My hubby and I were sitting up together last night, flipping through TV channels, trying to find something we'd both enjoy watching. We'd gone through almost 200 channels with no luck, and then...we hit paydirt.
Some of you who know me know I love this movie. Big Time. I own it in VCR and 3 DVD versions. As Don and I watched it for the umpteenth time, I couldn't help but wonder why men and women both love this book/movie so much. My insightful hubby made a comment that explained part of the movie's lasting appeal: it's perfectly cast. Seriously. Can you imagine anyone else playing
Fezzik, Inego, or Vizzini,
or Miracle Max and his wife, Valerie?
How about Grandpa or his grandson?
See what I mean? Perfect choices.
I owe a debt of deep gratitude to whomever did the casting in that movie, because that person gave me, as a write, a valuable lesson: I need to be as purposeful in crafting the characters in my books. I need to build my characters with excellence, to ensure the characters personalities, voice, descriptions fit them to as perfect a "T" as they did in the PB movie.
So how to do that? My first step is to write a few scenes from that character's POV. To let that character speak as freely as possible. The second step is to search magazines and the internet to find my characters. Getty Images is a great place to do this. I've found a lot of my characters there. Faces that, that moment I see them, I know are my characters. And even as I study their features, I find the characters starting to breathe, to come to life, to resonate in my mind. They tell me their stories, and I discover their backgrounds, their family stories, their likes and dislikes. It's pretty cool, actually. And loads of fun.
How about you? When you're writing, how do you bring your characters to life?