Monday, August 16, 2010

Daniel the Pest

Last week I started plotting my next wip. I'm a total plotter, so this stage will last a while. One of the first things I do is character sketches, and part of that is finding pictures of people (usually actors or actresses) that my mc's look like. This is one of my favorite types of research. I mean, look at that picture. Can you blame me? :)

So I have a villain in my new wip, and as we all know, a villain shouldn't be evil just for the sake of being evil. He's usually got some backstory that's turned him into the person he is, some sympathetic reason behind the evil things he's doing. So I searched and searched for an actor to represent my villain, and I came up with Daniel Craig. I took the above picture and put it at the top of my villain's character sketch. All is well and good.

So as I'm thinking about my villain's backstory, and I'm staring at the picture of Daniel, he just keeps getting more and more sympathetic. Pretty soon he's got enough past trauma, family secrets, lies, blackmail, etc. for a story of his own, all of which had no part in the original idea. Darn it! Why did I have to pick Daniel to be my villain? So I ended up giving him his own significant story line. Hopefully that will keep him in his place, and he'll stop being such a pest.

Have you ever had a secondary character take over? Did you ever give a secondary character their own story or viewpoint because they just wouldn't leave you alone?

Incidentally, earlier this summer my husband was attending my son's baseball game, and a random woman and her teenage daughter came up to him and told him he looks like Daniel Craig. Hmmph. When's the last time some stranger told me I look like Eva Green? Let's see, maybe...never?

BTW, my husband would kill me if he knew I blogged about that. This will be a good test to see if he reads my blog. If so, hi honey! :)

NOTE: I'll be skipping my Wednesday post this week to prepare for Jen's Guess That Character blogfest on Thursday and Friday. If you haven't signed up yet, hop on over to Jen's to take part in the fun! And I hope you'll stop by Thursday and give me your best guess!

45 comments:

Old Kitty said...

Your hubby looks like Daniel Craig?? Are you serious?? Seriously, he looks like the god who will be my husband but doesn't know it yet?!?!?!?! Oh wow.

Anyway. Oh yes. Daniel Craig my soon to be husband, a villain?!?! Oh Susan Fields how could you?!?!?!

:-)

At the moment all my characters are taking over and I'm having a hell of a time beating them back. I think I'll just stare at my husband to be to get some perspective.

p.s. What's happened to all the pink in your blog?!?!?! Awww but I love your new pic!!!

take care
x

Susan Fields said...

Old Kitty - I don't think he really looks like Daniel Craig, but when he's got a tan, his light blue eyes do kind of stand out like Daniel's. I think Daniel will make a fine villain, he was a pretty good one in Road to Perdition. But like I said, he's a sympathetic character, so don't worry! I'm kind of missing the pink, too, but it was time for a change. :)

Patti Lacy said...

Yes, I HAVE had a secondary character take over.
And LOVE the looks of your Daniel.
Downright handsomy snarly.
P

Culture Served Raw said...

Hey Susan, you're lucky, someone told me my boyfriend looked Rob Schaider (is that how you spell it?) haha nevertheless I think they're both adorable :)

Secondary characters taking over? Never for me, but that is an interesting concept

Talli Roland said...

Daniel, oh Daniel. So hot. Have you ever seen 'Enduring Love'? I thought he was hot in that, too. He can save me from a balloon any day.

Thanks for your lovely comments on Nicola's blog, btw! :)

Kelly said...

I do have one of my characters look sort of like a celebrity in my mind. The others I think I need to sketch out more!
Lucky you that you have a Daniel Craig lookalike for a hubby!

Bossy Betty said...

Yes, my secondary characters can be bossy, but I like that in a person.

Did he read your blog? Did he?

Lola Sharp said...

Yes, I've had secondary characters pester me.

Daniel Craig is one fine hunk of YUM. He could pester me all. night. long.

Happy Monday, Susan!
Love,
Lola

Brian said...

Oh my, if your hubby reads this does that mean he will be shaken, not stirred?

Theresa Milstein said...

You could do worse than having a husband who resembles Daniel Craig.

Smile. What were you thinking making your antagonist Daniel Craig? I could've told you that would happen. I'm laughing, picturing it all unfolding. Maybe you will just write a completely different story with DC as your protagonist with flaws. Good luck!

