Monday, April 25, 2011

Character Monday: Casting Characters and Visualization by Kim Bowman

I don’t know about other writers, but trying to describe what my characters look like is the hardest part of writing for me. I’ve never suffered from writer’s block, although maybe that’s what this is. I know what I want to happen and how I want my characters to react and feel. The problem I sometimes have is translating the description of my hero and/or heroine on paper. Maybe that’s a form of writers block is. Just a lack of knowing the right words to use rather than a lack of words.
Anyways, I digress.
My problem was solved when I bought my husband the Hoyle Card Games. He LOVES Euchre, Hearts, etc. and I thought it would be great if he could sit with his Net book and play cards while I wrote to my heart’s content. Guess what? You get to design your own player! I thought I would have some fun so I started designing my husband’s avatar. When I finished I couldn’t believe what I saw. I had created the likeness of my hero. WHAM!  I just stared at the screen. I grabbed a piece of paper and started writing a description of what I saw: strong chin, wavy auburn hair, deep, soul-searching blue eyes. I suddenly saw what was in my mind’s eye.
I decided to try it with my heroine. I already knew she had emerald green eyes, but I couldn’t visualize how to turn a spirit guide into a human. I started moving face shapes around, trying different noses, lips, eyebrows. All of a sudden she was looking out at me.  Her beautiful, raven hair and emerald green eyes accentuated her oval face and sharp chin. Her eyes were beautiful but sad. She was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Amazingly, if you look at the heroine and hero on my book cover, you see how spot on Elaina Lee got them. They were so close to the images I had in my head and the avatars I came up with (and, no she had no clue I had created these) it was uncanny. The only thing she had to go on was the general description I provided her with, yet she captured the essence of my characters perfectly.
So now, the Hoyle Card Game character creator is my new best friend when it comes to constructing characters in my stories. It has solved the whole brain freeze problem I had going on. A strange and unusual way to write, but it works for me!

 Images created in Hoyle Card Games © [2011] Encore Software, Inc.  All rights reserved. 

Wow Kim that's for sharing this amazing resource. Visualization is such an important aspect for me as a reader as well as and author. To check out Kim's book Wayward Soul or find out more about her click the title or here. 

How do you cast your characters or visualize characters in a book you are reading?


  1. Now watch, they will repackage it and market to writers.

  2. Wonderful blog, Kim. So honest, funny, clever and interesting how you visualized your characters. They DO look like the book covers. Loved reading this!

  3. Wonderful post, Kim!
    I struggle with character description in my works, too. In early drafts I inevitably find a paragraph that reds like a police BOLO--5'9, 200 pounds, brown hair, green eyes...

    Needless to say I remove those paragraphs in later drafts!

    Beautiful cover, too!