I can sum up this post in one sentence: I like to bitch about facial features of story characters even though I have no facial recognition (whaddup Prosopagnosia?). Really, don’t bother to read this. It’s confusing and weird and quirky. Sure, some good pictures along the way, but really now, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking I’m humorous.
I have this super bad habit of trying to figure out what a character in a story looks like so that I can properly read a book and reinact their movements and gestures in my head. But I also have a lot of trouble with facial recognition and imaging the right face. This ends with me reusing the same male characters for just about everything or me scouring Google images in order to find something better. It’s why you can see me reading A Great and Terrible Beauty but also parading Google in order to find better dress/hair styles for the characters or reading Dan Brown books while searching for the perfect picture of Johnny Depp to be my image of Robert Langdon (which Molly ended up finding for me, which was spectacular).
But let me sum up my lack of imagination and help I often need when thinking up how a character will look. No, let me just explain how I reuse characters. You know Howard Roark from The Fountainhead? I put a beard on my image of Edward Cullen for that one (my Edward Cullen looked nothing like Cedric Diggory, by the way). You know Joe Gargery from Great Expectations? He happens to look identical to Simon in A Great and Terrible Beauty, but again, I added a beard. And the protagonists from both Fahrenheit 451 and 1984? Same exact person. I’m so freaking lazy.
But it’s infuriating for me to not picture someone as the character. It’s easy for me to picture the women, and I can make it be a variety. But the men? I have to have them perfect. Maybe it’s because I want to fawn over the book character, or maybe it’s because I’m just some type of OCD about the men of the story. I don’t know, but it bothers me when I can’t come up with something right–especially for the guys my age in books.
So, it’s that kind of dilemma that I have hit while reading Great Expectations. I’ve been able to come up with what every character looks like just fine–except the main character. Pip. Oh Pip. What the hell do you look like? I could imagine young Pip just fine. A kid. Easy. But handsome Pip around my age? Shit. I haven’t a clue.
I could go the easy route and imagine a young Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom or what-have-you. But you know what? I keep seeing the same thing over and over in my head. This:
Why Barnes and Noble? Why? Why on earth do you ever put what you think a character looks like on my novel? Why would you not give me the opportunity to try and figure out what Pip looks like? Why would you ever give me this weird ginger kid to be Pip?!
I know, I’m obsered. But imagine that you have a character that looks like this in your head:
And every time you open your book, BAM! This is what you see:
I have enough trouble as it is imagining characters without the book itself trying to put yet another face into my mind!!
So, that is my dilemma that I have been bitching about in my own head. Sorry you had to bear witness to it. Sorry also to those who have seen my copy of Great Expectations and wondered what the weird mass was over the picture. It happens to be a painting I made out of black paint and nail polish so that I wouldn’t have to see that guys ugly speckled mug any more (wait, Ron Weasley from Potter Puppet Pals? No! That would have been a great choice; not this rubbish).
So, there you have it. I have to have the perfect image in my head of a character, but I have trouble when the books tell me what I should imagine. GRRR! FEAR ME, BOOK COVERS!