Getting the Look: Characters


For my WIP, I’m using the board approach to outline the story and scenes before I actually start writing. I’m following the instructions from Save the Cat, which says that I can pin anything up there that helps me think of the story, including quotes and images.

I haven’t included any images and this didn’t strike me as odd until I started reading haejinsung’s blog. She creates her characters through her own drawings and gathering images from the web, so that she can truly see them.

Pencil sketch of a girl with long hair looking out of a window

Sketch from my high school notebook

When I was in middle school and high school, I used to draw all of my characters…the requisite close-up of their face plus important scenes from the story. I even drew the settings.

To the left is an example. The weird green glow is from my camera, not the drawing itself. I did draw a lot of close-ups, but this is probably more representative of what my scene drawings looked like: the face is turned so that I didn’t have to draw the nose…those are hard! In this particular scene, you see Catriena, black sheep of the maids-in-waiting, looking out to see the dead body of the king crashing against the waves.

I’m not sure why, but once I got into college, I dropped the visualization of my characters.

I used to write fantastical stories with sweeping adventure. In college, that changed too. I wonder if there’s a connection.

What I write now is more about personal struggles and what can happen in everyday life. I want my readers to see themselves in my characters, so perhaps not visualizing my characters is an attempt to create an everyman character. Or I could be justifying my lack of drawing.

Do you draw a character or collect images to better understand the people and places in your stories?

And, seriously, go check out haejinsung’s blog!


3 thoughts on “Getting the Look: Characters

  1. Hi, I was reading my email subscription of your blog and was pretty surprised to see my name here! Thank you very much… but I’m really an amateur :/ Good luck with your writing and character development! Maybe I’ll get a glance of your characters in your future posts 🙂

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