Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Visualization (Or, She looks like what?)

Stealing an idea today from Jen at Unedited, who presented her followers with a fun game (in my opinion). The idea is to post a snippet from a WIP (Work in Progress, for my non-writer friends) and ask readers to describe the MC's (Main Character's) appearance. This idea came about when Jen realized that her idea of a character was often completely different than what her readers had in mind. So as I work on this next novel, I give you a very random clip of Samantha as she takes her first Spanish taxi ride upon arriving in Seville for the first time. The only background info you need is that Samantha is telling this story in retrospect. In present time, she is a 40-year-old woman who has been living the expat life for many years.

Okay, here we go. Read on and tell me what Samantha looks like. I'll reveal a photo image of Samantha in a few days.

Señorita, I take you somewhere?” A taxi driver held open his trunk for my luggage as I stood on the curb obviously looking helpless and American.

Sí, gracias.” I handed him a piece of paper with my new address on it.

The driver eyed it for a second and then nodded his approval. He tossed my two bags haphazardly into the trunk, slammed it closed with more force than was necessary, and ushered me quickly into the back seat. “Traffic get bad soon. We go fast.”

As we zoomed through traffic and weaved from lane to lane, coming precariously close to other cars and proving that Seville cabbies were probably even more efficient than New York drivers, I sat in the back seat of that taxi feeling a sensation I’d never felt before. Confidence. It was the most daring venture I’d ever set out on, a time when confidence should have been the last thing I felt. It seemed fear, doubt, and even indecision had forgotten to find their way into my luggage when I packed up for my life of drinking coffee in streetside cafés and strolling Spanish calles.


  1. I don't know why, but an image of a slim young woman with high cheekbones, wavy brunette hair and piercing blue eyes. I guess she looks a bit like a young Katherine Hepburn.

  2. hmmm. I'm seeing someone a little mousy - the remark about confidence rings out. I also see her with brown hair (not too dark),and pretty straight. Hangs just to her shoulders. Probably light brown eyes. Average build. The kind of person who blends into a crowd. But I expect this is going to change.

  3. Samantha seems petite, slim and probably a little on the nervous side.

    She's also a clotheshorse if she's lugging around two suitcases.


    Interesting exercise. I like it!

  4. Hmmm... I'm picturing a tall woman wearing high-heels, a sharp outfit, and lipstick. Fun post!

  5. Thin and willowy, a little frail. Slim fingers and delicate wrists. Guileless brown eyes framed by chestnut hair that glints golden in the sunlight.

  6. Oooh, it's so difficult not to reveal who shares my same brain. But this has been very educational b/c even though many descriptions are not what I had in mind, I have to admit most of them still work. Will reveal photo very soon.

  7. Helpless and American. Hmmm. She's starting to look like me.