Jemi Fraser said...

I can understand why your villain took a sharp turn towards human... Daniel Craig... need we say more :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I used Jessica Alba to depict a certain character in my book. Matthew McConaughy too. Then there is Bennie, a mixture of Jack Black and Seth Rogin. Using stars of the big screen helps to develop characters.

Stephen Tremp

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why I never talk about my wife on my blog. With my luck, that would be the one she reads.
So far so good, no secondary characters have taken over.

Lenny said...

hi miss susan! i didnt ever have a character take over but one time a raccoon in one of my stories tried to. he bit me on my toe! ha ha. nows he back in the woods and im still the boss. :) that hi honey got me laughing for if your husband sees your blog. im in miss jens character blog fest. im gonna read yours for sure.
...hugs from lenny

Candyland said...

Yes! Secondary characters are sneaky little beasts. If they feel left out, they'll let me know.

Jen said...

I'm excited to see what you've come up with this week Susan!!! I'm really excited with everyone who has taken the time to participate in the fun! I'll be very busy this Thursday and Friday to see all the awesomeness!!!

I love that people think he looks like Daniel Craig... what a nice compliment :)

Donna Hosie said...

Daniel Craig can be my hero, villain, post-boy, peripheral nobody who just stands on a street corner and smokes...

He is just delicious! Now was there a post with that image? I ought to read what you actually wrote!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Characters. They're all fighting for main stage, aren't they? :)

Lynda Young said...

Secondary characters are always so interesting and different. It's easy for them to take over ;) I like that you get clear pictures of your characters before you start.

Susan Fields said...

Patti - Good, I'm glad I'm not the only with pushy secondary characters. :)

Culture Served Raw - I'm just waiting until someone tells me I look like Angelina Jolie. I don't think it's going to happen, though.
:(

Talli - Your interview on Nicola's blog was awesome! No, I've never seen Enduring Love. I'll have to put it on my Netflix list. If it's got Daniel, I'm sure I'd like it.

Kelly - I really like picking a celebrity to kind of model my characters after. It makes it much easier to picture them in my mind as I write the story.

Susan Fields said...

Bossy Betty - I'm pretty sure he didn't read it, or I would have heard about it by now. I'll give an update in my next post. :)

Lola - Actually, I'm sure the story's stronger for having the villain's story line so fleshed out, so I shouldn't be too hard on poor Daniel. :) I hope you had a happy Monday, too!

Brian - "Shaken" is probably a good word for it. Luckily he's a Bond fan.

Theresa - Aha, very psychological of you. There may definitely be some significance there. It's a good thing my villain isn't such a bad guy after all. :)

Susan Fields said...

Jemi - I know, it's hard to make Daniel out to be too terrible, even after seeing Road to Perdition.

Stephen - I really like to use film stars for my characters, too. I just helps me to picture them better.

Alex - I know, I'm taking a big chance here. I know he does read it sometimes. I guess I was feeling daring this morning. :)

Lenny - I'm glad that raccoon got back to the woods where he won't bite your toe anymore! I'll be sure to read your entry in the blogfest too - I can't wait!

Susan Fields said...

Candyland - Isn't it funny how those secondary characters can be so insistent? But it does make for a better story, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Jen - I checked out the list and you've got a lot of entrants. I can't wait to make the rounds on Thursday and see what everyone comes up with!

Donna - Step away from my villain. Hey, I wonder if I can find a spot for Viggo in this wip. :)

Kimberly - Aren't they, though? Sometimes I start out with one story idea, and end up wondering whose story I should really be telling. Maybe Daniel will end up getting his own novel someday.

Susan Fields said...

Lynda - I guess that means we're doing a good job with our secondary characters if they have enough personality to take over. :)

Late Breaking News: My hubby just informed me I'm in massive trouble. He passed the test!

Myrna Foster said...

I have had secondary characters take over, and I usually have to take most of their story out in a later draft. That's okay though. Sometimes it's enough that I know their story, and sometimes they just need their own novel. The last one I dealt with just needed to be booted. I didn't even like her.

Susan Fields said...

