I’m a very visual person.
It’s practically useless to tell me something, because you really need to show me.* You’d think this would complicate being a writer, eh? It does in a way, which is why I love things like Pinterest where I can find visual representations of the worlds and characters I want to create. I have a great imagination, I just don’t have detailed visuals.**
I don’t imagine faces.
Apparently (according to a brief googling) one cannot imagine faces that they haven’t seen, but pfft. I think people (definitely artists) must piece together their own “imagined faces”. I’m sure authors do this, too.
So, when you read, do YOU imagine the characters’ faces?
Do you piece together the author’s description and create a visual? Or do you have blank-faced individuals roaming your imaginings? Um, that does sound rather creepy, right? But…but that’s what I do.
Yes, I imagine castles and countries, and clothes and food, but I cannot imagine faces. I imagine what they wear! Their hair colour! Their body shape! BUT THEIR FACE IS JUST A BLUR. I apologise for shouting at you. But it bothers me. I have faceless mannequins partying in my head as I read.
* Seriously you don’t want to see me cooking in the kitchen with a recipe I haven’t tried before. I WILL ASSUREDLY MANGLE IT.
** This is quite odd, I admit it.
When I watch book-to-movie adaptions, 67% of the time the actors aren’t what I envisioned, but I don’t even care because FINALLY I have a face for a character! Once I’ve seen a movie, that actor is the book character forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever.
But, while I love movies for giving me faces, I revile book covers if they plaster a face on the front.
This seems a little contradictory, but let me explain! Oftentimes I feel like the cover models are a) bland, b) don’t fit description in the book, or c) everyone looks basically the same.
Like the Gallagher Girls UK covers all feature girls faces. Which girls? WHO CAN TELL. Same with the Gone series covers. I haven’t got a clue who is who. And the cover for The Age of Miracles features protagonists who are WAY older than 12.
The only time I maybe imagine a vague face as I read is because of word association.
This is kind of ridiculous (and I’m embarrassed!) but if I know someone in-real-life with a character’s name, that’s how I visualise them. Or if their name reminds me of something else….
For instance: Remember Augustus Waters out of The Fault in Our Stars? Prior to the movie, I imagined him with red hair and kind of on the rounder side. Why?
ROALD DAHL’S AUGUSTUS GLOOP. And also Gus-Gus the mouse from the Cinderella movie (with his love of food) didn’t help things.
I’m eternally grateful that Hazel’s Gus is much better looking than the greedy chocolate eating Augustus Gloop. (And if this visual of Gus being a chocolate loving German gets stuck in your head…you’re so welcome.)
BASICALLY: BOOK FACES + MY BRAIN = BLANK CANVAS.
And I need thank the internet for inventing Pinterest so, as a writer, I could at least figure out how I visualised my own book characters. And while we’re glamorously thanking things, let’s thank MOVIES for existing, particularly when they are perfectly cast.
so! i’m extremely and incredibly curious to know if this is just me. do you put faces to book characters as you read?? do you rely on imagination or authors’ descriptions or movies most?? and while we’re talking about about movies: tell me an actor who was cast in a book-to-movie adaption who looks EXACTLY how you envisioned them??! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!
In answer to my own acting-casting-perfection question, Shailene Woodley is exactly perfect for Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars. (Although not for Tris. But I won’t get into that now!)
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently singing the Augustus Gloop theme song while finishing off this post. It’s irritating. It’s kind of scary if you pay attention to the lyrics. (Roald Dahl was a disturbed, though fabulous, author.) Cait would also like to mention that it was tortureto read the comments on her recent cake book tag post. Everyone’s descriptions of glorious cake was delectable. Currently Cait is finishing off Isla and the Happily Ever After.