Last week I told you about my first novel The Locked Room, that I’m currently editing and polishing to make it as good as possible. I thought I’d show you the inspiration for my two main characters this week.
Mason and Zach are both in their thirties. Mason works at a shelter for homeless LGBT youth, and Zach is a pediatric nurse. The first time Zach sees Mason’s tattoos he almost swoons, and Mason is obsessed with Zach’s freckles. And can’t you totally understand why someone would be obsessed with those wonderful freckles? I know I can 🙂
Visual inspiration is really important to me, and I need pictures to look at to be able to write a description of anyone or anything. When I had written about 25K words in The Locked Room, I realized that nowhere in the entire manuscript was there a description of my main characters. The only information the reader got about anybody’s looks, was of a cute dog—and all I said about that little guy was that he was a fluffy mutt with spots.
I had a general idea what I wanted my characters to look like, so I visited with my best friend Google and started searching for pictures to fit the idea in my head. I googled things like “hot guy with tattoos and beard” and “cute ginger freckles guy” until I found the perfect pictures to use as inspiration.
(Oh, and I googled a lot of other weird things too—everyday I wake up hoping this isn’t the day someone comes knocking on my door and wants to talk to me about my Google search history. And when we get to know each other better, I might tell you the story about when I did research to learn if freckled guys have freckles on their…uh…private parts too 😀 )
So now I’ve learned—and I have pictures for everything. Not just the main characters and their family and friends, but houses, couches, decorating style and even flower beds have ended up in my inspirational folder. And sometimes I stare at the picture for a long time and wonder how the heck I’m going to describe what I look at, so that it makes sense to the reader. It’s a challenge, and I definitely need to practice.
But practicing is fun, right? It’s what makes us better at what we do.
And look at Mason in the picture above, the intense gaze he has trained on Zach. I bet his fingers are itching to play connect-the-dots with all of Zach’s wonderful freckles. To trace an invisible line all over his face, before kissing the breath out of him.
That’s what I imagine when I look at the picture. What do you see? 🙂