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Reference photos for your characters? Options · View
ambidentrous
Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2014 11:30:40 PM

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Joined: 12/15/2013
Posts: 10
Location: South Africa
When you're creating characters for your stories, do you find photos to represent those characters?
Where do you find your photos?


I use references, especially for my female characters and I usually find them either on modelmayhem.com or gettyimages.com. Both sites will allow you to be very specific about the look of a model (i.e. 24 year old female, shoulder length black hair, blue eyes, tanned)



Darkroom series (light exhibitionist)
Amnesty Program series (first time)
Guest
Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2014 11:33:05 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 649,084
Never have done this but I might in the future
bethalia
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 3:05:24 AM

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Posts: 82
Location: United States
I find thinking of a celebrity analogy is helpful to base descriptions of characters on: Jennifer Aniston, Laura Linney, Gary Oldman, etc.
visioneer
Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 7:13:29 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

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Location: United States
I almost never have a "photograph" of my characters in my head when I write. I try to keep their physical details to a bare (sorry, couldn't help it) minimum by sketching them in with broad strokes, dropping in specific details where necessary. As a reader, I prefer to let my imagination fill in the blanks, so I write this way.

My stories...
Barn Dance
Shock Wave
Lucia Makes a Bet
Bad Nikki
Bitch Seat Rider: Rule Number Three
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 7:50:01 AM

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No, I mostly just make them up in my head. On occasion they're loosely based on myself, a person I know or a friend but that's about it. It can be frustrating later though, if I'm looking for a photo for a book cover or poster. It's not always easy to match up a photo to what you've envisioned in your mind after-the-fact - especially when your photo selection is limited to shutterstock, for example.

seeker4
Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 9:27:11 AM

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Never even considered it. I have my imagination for that. I generally start with the character in the story and then build the image. An image may come into my mind as I develop the character (e.g. the space captain in a non-erotic s-f story I have been kicking around for years absolutely has to be played by Morgan Freeman, with Sam Jackson as a possible second choice) or I may come across an image that fits a character, but it is pretty rare for me to start with the image.

I am also with visioneer in approach. Broad strokes, just enough to give the reader something to latch on to as they build their own image in their heads. I find being too specific about the image tends to burden the story with non-relevant description or "infodumps" (Hi, I am Stacey. I am 5'2" with short blonde hair, blue eyes, three freckles on each cheek, and 36DDD boobs.). If something about the character's image is important, (e.g. another character identifies them by a tattoo, scar, or other obvious distinction) then obviously those details need to be there but you can actually have too much detail.


My first Lush Stories poem is a competition entry!

Thoughts From Our Old Flat

The April Stories:

April's Secret - A college student learns a sexy secret from his girlfriend's past

The Pastor's Secret - A lonely minister seeks solace from an escort
Guest
Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 12:58:48 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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This reminds me why sometimes favorite books make terrible film experiences if the casting is way off. Physically, I usually base it on idea, someone I have seen or know, myself or loosely on a famous person's feature that I like perhaps but never on the total person. I will change eye color, height, hair color or texture etc.
Guest
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 9:10:53 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 649,084
I have a vague idea of what my characters look like in my head, and just let the reader fill in the blanks as it were.
AbigailThornton
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 1:55:28 PM

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It depends how long the story is and how many characters I'm trying to keep track of. Some of the stories I write are multipart and I might not look at them for months at a time. Having a profile including pic on each character makes life a lot easier.

Mazza
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 2:05:46 PM

Rank: Mazztastic

Joined: 9/20/2012
Posts: 3,245
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom
I don't usually imagine what my characters look like at all and I rarely even describe what they look like, unless it's relevant for some reason...

If I want to, I can squeeze my mind's eye closed and "see" them...

Funnily enough though, in one of my stories, I did describe the female character, but as I wrote subsequent follow ups, I realised that's not what she looks like to me at all.. If that makes any sense?
Dublin_Girl
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 2:15:02 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

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Location: London, United Kingdom
I always have a vague idea oh how they look so yea I guess I use some reference, usually its a mix of celeb and models

Beth looks a bit like this (from my apartment series x)




and Tim like this

MasterJonathan
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 2:53:22 PM

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Joined: 3/6/2013
Posts: 1,827
Location: God's Deep Freezer, United States
Well believe it or not when I have to create a female character for one of My stories, I go to SlutsInc.com - a porn star database that gives the "stats" for the different female porn stars, sometimes with a picture!

