Ever have one of those moments where something extraordinary hits you out of the blue? I had it a couple of weeks ago.
I have a character called Echo. She's an echo. Many of you will know about her already, because I've used many scenes from the novel she narrates in blogfests and on the blog in general. I've always had an image in my head of what Echo looks like, but it's never been as clear as the images of my other characters - simply because I see through her eyes when I'm writing, so I don't see her as often. So my mental picture of Echo was never perfect. I could describe her, I knew her expressions and her gestures, but I couldn't have drawn a picture of her (assuming I could draw). She wasn't quite so clear.
Then I saw the video for a song called Airplanes, and I kind of jerked upright. There's something in Hayley Williams' wistful expression as she sings in this song, and in the way the light plays across her face, that made me think that's Echo.
Here's my favourite picture of the Paramore singer-
No, Echo doesn't look just like Hayley Williams (she's not a redhead for one thing), but there are similarities. Imagine Hayley's hair dark, almost black, there and it's pretty much a dead ringer for Echo's hair. Imagine her skin more honey-ish in colour, and her eyes a little darker. It's not a perfect comparison by any means, but if I had to choose one person in the real world who Echo looks a bit like, I'd have to pick her. It's something about the hair, the face shape, the fragile bone structure, the spirit in her expression.
But you can imagine how stunned I was, to sort of see my character sort of come to life that way.
Has this ever happened to you? Who do you compare your characters to?