27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.
I would have to say that I do get an idea of what my characters look like (see yesterday’s post), but I’m not so concerned with giving a detailed description of each. I give a few details (mostly hair, because I generally recognize people by the hair) that I think make them stand out and give the reader an idea of what they look like. Each person will see each character a little differently, and can change their exact look to fit their own needs. Holly, for instance, is a blond, blue-eyed, petite woman. But what does she look like beyond that? Well, I know a lot of blond, blue-eyed, petite women who don’t look anything alike, so to me she looks the most like the one she acts like (a girl I used to work with who has the same temperament as Holly). To you she may look completely different.
I think primarily I’m concerned with what the character feels like. Holly feels like the girl I used to work with, so she ended up having the same physical appearance. I could tell you the temperament of a character and you would get an idea of that character without me giving you any hint of what they look like – but you might see a completely different physical appearance then I would. But does that matter? No. Not unless something about their appearance is distinct and needed for the story.
Although I will tell you that Lane looks like Christian Bale. Somehow Lane as Christian Bale has become so embedded in my mind that I cannot separate the two. Which isn’t so bad. I certainly don’t mind Christian Bale hanging around in my head (and in The New World when he says “Rebecca” in that whispery, sexy voice of his you better believe I melted in my chair).