Notes from Eliza: Who Are Your Characters?

Image Credit: Light Bulb Icon, Vector.meIt’s not uncommon for writers to envision specific people when they’re writing. It helps–a lot–sort of like how an animator keeps a mirror at his or her desk to reference facial expressions for their funny animated creations, writers often look toward the actions and behaviors of real people to bring their characters to life. I am no exception. In fact, one of the most fun things I do when I start to build a story, which is comprised of real-life stuff happening to pretend people, is scanning the web for that face that breathes life into my people. Occasionally a story will start with a specific face already in my head, and it blossoms from there; other times it takes an entire book for the character to come alive in a visual way. (And believe it or not, sometimes that face remains a mystery until someone else reads the story and says, “Hey, Hollie reminded me of ________________ .”) I don’t spend gobs of time describing every single detail about my characters because YOU, the reader, need to have some room for imagination. I don’t want to, and should not, do all the heavy lifting. Where’s the fun in that?

With that said, though, here are a few faces (and buns) that inspired Concierge Ryan:

Ryan Kesler - ESPN

Photo (c) Vancouver Canucks

Photo (c) Vancouver Canucks

Ryan Kesler, #17 on the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, was a huge source of inspiration the whole way through. LOOK AT THAT FIRST PHOTO, LADIES. SERIOUSLY. Kesler posed for ESPN Magazine a few Octobers ago. (Yes. This might be my computer’s wallpaper. *hangs head*) Though he isn’t the only face I called upon, he’s a pretty important one.

As is this guy:

This is Peter Mooney, a Canadian heartthrob best known for his roles on Rookie Blue and Camelot.

This is Peter Mooney, a Canadian heartthrob best known for his roles on Rookie Blue and Camelot.

Peter Mooney

Peter Mooney

That smile, man ... it just melts all the right parts, don't you think?

That smile, man … it just melts all the right parts, don’t you think?

What about Hollie Porter? Hmmm … Hollie can be Every Girl — I did try to write her personality around a character Kristen Wiig would play, although I’m not so sure Kristen is necessarily the face I’d assign to Hollie. I’m going to leave this one for you to figure out so that I don’t implant the wrong personality in your head.

But what about another unforgettable character from Hollie’s wacky adventures? Let us not forget this little bastard …

Mangala the Demon Goat

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