Do you cast your stories? What I mean is, when you write, do you decide ‘this person should play this part’?.
I don’t mean casting for a possible TV series, although that helps. I mean putting a face to a character.
I’m fairly good at giving a character a voice. Accents help – it’s very easy to give your character a distinct voice if they have a distinct accent. It also helps to say your dialogue out loud – that’s when you know if you know if it sounds stilted or awkward. But faces – I’ve never been very good at imagining faces for my characters.
That was when I started ‘casting’ my characters. I didn’t want to use friends, as that would probably lead to my characters turning into my friends – and besides, they might recognise themselves. I have used strangers from the street before, but I only get a glimpse of them. So lately I have taken to casting my characters using actual actors.
I tend to use the lesser known actors, and ones who are different in every role. I try and watch them in a couple of roles, so I get a feel for how they move and express and themselves (but I never use their actual voice. Like I said, that’s already in my head). I find it really helps to imagine my characters, and means I don’t forget what my characters look like (which happens to me a lot!). And of course, if ever my story does make it onto screen, I already have my perfect cast worked out….