Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Model Character

Fluffy, our dog, was reluctant to have his photo taken this morning, once the camera beeped. Unfortunately the hidden fence that has kept him alive so long in territory hostile to free roaming dog packs, appears to have conditioned him to avoid beeps. The reason I wanted his photo was to show you one of the characters of the novel I have just finished in first draft.

Of course, Bert, the character is much younger than Fluffy, but I find that's something I always have to deal with. Many of the main characters of my novels have little portraits in my Notes folder. I find some image on the web or in my files of a person to use as a model for that character. It helps me when I need to describe hair, or eyes, or the shape of a face. It also makes the character more real in my mind, especially in the early scenes. But, the advertising images easily available are nearly always older than the character I'm modeling. You can find cute little kids, and lots of professional models in their twenties, but the teen range seems underrepresented to me. No matter. I can make do. I'm not going to be showing these images to anyone else.

Bert was a good character, and as this novel wrapped up, I was well aware that I could have a sequel, and Bert would be one of the major characters. In all of my novels, there are threads that could lead to new stories. I don't think I've written a one of them where everyone dies. However, in about a third of them, I've been sufficiently wrapped up in the characters that I've gone on to immediately write the outline for the sequel. Outline only, however. I resist the idea of writing a sequel to a novel that hasn't sold yet.

But sequel or not, Bert is a standout character, and I hope to work with him again.

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