Monday, November 30, 2009


As a writer, I've often asked other writers whose face they imagine when they're developing characters.  I've had some very interesting answers.

Michelle Rowen, author of the Bitten and Smitten series featuring a sultry vampire named Thierry, said that when writing this hunky anti-hero, she saw him being portrayed by Hugh Jackman!  Until she told me that, I imagined the master vamp very differently.  Now, I see him a little like Jackman on 'Van Helsing' except more brooding with silver eyes.

Myself, I've used some of my favorite faces as muses for various characters. I wrote a short story that went into an anthology for Torquere Press, an e-book called 'Toybox: Sling'.  My character Jesse was 100% inspired by none other than Cowboy James Storm, one of the funniest, most versatile pro wrestlers on the planet.

Having been born into the wrestling business and a part of it all my life, wrestling has more impact on me than most people.  For muses, I'll pick a wrestler over an actor any day.  I mean... sure, Brad Pitt is hot, but no hotter than John Morrison.  Who could beat a face and body like that when it comes to inspiration?

Most of the time, characters start out looking exactly like one of my favorite pretty boys or girls, (not always wrestlers, but sometimes) but as I continue the story, edit and revise, they evolve into something more original and complex.  I've even had characters do a complete turnabout.  In fact, I've even changed the shape, size, gender, race, personality - even the species of characters in the rewrite.

I'm interested to know whose face other writers had in mind when they began writing stories, and how those faces changed as it progressed.

Nanowrimo is almost over for 2009.  Since it's only through the month of November, today's the final day to add content.  I wrote my 50,000 words and a few more - approximately ending it at 61 K.  Now, going back over it and bringing all the disconnected pieces together is another thing, and that could take weeks, months, even years to accomplish.  The story's not a romance, but not quite a kid's story because it has some very graphic adult content.  It's a story about a family (a married couple in their early forties and their kids - two goofy teenagers and a six-year old with a wacky personality) who move to a small town and encounter neighbors who aren't quite right, to say the least.  It's been bunches of fun to write, but now that it's almost finished, I have more ideas for it that could take it farther out there in the realms of weirdness.  As the old writers used to say, you never really finish writing a book.  You just finally stop writing and call it good.

Have a Happy Monday!


Emma Hillman said...

Funny you're blogging about this today...

Kevin (in 'Location, Location, Location' and 'Yes, No, Maybe') is based on a real life Kevin, whose surname I'll keep secret for now (of course, some of you already know but never mind that! :).

I did something a little crazy last week. I sent the real Kevin a paperback version of 'Yes, No, Maybe'.

So now here I am, wondering if he's read it. Liked it. Had a lil fun with it. Who knows? *fans herself at the thought*

Yup, it's official, I'm crazy. But at least I'm having fun!

Anonymous said...

Sarah, that is such an interesting question. Like whose face am I imagining when I'm orgasming!


Sarah Levin Colter said...

I'm on the laptop because for some odd reason, I can't post comments from my desktop. :(

Emma, now you've got me wondering what Kevin looks like. :) I can imagine that he's a super hottie.

It's always interesting to visualize, and a hot guy makes a story way more fun to write. :)

Secretia - I must be getting old, because that thought didn't occur to me while I was writing this blog. LOL!

Sarah Levin Colter said...

Yay, thanks to my genius son, I've got the driver back that I need to post comments again!

Willsin Rowe said...

This is probably either lame or tame in comparison, but I use any- and everything as inspiration for characters. In The Three-Day Hump, my original inspiration for Opal was a woman who worked at Luther character's physicality came from a local politician's advertising flyer. He looked very smooth but arrogant and domineering. Great blog, Sarah.

Sarah Levin Colter said...

Thanks, Willsin! I don't think there's any lame or tame muses. Wherever you find inspiration, it's a good thing. I even used my ex-daughter-in-law as inspiration to write one less-than-charming character in a story. LOL!

Kim said...

This is an interesting blog and except for that one dingbat *eyeroll*, everybody had good thoughts to go with it. LOL. I think most authors visualize their characters. Erotic stories need hot role models. Good blog!

Rozlyn Sparks said...

LoL, Many of my characters are celebrity look alikes. It helps me clearly see the person so I can describe them. Now, like you Sarah, I do let my characters evolve as the story does. They aren't 100% carbon copies by the end.

Some of my visual muses

Colin Farrell
Orlando Bloom
Eric Bana


Sarah Levin Colter said...

Oooh, Roz, all those guys are hot! I loved Orli and Eric in Troy. :)

Kim, I believe all authors do visualize their characters. I've been writing for over 4 decades, and I always had faces in mind for characters. :)

:) Hugs all around!

Jenna Alexander said...

Congrats on your Nano finish!! yay! That book sounds like something I'd love to read.

To answer your question about faces - I tend to use the face of a model. Usually the personality shines through first and then I create a guy around that.

I created Sandy for Go Ahead and Try on the fly. She was sexy and sweet but definitely a master at her game. Shortly after creating her I came across this piece of art by Garv - I thought: THAT'S HER!!!

I even contacted him to see if she could be used for the cover but he was way out of my price range.