The vision of loveliness my heroine presents is always at best vague and at its most common a matter of one aspect. Bella Wormsley’s hair, for example, was in her fictional family and I could see it clearly because I was envisioning the daughter of a close friend.
Jennifer Young, author of Thank You For The Music, and a friend, recently posted on Novel Points of View:
http://novelpointsofview.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/in-my-heador-out-of-it.html about the problem of what characters look like to their creator. I sympathised and suggested we might attempt to get round the problem by engaging in some dialogue with people whose business it is to look at those characters.
I started with a dentist – “How did you chip that front tooth, Lady Bella?”
One might move on:
Milliner – “Your Ladyship has so much volume in her curls, I scarce know how to contain it beneath your riding hat.”
Dressmaker – “The new silks have peacock greens and blues which will complement your Ladyship’s colouring. I need hardly say, my lady, that your slender figure is shown to its best advantage in the straight fall of this gown, and your shoulders slope gracefully into the neckline.”
Lady’s Maid – “My lady, will you sit, please. I cannot reach to style your hair as you are now so tall. Nearly as tall as Mrs. Menzies, I think.”
Uncle Mack – “Bella, my love, there’s nothing breaks my heart so readily as seeing these sapphire blue eyes full of tears.”
And so a vision of Bella’s loveliness begins to emerge. I don’t have anything like the same difficulty when describing secondary characters. I’ve said elsewhere that CK Volnek, MIU’s cover artist for both Mariah’s Marriage and Bella’s Betrothal, might find the heroine’s eye-colouring change as the book progresses. I did have to go into the text to recover sapphire blue. Ah, well. You know what the aphorism says, Radio has the best pictures.
It’s all in the mind.