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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Picture Perfect

Recently, I spent some time going through my files for published books. Not the WordPerfect files where I did my writing, but my image files. It was really interesting to go back and see how many pictures were filed for which books.

For Ravyn's Flight, I discovered three pictures--one of the hero and two of the heroine. It was one apiece for The Power of Two. I had more pictures for Through a Crimson Veil. Tons of the heroine and dozens of the hero and a handful of Venice Beach, where a couple scenes in the book take place.

The numbers of images dwindled again for my fourth and fifth books before exploding with book six, In Twilight's Shadow and Edge of Dawn and In the Darkest Night had even more. That gave me an oh moment. :-) Oh, yeah, this is when I upgraded to high speed internet.

The vast majority of my story comes to me by "hearing" it all inside my head. I can "hear" the characters' internal monologues, I can "hear" their conversations with each other. Some authors talk about things unfolding like a movie for them, but I've never had that. I might get glimpses, but they're more like snapshots than movies. That's why finding the right images is so important to me.

There's a stage I call Pre-Book when I go looking for pictures of my heroes and heroines. A lot of times I don't know what I'm looking for, but I trust I'll recognize the h/h when I see them. I always have in the past. Sometimes they surprise me and they look nothing like I expected, but once I get a that's me, it doesn't matter. If it doesn't fit my preconceived notions, that's too bad.

This happened just recently with a new idea that burst into my brain. The hero ended up with very light brown hair and the heroine has almost-black hair. If you'd asked me before I found the right models, I would have had that the other way around.

I also like to find house plans and pictures if the h/h are going to be in that setting a lot. It keeps me on track for moving them through the house and it helps me with consistency.

But back before I had high speed internet, looking for pictures was torturous and slow, which, I guess, explains why the early books didn't have nearly as many images as the latest. I love my high speed internet. :-)