Finding initial inspiration for a new character can be a daunting task. Sometimes I have a more or less vague impression of a new person forming. For my current project I had the notion of an average boy who’s more on the introverted side, but I couldn’t quite picture him yet. So I used one of the great resources of our time to dig deeper: Pinterest.
Did you ever use Pinterest for your story development? I can highly recommend you try it. It doesn’t cost a dime and it’s visually appealing. Go create a board for your character inspirations. You can make it private if you don’t want other so see it. No pressure. Just create the board and start looking for related pictures.
For my introverted and average boy I searched for lots different expressions like ‘young man’, ‘teenage boy’ and even something like ‘anime boy’. Sometimes I find it easier to look for animated characters, because they have a lot of different expressions and that’s what I usually look for.
When you find a picture that you find fitting, pin it. And open it! Underneath you’ll probably find even more fitting pictures, because Pinterest shows related images. Great!
Another great thing is if you have an optical feature already set. Search for ‘freckles’ or ‘redhead’ for example to get a taste of what I’m talking about. You’ll find huge collections of bodily features.
After I had some pictures collected I looked through them and searched for common patterns. Maybe I tend to brown-haired guys or the ones with a calm look or whatever it is that you are looking for in the person you want to come up with. Use this information and incorporate it.
Since I’m someone who likes to work away from my computer if possible I usually print out the picture(s) that fit the person the most. This way I can always look at my vision of the person and find it easier to think of him or her as an actual person and not just some vague thought in my head. And since I like filling out some kind of profile for my characters I like to have a picture that goes with it.
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