This ever happen to you?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

You get a 'fixed' image in your head of what a protagonist looks like, and even the author's own descriptions can't dislodge it? I can't recall this happening before, but I'm reading Amanda Quick's Wait Until Midnight, and for some reason the heroine, Caroline is set in my mind as built along the lines of Holly Hunter with brown 'fly-away' hair, curly and baby-fine, yet she's described as having thick, blonde, straight hair. Every time this description is mentioned I stumble over it. :-P

Can you believe it's only Tuesday? ugh. I normally look forward to the week-end, but this week-end I'm busy, again. I went out for dinner last Friday and Saturday, (different people each time.) and this Friday I'm going to see a play and do the dinner thing, then on Saturday it's my RWC chapter meeting--we're having Alicia Rasley give a workshop on plotting. (that last sentence needs serious help.) I really am a bit of a hermit, just popping out to do a bit of socializing every now and again, then back into my cave/nest. All this socializing is damaging my psyche. lol.
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6 comments:

wendyduren said...

You're not alone. That fixed image thing happens to me too. I think it's because there's more to physical character building than, say, hair color or eye color. The reader gets a 'picture' from the way the characer moves and even the cadence of their speach and sometimes the petite, dark haired heroine with a pixie cut the reader sees, turns out to be a tall, red head with cork screw curls. Weird, huh? Wendy

Steph T. said...

I always have the picture set in my mind *g* I think that's why I tend to skim over character descriptions in my own writing - I can visualize my character so strongly but figure it's the inner traits that I want to emphasize...but I need to remember that not everyone 'reads' like me - some readers want that concrete visual.

Not sure if that made sense, but you're used to that about me by now :)

And I'm with you on the hermit thing - too much socialization and I get cranky.

Anonymous said...

I've done that in a couple of books. It tends to happen if the writer has a blond hero. I'm constantly changing his hair color to suit my personal preference. ;-) The funniest part about that is two of my heroes are blond. LOL!

You are going to love Alicia's talk. She's really good. She attended my chapter's conference last year. Jordan

Sasha White said...

To me, Thats one of the reasons books are so great. We can picture ourselves, or people we know, or people we want o have killed in place of the characters. *g*

Sela Carsen said...

LOL Sasha. I agree, Vanessa. It's sometimes tough to "see" the character a writer wants you to see when it's so different in your head.

Jaye said...

I agree Wendy, and Steph, I think the characterization of the heroine fixed her in my mind before the physical description came up. And I like the way I see her better. gg.

Jordan, I prefer brunettes too, yet my longest relationship (10yrs) was with a blonde. Go figure. I love Alicia's site and used to check in regularly for tips, so I'm really looking forward to the workshop.

LOL. Sasha. You mean I can envision my Toxic F***ing coworker as the pyscho killer's next victim? sweet. gg

Sela, I don't even bother, the character in my head is the one in the story, as far as I'm concerned. It's when the descriptions start popping up that I get thrown for a loop. Luckily JAK is a seasoned writer, so her descriptions are more along the lines of 'hard eyes' or 'silky hair' etc, rather than the constant references to 'green/emerald/sage, etc' eyes or 'honey, golden. sunlit, etc' hair that a less skilled writer might do. It's only when she does make a color reference that I'm jolted.

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