I know writers who actively go searching for pictures of people who look like their characters. I know writers who have songs that are their character’s theme song, or a playlist that is their story’s soundtrack.
I’ve never been into that. I’m not putting down people who do that. I think it’s actually kind of cool sometimes. Some people like to “cast” their stories and give them a soundtrack and that’s cool. It’s just not the way I work. I very rarely know exactly what my characters look like. I know them intimately, I have basic features worked out, but the image is flexible. I like to leave that up to the reader. And I don’t listen to enough music to pick out a soundtrack (though I think that is pretty friggin’ cool and having had a bit of experience, I almost want to try).
Now, having said that it’s not really my thing, I recently heard two songs that just plain screamed certain characters at me. I wasn’t looking for them; they found me.
1) “ Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy” by Queen. Seriously, this song describes my new treatment of Meirzen,
my boy king in a currently sidelined project, like no other. I’m not even writing him or thinking about him currently, and this song demanded to be about him.
2) “When You Say Nothing at All” by Alison Krauss. Really, the thing that clinched this as a song describing Red and Quina’s relationship was “the touch of your hand”. The tone of this song is a little too cutesy for them, but it works pretty well.