I attended a writer’s weekend where the group leader challenged attendees to cast their characters in their current manuscript. We dug in, flipping through magazines and printouts, searching for celebrities or models who visually represented the fictional characters in our books. The workshop leaders even challenged us to take it one step further and write out a descriptive list of characteristics the ‘talent scout’ should look for.
It made for an interesting exercise, but more so an opportunity to delve deeper into the defining elements of each character. I discovered it a great way to inspire my writing and have a visual representation of my character’s image as I write.
This is not a new exercise. Writers use it all the time, even posting images on social media to inspire readers and garner interest and engagement from fans. While this sounds to some like a corny way to add three dimensionality to your character, it’s not such a silly exercise. Agents and publishers are also into this game. Many ask writers who they would cast as protagonists when the book is translated to film.
It’s a strong inspirational technique, and you might find your agent requesting this information for selling purposes, to a publisher and maybe even a producer!