17 February 2011

Hey, Novel Writers

Dominika3 by b1gfoot
Ever see someone on the street who looks exactly the way you've pictured your MC, or other characters?

This happened to me a couple of days ago. I was driving down King Street here in Hamilton, on my way home for a day of writing after dropping Dave off at work. A young woman, somewhere in her twenties, was walking down the street, headed toward the downtown core. She was brunette, round-faced. She wore black tights under a pink sundress, over which she'd added a brown corset. A knee-length trenchcoat finished off the outfit.

As I drove past, I thought, "I know her."

This is a small city. I've lived here for a lot of years. When I meet someone new, I know to watch what I say, since you never know how many mutual acquaintances you and the new person have - chances are, there's at least one. So it's not totally weird to see someone you think you know.

But then I realized that this woman looked just like Emma. Emma is the main character from my novel-length WiP. A pink sundress over black tights plus corset is exactly the kind of thing Emma would wear. In fact, she has worn that outfit in at least one or two scenes in my book.

So, here's how I see this: it's possible I've managed to create a tulpa. Alternatively, seeing this woman was a high five from Zeus. Lest I defy Olympus, I think it's probably time to finish the damned draft.

Get down with your bad writing self! ~ Zeus

31 comments:

Kristina Fugate said...

Haha! I've never had this happen, but I'd have a hard time picking my jaw up off the ground if it did. Then I'd probably have to chase him/her down and ask to take a picture. (And probably scare them away. Lol!)

Dominic de Mattos said...

Saw your tweet and was intrigued! I love the clash of eastern and ancient Greek philosophies!

I can't say it has happen to me, but how cool would it be?! (was it, I should say!)

:Dom

Michael Offutt said...

I occasionally see something in someone I come across that might lend itself to my main character. But mostly...no, I've never had quite the experience you've described.

Gen Revelation said...

Never defy Zeus! His smiting hand gets itchy

The Golden Eagle said...

That's happened to me; I was walking once and I spotted someone who looked a LOT like one of my characters, it was creepy.

But I suppose for characters to be realistic and believable, it makes sense that someone somewhere would share at least a few similarities, right?

Raquel Byrnes said...

Completely creeped out a girl at Starbucks because she looked like the teen-aged version of my MC. *sigh* I can't help it.

Stopping by to introduce myself as a new follower and fellow crusader. Did you find out what group you're in yet?

Elizabeth Twist said...

@Kristina: I try my best to avoid stalking, but it was tempting.

@Dom: I like to mix it up. I imagine Buddha and Zeus would have some pretty interesting conversations...[scribbling down that idea]

@Michael: I cannot figure out your icon at all. Please explain!

@Gen: Duly noted.

@Golden Eagle: So glad I'm not the only one.

@Raquel: It seems I'm really not the only one! And: 17! (Horror / Urban Fantasy)

Heather Hellmann said...

That hasn't happened to me, yet. I kind of wish it would :)

Lydia K said...

That must have been really weird, but fun. I'm not sure I see my characters in such sharp detail. They are, even to me, a little fuzzy around the edges.

Sari Webb said...

Hi Elizabeth, that's so cool that happened to you. It's never happened to me but I sometimes google people with similar attributes to my characters to see if I can find someone who looks like them.

Is it Hamilton, NZ you live in? If so I lived there for seven years :).

Susan Fields said...

Hi fellow crusader!

You'd better get writing - you certainly don't want to defy Olympus!

Elizabeth Twist said...

@Heather: Obsessing over the fine details is key.

@Lydia: I didn't think I saw them all that clearly, but apparently I've been working out the details in ways I didn't realize. Or maybe (more likely) that particular young woman had enough of the traits of my MC that they all sort of coalesced when I saw her.

@Sari: No, Hamilton, Ontario (CA). I would love to see NZ's version of Hamilton sometime.

@Susan: welcome! I am on it.

gideon 86 said...

Hi, Elizabeth,

Nice to meet you...

Hopping over from the crusade list to introduce myself and follow.

The first challenge is up!

Michael

Elizabeth Twist said...

Ooh! Thanks for the info, Michael!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hi Elizabeth! Great to meet a fellow crusader! I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Yves said...

Hi Crusader...just dropping in. Can't say I've found my MC on the street, but I've seen traits in others that are similar...

Amanda Milner said...

How awesome would it be to think someone into existence?! I've, very briefly, had this happen to me once. I was driving down the road and did a double take on some teen boy walking on the sidewalk. My kids were in the car and they all whipped around too.
Kids:"What?! Who was it?!"
Me: "Sky! From my book!" Craning my neck and checking my mirrors for a better look. Two kids were very intrigued, one, I'm certain, was questioning my sanity. Lol! Sadly he was not to be found when I turned around to creepily stalk him. (This was a good thing, I'm sure☺)
Fellow Crusader stopping in.

raisingmarshmallows said...

making crusader rounds. Nice to meet you, now following!

Nikki

Trisha said...

Wow, that is pretty freaky! :D Of course, one of my main characters is based off one of my favourite musicians, looks-wise, so...ya, guess I've been there in a way. lol

E.C. Smith said...

For me, I often notice people who don't necessarily look like my character, but hold themselves the same way or use hand gestures like I imagined my character doing.

It's kinda deju-vueish!

Big hi from a fellow crusader. We're in the same group...looking forward to getting to know you!

Elizabeth Twist said...

@Elizabeth: I love your little hearts and stars! How do you do that?

@Yves: welcome, welcome!

@Amanda: to be a writer is to participate in alternative realities - or so I think. Our superpowers are developing well.

@ raisingmarshmallows: I love your name, and am most intrigued.

@Trisha: obsession is a key to good art. Otherwise, how would we do this? (LOL)

@E.C. Smith: let's crush it in the challenges.

Lauri said...

Actually yes, I have seen several of my characters walking about. Very, very weird.

Theresa Milstein said...

That must be surreal! I've had it the other way around - I see someone and that person's likeness appears as a character in my book.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I haven't seen my main character walking down the street, but one day while googling images I saw her. She jumped right off the page. Very cool when that happens!

Thanks for the follow! Looking forward to crusading with you!!

Carol Riggs said...

Ha, that's great you saw someone and it reminded you of your book character! ;o) Thanks for stopping by my blog and following--nice to meet you, buddy Crusader. Have a great week!

WritingNut said...

Yes! Sometimes I see people and think, "hey, they REALLY look like someone from my book"... it doesn't happen often, but it's pretty awesome when it does :)

Thanks for dropping by my blog!

Margo Kelly said...

That would be cool! Fun post. I'm a fellow crusader and new follower. Nice to meet you.

Zan Marie said...

LOL! I see my characters out and about all the time! And they don't even know it. ; ) Great post. I'm following you now.

Louise said...

Yes! It's happened to me on occasion. Or, I see someone interesting and find myself writing them into a story.

Crusader here, saying hi.

Will Burke said...

I WISH I had that vivid a picture of my characters, but I'm confident in my dialogue. Gotta start somewhere.
If you're gonna defy anyone, make it Buddha. He'd just go with it and wish you well.

Charlotte Rains Dixon said...

Its a sign, for sure. Finish the novel! I did have this happen once and found it very inspiring.

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