Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September WEP Blog Hop - Changing Faces

I thought of writing a story for this prompt, but then realized I really wanted to write about being a novelist and my take on “changing faces.”
Each time I start a new story, I must “see” the characters I’ll be living with for the next year or forever. I must be able to visualize them in my mind to “hear” their voices and listen. Writing from different people’s perspectives in a story makes me go not only into their heads, but I try to see the view from their eyes as well, which means, to me, I have to change my face to theirs and be in their world, not mine. Sometimes this is very easy to do. Sometimes it’s horribly hard and I spend vast amounts of time trying to figure out why I’m not able to mesh with the character.  
One of my favorite parts of writing is when I meet the characters that people my stories. Sometimes I can find an actress/ actor who fits the look completely. Below are Sean Bean, John Hannah, and Winona Rider who were the faces that fit my forthcoming novel, The Seventh Man (due out in October or early November). Sometimes I can’t and the character stays uniquely in my mind. I try not to over describe my characters because I like leaving it up to the reader to fill in the blanks. So, the face I wear while discovering my character might not be the one any of my readers see. This intrigues me, especially when seeing a movie based on a book. I often wonder what the writer thinks of who is chosen and how they fit, or don’t, their view of that face.
Also, I get to “be” someone else for awhile, think like they do, look like they do, feel what they feel and that’s why we read too, isn’t it? To be in another world, to be someone else for a moment.
 That’s what I love about changing faces when I’m writing.  
Sean Bean

John Hannah


This look but with blue eyes, Winona Rider
Please visit the other blogs on this hop and enjoy our diversity!


  1. It's a different twist for the prompt, Lisa, and I like it. I heard other authors do the same, for male and female.
    I imagine who I'd cast for my stories, too. Neil Gaimon is the same type as the lead in my scifi, and it seems most of my leading men are dark haired. It seems Sean Bean's type appeals to a lot of women. He's a great actor.

  2. Hi Lisa. I enjoyed your take on the prompt. The more we get into our characters, the better our stories should be. I also agree the less character description the better, although in romance, the readers seem to want a bit more description.

    Thanks for linking to the WEP bloghop Lisa. Hope all goes well with your writing.

    Denise :)

  3. Hi Lisa - I can understand what you're saying ... and I'm sure I'd do that if I was writing a novel .. I imagine some authors get a say - but seemingly production can overtake the story and it takes on a different character with a different face ...

    One of the recent ones I can think of is the film "Philomena" .. I believe they tried to stay true to the people ...

    Cheers Hilary

  4. Your article is exactly how I feel when getting under my characters' skin. The 'me' that no one sees is transformed. Sometimes, I even regret having to return to being the writer 'me' and carry on with my ordinary life, LOL.

  5. I've never been able to find actors who fit my characters. Everything has to be in my mind. And I also leave descriptions open so the reader can imagine the character for himself.

  6. Excellent points. I can't always find someone that looks like my characters so I have to leave it to the imagination as well.


  7. I endorse your approach of getting under the skin of your characters. I take a slightly different approach and let the characters approach me, tell me who they are, what they look like, and what they want.

  8. Hi Lisa
    Interesting method. I start with a basic idea and then allow the characters to wear into me. I use very little description. I describe my faeries more than any other of my characters and that is because they look like the plants they are named for.

  9. Friday 26th September 2014
    Dear Lisa,
    I really like your take on this challenge. I mean, when dreaming up new characters for a novel, you have the possibility of seeing in your mind's eye, any face you like!
    But I think I am more like Linda K when it comes to my characters. I let them tug at my sleeve and say, 'Hey, take a look at me!'
    Best wishes,

  10. An interesting article and it must be difficult to carry on with your normal life when the characters are so imposing themselves inside your brain, almost a Jekyll and Hyde feeling.

  11. Hi, Lisa! I agree. We write/read "to be in another world" or "be someone else". It's a delightful escape.

  12. Hi Lisa, I like your approach on the prompt. In my case, I think of ordinary people I've met who impressed or inspired me in some way to direct the characters I write about. Funny, I've never thought of any particular actor playing my characters. I suppose I draw from the strength and vulnerabilities of real people hoping perhaps they would breathe the same life and passion into my characters.

  13. Hi Lisa, and sorry I am late. I liked your take on the prompt! My approach is a little different to yours, my characters kind of paint their own faces and feelings and take me along for the ride :) so I am not sure if mine is an approach at all! Agree that most of the description should remain off the page.

  14. If I can't see a face, then I can't write the character. It is really fun to become someone else, I really enjoyed it a lot. I am really surprised it's been so long since last I wrote anything. Congratulations on your story, Lisa, I know you're closer and closer to the Finish Line. BTW, I love the actors you chose for characters!

  15. "So, the face I wear while discovering my character might not be the one any of my readers see"...
    This is how I feel when I write a poem. The images/themes in my mind may not be what the reader sees when they read it. It's the power of interpretation, isn't it? It adds something incredibly beautiful to the creative process. Love your take on the prompt, Lisa.

  16. I've found it difficult to find characters in real life to match the characters from my novels, but I agree it's more important to let the reader do that. Although, there have been less than agreeable attempts for some authors, it is fun to see them in the flesh. I like your choices! Well done!

  17. I have a set of characters I've been writing for five years, and their faces have changes in mind over the years. I'll see and actor/actress and think, ah, that's so and so. The basic look remains the same however. And the personality. Its so cool to see who is cast in the movie version of some of my favorite books. Usually, I never would have picked that particular actor, and they rock the part.


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