters, or how realistic they seem in my stories? I’m left to wonder for now. But I think an experiment may be in order.
I’m always curious to know how other writers work, what their process is, since there are as many different ways to write, as there are genres. I’d love to hear how any of you create! Leave me a comment.