So all My characters are sluts! LOL! ;)

Banner below is a clickable link! :)


Guest
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 2:57:20 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 649,084
I have a general idea of what I want them to look like, sometimes I see a picture and I think 'that would be good person to put in a story'.

In one case, the base idea was already noted, it took seeing a picture to make the story come to life - and the picture is the one used as the cover image on 'Dark Knight...' - so in that case, the picture 'wrote' the story.
avrgblkgrl
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 8:46:51 PM

Rank: Sexilicious
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I actually see my characters and their personalities first in my minds eye. Sometimes I may run across a picture that fits perfectly with what I imagine. That is an extra plus. But, that is generally rare. Songs seem to inspire me the most. For example, the story "Only for One Night" was influenced my a Luther Vandross song. Then, the characters just took shape.

Click on my latest submission:

overmykneenow
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 3:25:05 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/8/2010
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The Sears catalogue...



Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead

NEW! Want a quick read for your coffee break? Why not try this... Flash Erotica: Scrubber
Dirty_D
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 3:43:58 AM

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I tend to look up pictures of other things in the story, but rarely the character themselves.

For example, in settle for nothing, I knew my character, but I searched out a picture of the truck. Despite having driven a jacked up ford myself, I wanted the visual reminder. Same with settings occasionally. However, no photo can substitute for what I "see" in my head. If I really need to see something, a room perhaps, as in my last, I just close my eyes and I'm there.
overmykneenow
Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 1:31:42 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/8/2010
Posts: 1,209
Location: United Kingdom
Here are a few of links about using mood boards to help with writing/creativity...

http://creativewritingcreep.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/using-mood-boards-for-creative-writing/

http://diymfa.com/writing/mood-board

http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design/mood-boards-812470

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead

NEW! Want a quick read for your coffee break? Why not try this... Flash Erotica: Scrubber
ambidentrous
Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 3:34:46 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/15/2013
Posts: 10
Location: South Africa
I hadn't heard of mood boards before- what a great idea! Thanks.

Darkroom series (light exhibitionist)
Amnesty Program series (first time)
CurlyGirly
Posted: Thursday, January 09, 2014 9:39:43 AM

Rank: CurlyFries

Joined: 10/5/2012
Posts: 1,826
Location: United States
Mazza wrote:
I don't usually imagine what my characters look like at all and I rarely even describe what they look like, unless it's relevant for some reason...

If I want to, I can squeeze my mind's eye closed and "see" them...

Funnily enough though, in one of my stories, I did describe the female character, but as I wrote subsequent follow ups, I realised that's not what she looks like to me at all.. If that makes any sense?


This! thumbup



It won a potato. Aren't you intrigued?



kornslayer1
Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 10:08:39 PM

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RejectReality
Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 10:56:37 PM

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Joined: 1/29/2012
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Location: Alternate Reality, United States
It depends. Almost all of my stories in this pen name had reference images that were used as the models to create cover images. As a result, I usually have the covers at least roughed out before I ever start the story, and typically have that or the finished cover open while writing. It sort of serves as an inspiration thing for me, and I almost always have a scene that mirrors what's going on in the cover.

I don't mind dropping a little description in, rather than leaving it entirely up to the reader. I don't feel I go too far overboard. What I do describe is what years of experimentation has told me gets the best response from the widest range of readers - at least for me.

The same applies to stories in my Les pen name to some extent ( all my stories go under the RR pen name here ) but not really to stories as Dark. Almost all of the main characters in those stories have been around since the 80s, and I know exactly what they all look like down to the tiniest detail.

Buz
Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:00:45 PM

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No. I picture them in my imagination, making them fit into the character I am creating. I could be influenced by someone I've seen.

MadMartigan
Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014 7:22:47 AM

Rank: Raised on Blackroot

Joined: 6/17/2013
Posts: 2,156
Location: United States
Yes. I'm a perfectionist though. I use reference photos for specific scene locations as well.

I usually already have the character and personality well established before I look for photos, however, when I need a creative boost, I look for a reference.

This is particularly useful when I'm crafting a character with features I've never used before and am uncertain how a bi-racial mix would look.

For example, my newest female lead is Afro-Asian and I wanted a general idea of what such a women would look like, then go from there.

It's helped immensely.
DanielleX
Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014 8:44:33 AM

Rank: Blonde Bombshell
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A lot of my 'characters' are real people, so it doesn't apply. For the made up ones, I just use my imagination.


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