I was told by one teacher a short cut to visualizing your characters is to figure out who would play them on the big screen. This takes your characters and makes them real. Actual solid pictures you can write your character bio on. This can also help with dialogue because you can imagine you’re character’s vocal patterns and nuances based on the actor’s work.
Using this is a great shortcut, but I always worry it could limit my characters too. I don’t want my characters to only be available actors/actresses; my imagination has more versatility than that. Also, I may see Ron Perlman’s body with Tony Curran’s attitude, or vice versa. I take it as a good place to start and build from, but not the end of my characters by any stretch of my imagination.
As such, I tend to make my characters first then match them once they’ve solidified. Working on my revisions with my cast clearly in my head, I’m finally having the fun of casting them. This will be an ongoing process as I search IMDB and my movie memory. But after, I’ll be able to tweak my character bio’s based on both the actors and my work, thus making it stronger through the rest of the story and series.
In fact, just in today’s revisions, I needed to add description that hadn’t been solidified by this point in my first draft. Bringing up my pictures of the actor allowed me to find better descriptors than just my mind had. A useful tool, especially when trying to write fast.
Without further ado, my list as it stands now:
Jax- Victor Webster
Michael- Chris Hemsworth
Ventri- Tom Hardy
Brac- Cam Gigandet
Russ- Josh Hutcherson
Ian Nethers- Tony Curran/Ron Perlman
Elias- Gary Oldman
Alex- Lena Headdy
Tressa- January Jones