How often as writers do we wonder just what our characters look like? They probably are clear as day in our mind as we create them, and often as we describe them the begin to take shape in our mind’s eye. As they come to life as we create them in the story they become even more alive to us the writer and hopefully the reader. Sometimes they look like someone we know or have seen in the media, a picture in a magazine a movie or television actor and often, we don’t really have a visual. We might know their eye color, they skin color or if they have a hooked nose or a button nose. We know if they’re fat or thin but that doesn’t mean we know what they look like. It doesn’t make them seem any less real to us the writer or the reader but wouldn’t it be nice to know what they looked like?
A curious writer, media artist and co-founder of the online literary magazine “Joyland,” came up with the idea while reading crime novels. Brian Joseph Davis has created images for literary characters after using software that police use to try to identify criminals or victims of crimes. There is an interesting story at the BBC about his work and he has created a website where he’s posted images of beloved characters. I think it’s a fascinating idea and as a writer I’m curious to see how I could see my characters come to life in such a way.