Sunday, April 29, 2012

Doing it

Readers, when you read a romance, do you ever picture someone you know at the hero or heroine? What about you writers - ever base a hero/heroine on a real-life person? I've admitted there are pieces of me in every heroine I write, but what I haven't admitted until now is that my heroes are often people I know, have met, or would like to meet someday.

Yep, the physical appearances of ALL my heroes are based on real-life people. I just find it easier to describe what they look like when I have a real model before me. Much like a painter uses a person as inspiration for his/her work, so do I. Friends, relatives, even celebrities find their doppelgangers in my stories. 

Phillip Townshend, for example (Secret Submission, Submission Revealed and Services Rendered), is a dead-ringer in looks for my own wonderful husband. Jim in Hooked could double for Richard Gere. My current work-in-progress (still unnamed - augh!) uses Hugh Jackman as a model. And the magnificent Dom in Sahara Heat, which releases this week, looks suspiciously like a friend of mine.

Yet the personalities of each character are uniquely their own. Each hero might have trace elements of personality from this person or that, but mostly the guy gets his own due. He stands on his own and owes nothing to nobody. He is his own person who knows what he wants and who he wants it from. And we love him for it.

So what about it? Do you put the image of a real-life person into your head when you read or write?

Play safe, 


Lynn LaFleur said...

I find a picture online that resembles the hero I've imagined in my head and print it out to refer back to. Not so the heroine, since she's me. Well, parts of me, anyway. ;-)

I like having a visual to refer back to when I'm describing my hero. I don't use a person I know since my heroes look far different from any real people in my life. Like you, Diana, they all have different personalities, habits, and/or quirks to make them unique.

Cat xox said...

I don't write as much anymore, but when I did, like for school or competitions and things as such, I would always base it on someone I knew very well. Recently I had a little 10 page story to write, I based it on my boyfriend. :)

I like to base my art work on people that I'm unfamiliar with though. I don't know why, but it's better for me like that.

Please check out my blog!

Diana Hunter said...

Lynn, the heroine is always me, too. Or at least parts of me. And Cat, I'm jealous of your ability to draw people. I can't draw anything!

Angelia said...

We call them muses or player bases. Sometimes a character will take on characteristics of the base, other times not so much. I tend to only use actors.

Right now, I'm working on an urban fantasy piece, with a PI (I have no base for her) and a combat-mage. He looks suspiciously like Tommy Flanagan, down to the Glasgow Smile scars. But he has a few more scars, and wears a balck leather kilt.

In my dark future universe, James Ligatos looks a lot like Oded Fehr, while his body-slave bears a strong resemblence to John Glover. Or in my space opera, that pretty eunuch dancing boy looks way too much like Francisco Bosch, who played Bagoas in Alexander.

Real people? Very seldom. One of the characters in the my cyberpunk piece is the only real one I can think of. Elements of experience may end up in them, like the farm work in "Man-Hunt" being based on what we did at my grandparent's farm or the asylum stay in GLAD HANDS being based on what my mother told me of working psych wards and handling ECT patients.