Inspiration: Character Looks

I use random pictures from my explorations through Google Image Search and user-generated IMDB lists to help me visualize the characters and places in my story. Though most people aren’t aware of the characters yet, I’ll throw out the names as if you do. And it will all make more sense in the future!

This girl, though a little older than my vision of Copper, embodies the basic look: bright red hair, angled face that suggests defiance and independence, a wonderfully arched eyebrow.


Fun fact, I actually pictured Rachel Leigh Cook (a la her short red hair from Josie & the Pussycats) for most of the time I was creating and writing Copper, but she just wasn’t quite right and I had to keep looking for other redheads. I believe the girl above is an actress named Kincaid Walker. I haven’t seen her in anything, though.

This particular picture of Benedict Cumberbatch inspires my perspective of Shiloh. (Shiloh is definitely not as well-spoken or groomed as Benedict, nor as tall). I think it’s mainly in the messy hair, haha. And his outfit looks sailor-y, though not the kind of sailor clothes that Shiloh would be wearing.


When I saw Les Mis, I couldn’t help but think of how much Samantha Barks reminded me of a (too skinny) version of Essa. Her long black hair and the width of her face is perfect, though I’d imagined Essa’s hair a bit straighter than that. I suppose if you’re around the sea so much, you would get wavy beach hair from the salty water and air.


Copper’s brother, Blaze, has a lot of the characteristics that I see in Jeremy Renner (the SNL version, not the wannabe-action-hero version). He has the same stocky shape and facial features that I imagine on Blaze, though he lacks the red hair that all the Llewellyn family characters share.


That face! Such a goofy-but-thinks-he’s-kickass Blaze face.

Mikasa is supposed to be tall and lanky, lacking the sailor muscles that Shiloh or Blaze have developed. Though handsome, he exudes an element of danger that might be exciting or might hint at his true intentions. Alexander Skarsgard became my vision for Mik, not as I started out with the story, but as the writing journeyed along.


The Havelock twins, Aiken and Ayden, are supposed to be tan with hair that they dye funny colors (because they are academics who don’t care what anyone else thinks about them). I suppose Rashida Jones is the closest I can find to who Aiken would compare to, but what about her male twin? Who would that be?


I have yet to successfully find an inspiration picture for Ayden, the male half of the Havelock twins. But, fun fact, I decided I needed one. All the other pictures in this post I already had in a little “Copper inspiration” folder on my computer; for Ayden, I had to search! I found a “hot black actors” list on IMDB (does that make me a horrible person? … No, I’m just creatively using the tools at my disposal. Or at least that will be my excuse!) and Gary Dourdan popped up. He could pass as Rashida Jones’ male twin, yes?

maybe ayden

Both Rashida and Gary are too old to fully encompass the perfect Aiken and Ayden, but this is just about inspiration, not movie-casting.

Much of the first book is spent on a submarine. I don’t feel like I’ll have successfully finished research until I can actually get ON a submarine, but since that hasn’t happened yet, I have to be content with my internet adventures. This is a helpful diagram that shows how the sub shape and technology changed over time.

history of subs

Luckily, they get to use magic in my book, and that speeds along the development of their submarine technology. ;)

And finally, one of the pictures that has been the most quietly inspirational:

Porthole from Galley

It’s the view out of a porthole, and I dearly love it. (Hence why I used it as the header for this site). It embodies so much of what Copper is going through… but I guess you’ll have to read it to find out more.
But in order for you to do that, it needs to be published! So I need to get back to revisions and query letters and submissions…



Filed under Inspiration, Writing

6 responses to “Inspiration: Character Looks

  1. I’m so curious and excited about your book, Cathy!

  2. Don’t feel like you have to do that–we can wait till it comes out. :)

  3. Pingback: search terms | Cathy Writes Fantasy

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