Creating Characters With Pictures

Every writer has their tricks for creating memorable characters, whether it be borrowing from quirky family members and friends or talking to interesting strangers at coffee shops while scribbling in a notebook like a mad person.

For me, I draw inspiration from pictures. For some reason, writing up my detailed character profiles (which is a necessity for me to write anything coherant) is much easier if I have a clear image in my mind of what the person looks like. I collect pictures of people that strike me as someone in my story and save them so that I have someone to look at when describing my characters or writing their dialogue. I accomplish this by two methods – “stealing” someone I’ve actually met or by using Google images to poke around until I find the perfect face for my character.

It is pretty fun actually. I just type in the age and basic physical attributes I have in mind for a character and just click around until I find the right one. It is weird to think that I have photos of strangers saved all over my computer who exist in my head under a different name and presumably very different personality.

This is a great idea methinks, except for my fear that someone, someday will get a glimpse of my search history and see that I’ve Googled “images of 12-year-old boys”. That may be difficult to explain….

Anyone have a different weird method for creating realistic and memorable characters?

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