It has been a cold and busy week here in Seattle. At 25 F degrees out, my fingers suddenly don’t type very well. After I drop off my kid at the bus, it takes a few minutes to warm up my hands around a second cup of coffee. Meanwhile, I’m on the computer searching for images of my characters. Once I realized that my book was going to center on college students on a study-abroad program in London, I started looking for images of them.
There are a million blogs written by students doing study-abroad. I stumbled upon an easy way to find them. Seriously, I can just enter study-abroad London into Google and any random girl’s name, and I am certain to find a blog. I’ve gotten lots of ideas for secondary characters and the challenges they will face on their first trip away from home.
Developing my main characters is a little harder. I’m several scenes into the first act, but small things like eye color keeps changing and sometimes the wind is blowing long hair, sometimes there are curls. I know instinctively what my characters should not look like, but the details are a little fuzzy about what they should look like. I don’t want to steal anyone’s life, but to borrow a small detail or two. Sometimes I just want to clarify how a 28-year-old looks vs. a 18-year-old.
For my male lead, I want a young character that has a sense of fashion from an older period. I was looking up steampunk from google images but the results were all more costume than everyday. Then I realized I wanted to see just one item. The men’s vest. I am amazed but there is a tumblr called men in vests, and it is perfect.
This may all seem like a bit of procrastination. But I call it a warm up, at least for my eyes:)
ps. if you did a study-abroad program in London at some point in your life, I’d love to ask you a few questions…