Hello, fellow Escapists!!
Do you have trouble envisioning your characters? I know I do at times.
When I first started writing a few years back, I had the WORSE time of envisioning my characters. I did good on forming their personalities, but their appearances? Not so much. Sure, I had the hair and eye colors. However, when it came to skin tone and facial features, I totally failed. I would explain one look one chapter and then explain a totally other different look the next. It got confusing and frustrating! Because I couldn’t make up my mind on how I wanted them to look, or I just didn’t have a grasp on a certain appearence!
So I started to look around at some methods. Some worked for me, some didn’t quite work for me, and a combination of a couple worked for me at the same time. ^_^
I’ll explain some of those methods of mapping out your vision on your hottie prince, gorgeous heroine, preppy popular, evil villain, and etcetera. They’re obvious methods and nothing new to the writing world or anything, but I thought that I should write up a post dedicated to it. ^_^ Some of my friends are struggling with this as we speak. I thought I’d help them and perhaps a few of you in the process.
This is going to be a three week session of “Putting a Face On Those Characters”.
For this week, I’ll talk on drawing your character out. This worked for me at a period of time, then things got more complicated with how my characters started to look. And honestly? I can’t draw worth a poop-diddly squat. So I have fixed up some examples. They’re not really drawn out for real or anything, I just manipulated a few pictures in a program to make them look drawn. (Yeah, I’m a cheater. lol)
|She’s Lucy Hale from
Pretty Little Liars
I’m not going to talk on this character this week, that’s for next week. But this drawing will be a sample to get your creative justices going. ^_^
Okay, first obvious step. Picture your character right in front of you—or sitting beside you—, watch how your character’s face moves into an expression. This helps you to figure how the feature expresses itself. Like a small lift in the corner of his mouth—like Twilight’s Edward Cullen’s trademark smirk or even Hush Hush’s Patch smirk he gives Nora—perhaps your character is a girl/woman, picture her doing a nervous gesture, a slight bite to her lip—like Twilight’s Bella pursing or biting her lip in nervousness—, that should get a start of the mouth. Are the lips thick or thin? Regardless either way you see it, which would you rather?
Anyways, you don’t have to start at the mouth first. That’s just one of the places I’d like to start, because I want them envisioned good for my romance books. ^_^
|He’s Steven R. McQueen from
The Vampire Diaries
Now, if you have an obsession with eyes, like I do. Start there!
Imagine the expression that your character mainly likes to make with his or her eyes. Picture the sparkle they could get when they are happy or see someone they like. Or how they can get dull when they are sad or is somewhere else in their mind, and not paying much attention to the outside world. Perhaps, the way they get angry, and there is that fire spark in the corner of their eye. Now that you have the mood of the eyes, now picture the shape of the eyes. Do they droop any? Are they perfectly almond shaped? Do they have Asian type eyes? (Love their eyes by the way ^_^) And as well, what physical expression are they giving? Are they squinting? Have an eyebrow raised? Wide eyed in fear? Maybe, even, tears in their eyes?
Okay, the nose, my least favorite part of the face. There’s not much done here. Does the nose have a flare to the nostrils? If so, imagine them either getting mad or inhaling deeply. Is it crooked? Like it’s been punched and broken? Maybe, picturing the fight could help you out with seeing the nose being crooked. See the fist colliding with the nose. Can you hear a small crack from the contact?
How’s their hair? Is it curly? Straight? Hair is the easy part to do. ^_^ Except when it comes to coloring it. >_< Getting those highlights and shine to it? I find that hard, but to other people it’s easier than doing eyes or the mouth. Eyes and mouths are the easiest to me. (lol)
Alright, now onto the face structure. Do they have a strong jaw? If so, picture them looking at their self in the mirror, feeling their jaw. Have their finger tips run up and down the jaw line. How long is it? Follow their finger tips along with your pencil, stop when they stop, begin when they begin. Put it to paper as they trace it for you.
Is the chin dimpled? Or got a cleft? Perhaps, even got a few dimples on the cheeks. ^_^ Frown lines? Heck, crows feet? Picture these things, hold onto that vision. Trace em’ with your imaginary hand or have your character do it for you. : ) Go ahead, let them get some work in!
Either way, you can mold your character onto paper. Just as you can write them into being in your book. Just sometimes you need a boost in this area of picturing your character for real. Like them have a face that you can look on a piece of drawing paper. Come on, if you can write about a character, you can draw one. It’s not much different. It just takes that genius mind of yours to kick into gear and draw that character. Maybe you can imagine yourself writing the description of that character, but instead of writing, your are drawing. Dabble into another form of art. Live another good art, just as you live a good book. Give your character a face to that breath and voice you have given it with your words.
However, can you hold a graphite pencil and put a face onto your living, breathing character? Well, even if you don’t think you have the drawing skill. Get at it! I really suggest it! Maybe you can discover a new talent you have, and you never knew you had it! I got some of my characters done this way, like once in a blue moon, though. As I told you guys, I suck at drawing. Also, I lost patience with the pencil and paper. I can do cartoons easily, like anime, you can’t go wrong with an anime. Anime is funky looking already! (lol) But me drawing realistic people? Not so much. *hangs head in shame*
I hope you guys follow my posts for the next few weeks. I’ll discuss more on envisioning your characters. Maybe link a prototype drawing of you character at me? I’ll give you some thumbs if you do and a encouraging message. ^_^ I love seeing drawings.
Give some feedback please! Like to hear what you guys think!
Shoot me a comment.