Knowing how to describe our characters' physical appearance in a way that makes them easy to imagine from the moment they first walk onto the stage, that, my friends, is one of the trickiest parts of writing, especially when you have such a large cast. So many people to describe! And it's important to make each one unique and distinct. From wardrobe, voice and style of talking, their way of moving and walking, their face shape, eye color, complexion, body type, etc. there are a lot of moving parts to juggle to make a character come alive.
But one technique that makes it soooo much easier is to sort of model the look and sound of our imaginary people after real ones out there in the world.
For inspiration, and to get the creative juices flowing, we keep a binder and a Pinterest board that's full of famous and not-so-famous faces ~ models and actors who we think most resemble our characters. It's fun to scour the internet looking for images. As you no doubt will have noticed, in THE BLACK FORTRESS, we significantly expanded the depth and breadth of the villains. There are over a dozen bad guys. Muahaha!!! And Zolond (or "Big Z," as Gael has dubbed him) is the boss of them all. (Well, the mortal ones, anyway.)
Our model for Zolond, the leader of the Dark Druids, was none other than the famous English actor, Terence Stamp. In particular, his performances in The Haunted Mansion and Bowfinger were perfect for the deadpan yet surprisingly intense and intimidating Dark Master. This guy is just awesome!
Check out the 2 clips below and let us know if this is how YOU pictured Zolond. Did the unusual casting of an old-man super-villain work for you? We enjoyed developing his off-the-wall character in this book ~ and his retinue of trusty reptilians. :>