Friday, April 4, 2014

Fiction Friction (#1): Dream Casting Book Characters

These posts are meant to bring about some conversation, discussion, and perhaps even a debate. These discussion posts can occur at varying days of the week, mostly depending upon what's scheduled on the blog and what I feel like discussing.

I'd venture to say that one of the more frequently asked questions authors are asked about are whether or not they dream cast the characters in their books. I've always been fascinated by these dream casts, either because I love trying to imagine the characters are the actors and actresses chosen, but also because I think it gives a certain amount of insight into how the author perceives his/her own character(s).

And there have been times when somebody has asked me, for various reasons, whether or not I had a dream cast for a book I like/love. As much as I'd love to say yes, more often than not, the answer is no. Why, you ask? Let me explain.

When I read, I honestly barely pay attention to the physical description of the characters. Sometimes I retain a basic image, unless the character's appearance is an important part of them or is unique (ie. Harry Potter--lightning bolt scar, messy black hair, his mother's green eyes; Hermione--bushy hair, big front teeth; the Weasleys--red hair). I don't know if most of you are like me in that way or not.

I feel like in many ways, this problem has also added to an issue I have when writing. Because I don't pay normally give much thought to the appearance of characters in books, I also tend to write very little character description in my own writing. It's something I've been trying to work on, but to be honest, I don't necessarily even have an image of my characters in my head when I'm writing about them. Sometimes I'll have a clear image, but more often than not, I don't. Maybe it stems from this idea.

The other problem is that I'm not good with remembering actors and actresses, whether by name or appearance. If I had to dream cast characters, I'd probably have to spend weeks trying to find celebrities/actors and actresses that could potentially be used. 

And despite having SO much trouble with the issue of dream casting, it seems that a lot of other people are really good at casting characters or at least don't find it as hard as I do. Perhaps they do find it hard, but I don't know if it'd be to the extent to which it is for me. Sometimes I think about trying it out, but then I just fall back into this realization that I just can't do it (easily and fairly quickly)!

So my questions are: Do you like dream casting? Do you find it difficult or easy to do that? What are some challenges you have? Am I alone in my main two reasons for not dream casting characters? If you're a writer, do you dream cast your characters?

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