November 30, 2012

Casual Friday: Casting Your Writing

Tell me I'm not the only one who does this. You're early on in a project, you're stuck on a scene, and you're sure the only thing that would help is if you can picture your characters (and maybe even pretend they're standing next to each other, so maybe you do a little Photoshop work...okay, maybe THAT is just me.)

But really, do you cast your characters? Because I definitely do. I guess I'm a multimedia writer--I need more than just words to get the feel of my books. I need music (see my playlist here) and I definitely need visual inspiration, from photos that capture the atmosphere of the book to characters.

So who are my characters?

First, my main character.

Name: Avery

Description: Avery feels younger than her age in some ways but older in others. She's never gotten to have a real teenage life, and the second she thinks she's getting the chance, her world explodes around her. She's tough-as-nails in her own way, and also fiercely loyal.
I'd Cast: Lucy Hale. Lucy captures the slightly lonely, slightly lost feeling of Avery, but you also get the impression she could kick some butt if she had to. Plus, she has Avery's huge, sad eyes.

And then, the boys.

Name: Jack
Description: Jack has seen and done things a teenager shouldn't have had to see and do. It's made him wary, protective, and serious. You always know you'll be safe with him.
I'd Cast: This is a tough one. I actually think there are quite a few actors who would be great as Jack, but the first one I chose a long time ago is Paul Wesley. He has that air about him that says he disapproves of any shenanigans, but that he'll protect anyone he cares about.

Name: Stellan
Description: Although he's in the same position Jack is, he embraces it--or at least, he seems to. He doesn't bat an eye at doing things that would appall other people, or at manipulating anyone to get what he wants. Underneath it all, though, he'd do absolutely anything for the people he loves.
I'd Cast: Alexander Skarsgard. Okay, okay. I know he's nearly twice the age of my teenage characters, but I can't picture anyone else as Stellan. Anyone know of a hot blonde European teenager with that same perfect smirk and swagger? Because I'd LOVE to know about him.

On that note, yes, all my cast members are a good deal older than the characters, but oh well. This is all for fun, and my seventeen-year-olds can be nearly thirty if I want them to! :)

Do you cast your characters? I'd love to see your list! If you've done a post in the past, or want to do one today, link in the comments!

**All photos are official promo pics, courtesy of ABC Family, the CW, and HBO**


Melanie Stanford said...

I completely cast my characters- it's so much fun! I even based a character on an actor once because I couldn't stop picturing him AS the character even before I started writing it.

I've done posts about this a long time ago. For my YA MS, I see Shanley Caswell as my MC and Alex Pettyfer as the hero. Also AnnaSophia Robb and Ed Speleers as other characters.

Here's my cast list for my adult MS (although I've since cut 2 of those characters!):

Seabrooke said...

Hee. We'll let you off the hook on the age thing. I actually think it's hard for us as the public to cast teen characters because most actual teen actors (or even early 20s) haven't been in the biz long enough for us to get to know them (with certain exceptions such as Harry Potter actors or other child stars like Dakota Fanning). And then on top of that, us adults tend to pay more attention to actors our own age than teen actors.

As I think we discussed once, I'd suck at casting my novels because I'm terrible with pop culture stuff. But I do often do google image searches and pick out appropriate people for my characters for while I'm writing.

Maggie Hall said...

Melanie: Wow, that is a pretty cast of characters. Mmmmm hmm.

Seabrooke: That's as valid as any other way! In fact, not knowing them from TV shows might be good--then the character they play doesn't influence your choice. And as for the age thing, I, as a non-teenager, feel vaguely creepy drooling over actual teenage boys, so I figure I'm allowed to make them 20-something in my head if I want. :)

Anonymous said...

I love that Lucy Hale has a part in your cast! I am a huge fan. I definitely cast my characters. I have not yet released anything book related on my blog yet but if I do I think my casting might be the first thing I post :)

Dahlia Adler said...

Oh my God I LOVE this casting for your characters! I picture Austin Butler as Stellan, but YES, Lucy Hale and Paul Wesley are SO Avery and Jack!!

I cast JV here:

Maggie Hall said...

Cestlavie: I actually "cast" Lucy Hale before I'd even seen her in PLL--she just looked like my MC to me. And yay, it's so fun to cast them! You definitely should!

Dahl: Austin Butler is adorable! I can't remember having seen him in anything before. And now I'm thinking about the casting of your characters. I love the girls, but I was picturing someone else as Dave/Dev...and now I can't remember who. I will let you know if I think of it. :)

Feaky Snucker said...

I write my characters first, and then have to *find* them online, which I think is harder than using a pic for inspiration. That makes it even more awesome (and creepy) when I find a pic of someone who looks *exactly* like my character!

It's definitely a harder search to find the one who fits your mind. But you know, when do I ever do anything the easy way haha.

Gina said...

Love your picks! I've cast characters for all my books. I can't help myself! I usually don't start writing with a particular actor in mind, but it's happened more than once where I come across a picture of someone I've never seen before and thought, "Holy crap, that's so-and-so!" That's exactly what happened with David, Ryan, and Hayden :)

Sillystephwhat said...

This is actually a neat concept. I've never thought of fiction this way. I mean, I love to write speculative scripts and teleplays and of course it makes sense to think of *people* as characters in order to stay true to the specific show that I'm spec-ing... (is that a word?)But I'm early in a YA novel-in-progress and I might give it a shot and see how the next few chapters go. It can't hurt considering my progress is slow for this one.

Thanks for the idea!

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