#FirstDraft60 Day 9 — Your Characters’ Physical Descriptions including Character Casting
Today we’re going to get into what is, to me, one of the most fun parts of prep work—figuring out what our characters look like!
Part 1: Casting Your Characters
There is absolutely no point whatsoever in me repeating what I’ve posted before about casting your characters, so here are the links to the series:
Be Your Own Casting Director—Choosing and Using Real World Templates (RWTs) to Help with Character Development (Updated September 2014, originally published October/November 2006).
Character Development for Visually Oriented Writers; or, Be Your Own Casting Director
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Be Your Own Casting Director: 4 Methods of Character Casting
Be Your Own Casting Director: Creating a “Casting Book”
Be Your Own Casting Director: Using Real World Templates in Character Development
Be Your Own Casting Director: Isn’t This All Just a Big Waste of Time?
- Original Series:
Be Your Own Casting Director: Introduction
Be Your Own Casting Director: Real World Template Exercise
BYOCD: Creating a Casting Book
BYOCD: Collecting Images
BYOCD: Putting RWTs to Work for You
BYOCD: Guided Brainstorming with RWTs
Part 2: Describing Your Characters
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to put the full description of each of your main (POV) characters into your story bible, as well as any details you might know about your secondary characters. If you do already have some of this, go back and make sure you have all of it—and see if there are ways in which you can make your characters’ looks more unique.
Create a page/folder/section for each character so that the info isn’t running together and so that they’re easier to find.
Here’s what this part should include for each main/POV character:
Date of Birth:
Body type: (stocky, muscular, athletic, full-figured, slender, emaciated, etc.)—from the character’s viewpoint and in others’ opinions, if that’s important
Repetitive/habitual physical quirks: (i.e., biting fingernails, grinds teeth, pops knuckles, rolls neck when stressed, leg bounces/can’t sit still, etc.)
Include image(s) of the Real World Template for the character if you have them. If not, there’s no time like the present to cast your characters.
Here’s mine for my heroine, Alex, using OneNote (still needs some work):
Assignment: Add your characters’ physical description (using the above “chart” or something of your own making) to your Story Bible. Cast your characters, if desired.
That’s all for this part for today. Don’t do anything else other than look at your characters’ physicality. And have fun with it!
What did you learn about your character(s)’ physical appearance that you didn’t know before this exercise?