Perhaps not in all genres of fiction but certainly when it pertains to romance, the portrait of the characters holds an inevitable importance.
Having an attractive hero or heroine doesn’t mean that you’ve created some super-human hunk or otherworldly goddess, but rather that they hold a certain appeal to their match in the story. Swoony me, he so dreamy 😉
Attraction! Sometimes it’s obvious, other times it’s inexplicable, but it often strikes without warning or consideration. Someone once told me that a character in my book seemed somewhat unreasonably attractive. I had to laugh. First, because these people are make believe and I can paint the portrait however I please. (Which is incredibly fun, I might add!) Second, because the interpretation of the details is at the discretion of the reader. And third, because most of the descriptions for each character come from the eye and bias of the beholder who is hopelessly falling and often in those initial stages of infatuation. So yeah, we’re lighting some torches here. Painting some pretty pictures. And letting our imaginations construct an ideal image. The result … smokin’!
I stand by my theory that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. And we all secretly hope we can find a match in life who doesn’t hold us to a particular standard of beauty, but who has made us the standard of beauty for which all others pale in comparison.
Many authors I know find it easier to cast their characters before they write. They search for an image or actor to portray their characters and fill in the details around that construct. For me, the image is always in my head but I can’t ever find a perfect match in real life. I often do my best to assign an assimilation after the fact, but when I’m painting the picture of my character, it’s much more abstract. I have fleeting glances of attributes. Some striking, some less than. But they always create an alluring image, even if they don’t reflect my own personal preference for a hero.
For example, Finn Carson, tortured firefighter, a hothead, an outrageous flirt, and a befuddling mix of battle-scarred inadequacy and brazen cockiness, looks a bit like a cross between a surfer and a viking. He’s blonde. Blue-green eyed. Tall and brawny. Quite dreamy! But he looks like no one else. And certainly not like the dark haired, dark eyed man of mine.
If you’ve read From Winter’s Ashes, I’d love to know how you imagined Finn. Did you have an actor in mind? A certain image? My final take away ended up loosely resembling someone like the late Paul Walker. But when I’m painting my portrait of my hero, there’s so much more hidden in his attitude. His actions. Even how he clothes and carries himself. It all paints a picture of the man underneath the good looks. But again, don’t forget…
I might paint a decent picture, but it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Think beautiful thoughts and you’ll see more beauty all around you!
Be sure you check out the exciting second installment of the Girl Next Door Series From Winter’s Ashes on Amazon!