Wednesday, November 30, 2011
In less than twenty-four hours, National Novel Writing Month will come to a close, and for the first time in four years, I didn't hit the 50K mark. I blogged a couple weeks ago about my struggles. I've been doing just what I said I would -- reading books in various short contemporary lines to get back into the feel of a short contemporary romance.
Back when I used to read four to six of them a month, I could feel how the story should go. I knew to drop backstory in a little at a time, to use all five senses, to show and not tell. Or maybe I was fooling myself into believing I was doing all that. At any rate, I was putting words on paper.
If I was a Tweeter or a Twitterer or whatever a person who uses Twitter is called, I could come up with a lot of hashtags for how I'm feeling now:
You get the picture. And that brings me to something I realized a few days ago.
I wasn't sure who my characters were. I mean, WHO they were, as in I needed pictures of them so I could look at a photo and remember to describe the hero's blue eyes and the heroine's brown hair. I learned a few years ago that I'm a visual learner, and pictures help me cement things in my mind.
In the past, I've done a story board -- or at least had some things printed out and taped around my office for reference. Hugh Jackman was the hero of my 2008 NaNo book. Lucky Vanous was last year's hero. And who is the hero of Seduction with Style?
I swear I had him picked out to be Max Brown before the People magazine thing. The outdoorsy clothes and hat, the whiskers, the too-long hair -- they all fit with a guy who 's been doing his own thing in the great outdoors for the past seven years and whose mother thinks he needs an makeover so he'll fit into the corporate image of his father's empire. But he was really the only character I had a clear picture of. So I went on a hunt and I think maybe this is the rest of the cast.
I originally had this woman (found on the Max Talent site) as my heroine, Victoria Sharpe. She's an image consultant and I felt this woman had the right look for that.
But then I came across this photo of Ashley Judd and thought maybe she's Victoria.
Max's mother, Julia, plays a part in getting him and Victoria together. And I needed to know who she was too. She's in her late 60's or early 70's, stylish and proper but with some mischief in her too. For a while I was picturing English actress Helen Mirren.
And then it hit me! Who better than another actress who actually portrayed a TV character named Julia -- the late Dixie Carter.
Another character who has a small but relevant part is Victoria's business partner, Sophia. She's fun and quirky. I was getting nowhere finding her until I stumbled across this photo. It's self-explanatory.
She's fun and quirky, right?
I still have to cast Victoria's brother, Nick. It's important to get him right because I think he could be the hero in another book. He's in his early to mid thirties and he's an attorney. He was an associate in a firm until, with the help of information obtained by a private investigator, he won a high-profile divorce case for his client. It was the case no one thought he could win. Now he's the golden boy. And the female PI is going to be his heroine but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Who is Nick?
Help me out here. My knowledge of today's actors and actresses is very limited. All my heroes would be Hugh Jackman if I was left to my own devices. Help me find Nick. And if you have suggestions for the others, tell me those too. Oh, and Max has a younger sister, Kate. She has an MBA from an Ivy League school and would love to work in the family business, but Father is old fashioned and thinks she doesn't belong there. She's sharp as a tack, adores her older brother and is frustrated as all heck that her father is such an old fuddy-duddy. She has a cute scene with Max where Victoria thinks she's his woman du jour. Any idea who she might be?
Because this is all about looks, I'll pick one commenter at random to receive a nifty make-up collection in a zipper bag.