My vision comes to life! (Mostly)

BY MINDI SCOTT

I’ve always been a little envious of writers like Jaclyn Dolomore who are able to sketch their characters. If I were to attempt such a thing, it would come out something like this:

redhairedsketch(Except, not really. I’ve never written a character with curly red hair.)

In the past, I’ve always relied upon the Candybar Doll Maker site to create customized cartoons of my characters so that I can “see” them better. It’s very fun because you have hundreds of eyes, noses, mouths, hair, clothes, backgrounds,  etc. to choose from.

Here are just a few of the (many, many) “dolls” that I’ve made over the years:

3characters

From left to right: Seth McCoy from Freefall all dressed up–by his standards (ignore his hair. I’ve never been happy with it); Rosetta Vaughn, also from Freefall; and Coley Sterling from Live Through This (dressed for a dance performance).

Aren’t they cute?????

But for this story that Michelle and I are writing, I decided that it might benefit both of us if, instead of cartoons, I found an actual person who resembles my main character. That way, I can be sure that we’re both seeing Kyle the way he’d look in, you know, a non-animated world.

I Googled images of  “blond teen boys.” After a quick glance at the, er, revealing results, I turned on “safe search” and tried again.

It wasn’t long before I learned that my plan was very seriously flawed; it was tough to find a real person who looks the way I see Kyle in my head.

After a while, though, I found this photo:

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This is a grown-up man (actor Garrett Hedlund*, I eventually learned) and Kyle is only seventeen. But if I picture this guy younger and blonder, it’s close to how I see Kyle.

For a few months, it seemed as close as I was ever going to get. (Which was good enough for Michelle and me to be able to see the same Kyle, of course.) But the other day, Michelle found this and sent it to me:

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It’s Garrett Hedlund again (a.k.a. “Kyle-Guy” as Michelle and I sometimes call him), but this time he’s younger and blonder and so very much the way I picture Kyle! The uniform is wrong because Kyle plays baseball, not football. But still! It’s Kyle! Looking much better than a cartoon.

Oh, what the heck! We can have both, right? 😉
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*Michelle or I really need to tell you about the Garrett Hedlund LUNACY that’s been going on with both of us  lately. But that will be another post on another day!

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