September 23, 2014

Discussion: Character Images

Nitzan brought something up to me the other day as a discussion topic idea - and I loved it, so we're doing it. The topic is...

Character Images!

Do you ever read a book, and just have this perfect picture of the character in your mind, only to find out later that your idea was completely wrong? Like, for instance, you had them pictured as a blond, when really they were a brunette? Or maybe they're described as plain, when you're picturing them as beautiful because of their personality? Because that happens to me all the time. Like, all the time. And on top of that, once I've been corrected, I refuse to change my opinion of their character image.

I'll continue to think of them the exact same way that I didn't before I was corrected. I just can't help it!

Same with me. I realized lately that I rarely picture them "correctly" or as they are "supposed" to be. Often, I don't remember what's their hair color, or eye color, or even skin color. Then, someone in the book comments on their, say, blonde curls, and I'd be like "err, ahh...." because she does not have blonde curls in my head. Or curls at all. 
The thing is, I have my own idea of the character, based on how they sound, act, and move. And descriptions tend to kind of... go over my head. Like, for example, one of my favorite book boyfriends ever - Ryan Miller from Being Jamie Baker - is described with Honey-Blonde hair and blue eyes. Do you think I caught that the first time I read the book?
(Fantastic example! I did that too - looks like we might kind of have a similar type, LOL
Finally, we agree on something! LOL.)

More like, I pictured him dark haired and dark eyed, and it was only when I read the book the second time that I realized I've been picturing him wrong. But by that time, it was too late. My Ryan Miller may look nothing like the character Kelly Oram imagined, but he's Ryan Miller in all the important parts. 

Or say, beauty wise. I tend to imagine the characters beautiful no matter what the book says. Even if they're supposed to be plain, or ugly, or fat (I'll picture a beautiful round girl then. They exist folks). If they're pretty inside, they're pretty in my head. Or for guys - if I think they're the cutest thing since puppies, (or the hottest thing since the Teen Wolf cast, which, let's be honest, HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR ABS?!) they will be cute (or hot) in my head, even if they're described like awkward geeks or what not. 

And sometimes, the description of awkward geekiness is just totally ridiculous - I'll make them very cute geeks in my mind. I think that character images are just very subjective - I think that everyone has beauty, even if I can't see it. So I'll picture each character with their own beautiful image, even if it's totally off. Another thing I've noticed - if the character sucks, is annoying, whiny or bitchy... even if they're described as beautiful, I probably won't think of them like that. I will picture the bitchy ones with permanent sneers on their faces, and the whiny ones look all pathetic, you know?

Oh, I do know. Mean characters have mean faces. So, yeah, they may be beautiful, but the expressions on their face kind of ruins the whole effect. It's only when (or rather, if) they change their ways, that that expression may slid off and only then they'll be truly pretty to me. Doesn't happen all the time, though. 

So it does go both ways. I also have a hard time with the ethnicity - no matter what, I tend to picture someone of my own race, because I just have a hard time picturing some other races. It's just easier to conjure up a face in my own race, like American Indian or European/American. Because in my mind, those are the people that I was mostly around, and I picture all book characters as such. If I find out I'm wrong on ethnicity, I do try to correct my picture, but I don't usually remember it.

OMG, same here! I have a huge problem with that. I try to tell my brain - "that's not how they look, change it!" but... that doesn't work all the time. It's a hard thing, character's images, isn't it?

It's like I have an unshakable faith that this is what the character would look like if I was meeting them tomorrow. (Which, in some cases, would be a nasty shock.)

Couldn't put it better myself! I think it will be funny if we ever meet all these characters we're messing up with xD  

What about you guys? Do you have a similar problem, or are you a stickler for details and keep a very strict and story-correct image in your head?

1 comment:

  1. Oh god, I never get it right. But then again, I don't want to. It's like, the author says, "this person is hot" so I input my version of hot.It works better for me like that. What really throws me off is when people fan cast the characters or they're cast in a movie.