Thursday, 2 June 2011

Jerry Haven has arrived

When I began writing murder mystery plays, I had the massive advantage of writing for a cast of actors whom I had worked with for several years. I knew their voice patterns, what they looked like and just as importantly, what they were capable of portraying on stage. For me, that was an incredible luxury.

When it came to my novel, I knew that I would find it easier to write if I had an idea of what my characters looked like, what they sounded like, how they moved and so on. I'm a visual person - that is my main way of perceiving the world - and as such I 'see' my stories, either as plays on a stage or as films on a big screen. I decided that alongside my storyline, character list and chapter plan, I would also put together a cast.

Each character in my novel is based loosely around the thought of a particular actor playing the role of Hartley or Isabelle or some other person from my created world. Note I don't say the characters are based 'on' those actors. They are not. I am simply using their appearances and acting skills as a template to start from.

One character whom I have never been able to cast definitely is Jerry Haven. I knew what I wanted (and for the purpose of the novel needed) him to look like and the more I write his character, the more I get a taste for his speech patterns, but I could never truly create a tight focus on him. He was always a blurry image, like a runner caught in movement. 

Today, I finally found him. Tall, usually dark, with a dramatic presence that lends itself equally to a smile or anger, the actor Michael Fassbender is my Jerry. He's currently starring in the new X-men film, X-Men: First Class as Erik/Magneto. He has dropped into my cast perfectly and with a satisfying 'click'. I can now return to his 'scenes' and fine tune his dialogue. 

Picture this - a barefoot Michael Fassbender dressed in white trousers and an open white shirt. That's how we first see Jerry, looking like 'a cross between a messiah and a rock star'.  What do you think? Would you watch this film?

8 comments:

  1. Definitely. Hansome, hot men are hard to find. Smiles to you.

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  2. I've heard a lot of people do this. I've never tried it. I just might need to.

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  3. There are a couple reality TV show cast members that I am really drawn to. One day I'm sure their physical characteristics will show up in one of my stories.

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  4. I'm not familiar with the actor, but it sounds good to me!

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  5. Lovely! I tear out pictures from magazines, houses, people, places, etc., when I am writing. Like you, I like visualzing the who.

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  6. I posted recently about finding my character's voice - literally - by casting an actor in the role of the character. Glad to see I am not the only one who employs that method. :)

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  7. I'm not a particularly visual person, so when it came to creating my characters, the major criticism I got from readers was that they couldn't "see" my characters' faces. They couldn't see them because I couldn't see them. I like your technique of using actors to help you visualize your characters. I've taken this technique down a slightly different path. I visit the websites of photographers who take head shots and casting websites for models. It's a great tool. You can enter age, ethnicity, hair color and other characteristics into their search engines and, viola, a picture of my character magically appears.

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  8. Glad to see I'm not alone in my method. Thanks for the comments.

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