So, as promised, let’s dive right into the details of my first ever book, Welcome to New York. Today’s post is all about…
Writing people is the most difficult thing for me. It took me a long, long time to learn my way around it, and I know I still have a lot to improve.
Over the years, one of the tricks I learned is to cast the characters I’m writing about, like in a movie or TV show. So, very early on, when I have most of their personality down, I tend to start looking for pictures of the people I’m writing into my stories. And, I have to say, it is surprisingly helpful. Once I see them, it’s like I’m finally meeting them, and they naturally become more fleshed out as I write along.
With Welcome to New York, it was no different – most of my characters are “cast”. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to our beloved main characters:
She’s short, stubborn and has a voice that doesn’t match her appearance – these are the first things I found out about her. With time, some other things popped up: she has green eyes; she has long, reddish hair; she rolls her eyes a lot.
When I had written a good third of the book, I thought I found the perfect real-life Alana, which would be…
I feel like Anna would perfectly portray the kind of moody-but-with-a-good-heart girl that Alana is. She also shares a lot of physical characteristics with Alana, especially the voice. As I continued writing, I got more and more convinced that it was her. But then, something happened.
I found this video online, and it completely changed my mind.
Do you see it?!
As soon as this started playing in my Instagram stories, I knew it was her. It’s Alana!
Katherine has a sweetness to her that I think suits Alana very well. I think she’s more physically close to what I imagined Alana to be than Anna, and she too has a beautiful singing voice.
I think the perfect Alana would be a mix of them two.
He’s British, good-looking and heavily tattooed – that’s all I knew about him for a long time. Harry was possibly the hardest one to write because he refused to tell me anything for the longest time. Which kind of is a good trait for someone with a secret, right? Unless you’re the one writing them.
Anyway, I had a possible Harry very early on in the story. I bet that by the three things I just told you about him, you have, too. I don’t know how much having this candidate in my head influenced the character, but by the time I got to fully understand him, it was too late to change. It was him.
Harry (the Styles) is very close to what I imagined Harry (the Crawley) to be physically, especially when he used to have that hideous man-bun. Personality-wise, although they share a kind nature, I think Harry (the Crawley) is far more anti-social and introverted than Harry (the Styles). But I think the fact that we don’t know a lot about him (or should I say them?) helps this cast decision.
She’s tall, loud and bold – she doesn’t think twice and is not afraid to demonstrate her feelings and wishes. For the longest time, I had Vanessa Hudgens in my mind. Specifically, this picture:
She has the looks that I imagined for Jaymee (except the height), but not really the attitude. Vanessa and her characters seemed to me too sweet to portray our fearless waitress.
That’s when I watched the first season of Riverdale and found her:
Can you imagine her with a long fringe and hitting on Harry? I can! If only she was a little bit taller…
He’s charming, full of himself, the definition of a bon vivant. We get to know him as someone who runs from responsibilities and enjoys having fun. Also someone that annoys the hell out of us, but who, somehow, wooed Alana at some point.
So, this was my first choice:
Just because. He’s very physically close to what I imagined Brandon to be, and I also think he’d get the nuances of the character. Also, I love him.
But I still have two other candidates that I think have played characters that remind me of different sides of Brandon:
I think any of them would be able to give us a good Brandon, he’s a mix of all of them together.
Now for some of our secondary (yet equally beloved) characters, we have:
Charles, Ethan and Guido…
And also Philip…
This one may or may not be influenced by my Harry choice, hehe.
As you can see, I didn’t cast everyone. I didn’t think too much about the others, since I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them. But what about you? Do you have a suggestion for any character that is not on this list?
What about the ones who are on this list – do you agree with my choices? Would you have any other candidate? Do you usually imagine real-life people for the characters in the books you read?
Tell me all about it!
Tomorrow, it’s all about places! Who knew Google Earth could be such a useful tool for a writer?
See you tomorrow!
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