Myrna - You make an excellent point. Even if we cut the secondary character's story, maybe it's enough that we just know their history. Now I feel better about Daniel taking over. :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

He does kind of look like your HOT hubby...I think I might like to see him with some stubble. I've never noticed him with it. hmmm...

What age level are you writing for? Daniel seems to be a bit past the ya age level...

Susan Fields said...

Sharon - He lets the stubble grow over Christmas break. It does look good on him. :) You're right, Daniel is past YA age level. I wanted to give him his own viewpoint, but decided not to based on his age. Maybe it will be like Myrna said and it will just be enough that I know his history, without putting it all in the book.

Dawn Simon said...

I start the same way you do (or at least in a similar way), searching through magazines or Googling pictures of celebs I think might fit roles and inspire. Sometimes the people I pick are models. I'm a plotter, too, btw, for the most part.

Too funny about your husband. People used to always think my dad was someone famous.

DL Hammons said...

See you at Jen's on Thursday!! :)

Summer Ross said...

I'll be stopping by to check out your character. :)

Susan Fields said...

Dawn - Sometimes I use models, but I'm such an avid movie watcher that oftentimes an actor/actress will just spring to mind that seems just right. Plus, then I can picture them in action, and that helps, too.

DL - See you then, can't wait!

Summer - Great, I'll by by to check out your character, too!

Susan Fields said...

Summer - Oops, I meant I'll be by. I really need to pay more attention to that little "Edit" box that comes up. :)

loveable_homebody said...

Oooh Daniel Craig! It takes guts to approach someone and share a perceived similarity. And I think a celebrity look alike would make a great character! I'm trying to think of what evil he could do and how he could garner sympathy.

Susan Fields said...

Lovable - I think Daniel is very inspiring, I seriously did come up with a much more detailed past for his character after I put his picture at the top of my character sketch. Thanks for stopping by!

Vicki Rocho said...

Laughing...my MC's best friend is in danger of taking over. I like her free-spirited ways. I'd switch personalities, but the storyline won't work if the MC is too laid back. Wondering if the best friend has a book of her own in her?

I love looking for pics of my characters, but since I know next to NO actors/actresses, it's hard for me

Erin MacPherson said...

I love that you find pictures to match your characters... that's such a great idea!! I would totally choose the actor who played Lincoln Burrows in Prison Break. He's so drool-worthy and a perfect villian in my opinion!

Susan Fields said...

Vicki - If you like the character so much she's taking over, she can probably handle a book of her own. I'd probably give Daniel his own book, but I write YA and his character's too old. It's an intriguing idea, though.

Erin - I Googled him. His name's Domenic Purcell and he's definitely drool-worthy! Looks like you have a candidate for your next villain. :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

I'm more of an outliner than a full blown plotter so it usually doesn't take me long and the outline grows and changes as I write. Secondary characters come out of no where and even my main characters surprise me on a regular basis. But its all good!

Anita said...

I love thinking about my secondary characters starring intheir very own book. Someday, someday.

Susan Fields said...

CQG - I agree, it's good to be flexible and change as the ms develops. I love it when my characters surprise me - it usually makes the story much more interesting!

Anita - I think about that, too. It seems like I could make a career out of every book idea I have by just making up stories for the different characters. :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Hottie. Total HOTTIE. I'll take him, villain or hero. I can see why he'd take over your thoughts, even as a secondary character. Drool. Drool. How lucky are you to have a husband that looks like him????!!

Angela M. said...

I have a character based on one of my shipmates. He knows because he asked me to write him in, so I did. I even kept his name, Bozant. It was a small thing then, but it's snowballing. I have some kind of a weird writerly crush on him (not the real Adam B). He's just so darn cute. In Book 2, his role grew even more and now he'll be my MC in Book 3 when I get to it. Who knew this would happen?

Medeia Sharif said...

Sometimes a secondary character comes out stronger--stealing the spotlight--than I planned. My outline grounds me to my original vision.

DJ Kirkby said...

A husband who looks like DC, huh? i'm almost as impressed by that as the fact tha tyou are an intensive plotter. Sure wish I was that dedicated :( I always pay the price for not being a plotter later on in my novels in progress.