Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Margaret Moore: Visual Inspiration
I'm going to make a confession. As much as I enjoy a handsome male face and ripped abs, and sometimes tell people it's part of my job as a romance writer to look at attractive men (because really, if you want to write a medieval or Dark Ages romance about a good-looking guy, what's not to find inspiring about Gerard Butler in his Beowulf ensemble?), I've discovered I don't really use such visual inspiration for my heroes. In fact, I rarely visualize my main characters at all. I "hear" them much more than I "see" them.
It's my theory/excuse that that's one reason I don't like to outline. I get to know my characters through dialogue, and I need to get 'em gabbing to really figure out what makes them tick. So when I'm thinking about my story and merrily typing away, I'm not watching a movie so much as eavesdropping. If I do "see" my characters, it's only their eyes or lips.
However, I've also discovered I like to model my villains' looks after actors. For instance, right now, and no doubt to his surprise, Colm Feore is about to portray the Big Bad in the work-in-progress. Richard Armitage is already portraying the Slime.
Not that I think these guys are evil or anything. What they have is intensity, and amazing eyes. My villains are nothing if not determined to get what they want, and these guys protray that in spades. See what I mean? (Colm Feore is on the left, Richard Armitage on the right.)
That's why I loved Colm Feore in Julius Ceasar, and why I can hardly wait to see Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne in the new BBC production of Robin Hood.
But here's the other thing: my heroes have intensity and determination and amazing eyes, too. Because in my mind, there's often a very thin line between a hero and a villain, and it's drawn by motivation more than anything else.
Anybody else think so, or am I weird that way?