As I've been working on the proposal for my historical YA, I've realized that some of my characters are coming up as a bit flat and I realized that's because I didn't have a clear idea of what they looked like. I tend to be a visual persons, so it helps if I make a collage with pictures of what I think the characters might look like.
So I've been combing the web looking for people, not necessarily actors, that I think look the most like the people who are populating my fictional world. One of the most important characters is Victor Delacroix, who is the total hottie French professor at Brearly College.
Now I looked at a lot of pictures of Frenchmen but the closest to what I think the character looks like is Gabriel Aubry also known as Halle Berry's baby daddy. I mean the guy is smoking hot. So what if he's French Canadian? Victor's father is a French creole from New Orleans, and he grew up in between Paris and Lousiana.
Victor is kind of a rebel as well. He throws out the curriculum that the school has set and instead is having the students translate Baudelaire and Verlaine, and reading from Flaubert as well as Dumas. He tells them about the Impressionists and Toulouse Lautrec. I might even bring up the Dreyfus Affair at some point.
There is a innocent flirtation between my heroine and Victor, but he's twelve years older than her, and it is a YA so there's no sex. Just lots of possibilities!
Question of the day: Do you ever use pictures of real people to inspire your characters? Do you ever make collages with the houses and people that populate your books as a visual aid?