Visualizing characters

When writing my stories I like to have a visual image of the main characters. For past novels I’ve sketched the characters myself, but for this one I couldn’t quite get the boys right, so I stole a few images off teh intarwebs and saved them on my desktop for reference. Ryanne is the only one I’ve had any success drawing; I think this might be because the novel is in first-person and the first-person characters always see the people around them better than themselves. So I had very specific images in mind for the guys, but Ryanne’s image was looser.

I did this quick sketch of Ryanne this afternoon. This is actually Ryanne from Magestone #3, not #1, and of course #3 isn’t written yet except in the form of a brief synopsis. But it’s the image I like best of her so far, and I thought I’d share it.



(That’s supposed to be Gray, but I drew him a little small and didn’t bother to polish him up because colouring in a dapple gray horse is challenging and I was feeling lazy.)

An interesting thing about stories in all forms is how fans who have become attached to characters will end up drawing their own versions of them. Even if all they’re doing is reproducing the images already given to them (for instance, in the case of video games – google “Ezio Auditore” and you’ll see many replications of the same image, some the official game image and others fan reproductions). But books are somewhat unique in the area of stories in that, most of the time, the visualization of the characters is entirely in the hands of the story-consumer. In movies and video games the image of how the character looks is given to you completely, there’s no room for applying your own interpretation. But in books the description is just text, and a string of text can be interpreted different ways by different people. Fan art for book characters is very diverse. Google “Jace Wayland” and (once you wade through all the Jamie Campbell Bower images from the movie casting of the role) there’s a wide spectrum of Jaces, both drawn and borrowed (images taken from the web and repurposed).

I think it’d be fascinating to see how other people picture the characters from my story, if (when!) it ever gets published and out into the public’s hands. :)


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