I love finding pictures of my characters. My new story in the next Smitten calls for a young child (at least so far that's in my story's plot). As I was trying to find just the right picture of a five-year-old boy, without much luck, it occurred to me I could use my grandson.
Normally, I don't pattern my characters after anyone I know. It's just too hard to separate my character from the person I know. But in this case, my grandson is perfect for the part. So I will attempt to use him in my story--or at least his outer image. :-) I need a little kid with attitude. What do you think? Does he fit the need?
When you're reading, do you have a picture in your mind of the character? I think it would be interesting to see the author's picture and the reader's mental image of the same character. Do you prefer lots of description for a character's physical image or do you like some of it left to your imagination?
IMO characters make the story. It's not so much what's happening as it is how that situation affects my character. So I have to find just the right character to put into that situation.
I'm on a Christmas--yes, Christmas--kick right now and I have to say I absolutely love the character Buddy on "Elf." So genuine, vulnerable, lovable.
What about you? Who are some of your favorite characters?