When I want to create a new character, I normally resort to a character builder that I´ve concocted from a number of different sources including Linda Edelstein´s ´Writer´s Guide to Character Traits.´ This is a useful reference but doesn’t guarantee to create an interesting character, only a realistic one. So, how to create an interesting character? One who can attract the reader’s interest and good enough to sustain a series? Think Inspector Morse and you´ll understand what I mean.
Now, I’ve decided to do something different; I’m going to base the existing characters (but remodelled) on famous film actors. The heroine is an ex-Tornado pilot who has served in Iraq and she is basically Uma Thurman. Perfect casting, I think. Now, the villain is a real nasty and I always had in mind Jurgen Prochnow, a German actor from the 80s with beady eyes and a bad complexion (Das Boot). He’s perfect as well, but then his character doesn’t need rewriting; he’s nasty enough.
Now, we come to the main character, Hayward. So far, I have drawn a blank. He is mid-thirties, very smart, quick thinking with a very logical brain, a kind of chess-playing action man. He’s fit and attractive to women but doesn’t have a regular girlfriend because of his job. There will be some sexual tension between him and Ms Thurman. He’s proactive and doesn’t take shit from anyone but is a good listener as well. Listens first, takes action second. Looks good in a suit and out of it. Fits in as a Eurocrat with multiple languages. Doesn’t like vodka Martinis, shaken or stirred. Prefers a good red wine but is happy with plonk. He must not be a stereotype; no clichés please. Oh, and I forgot to mention that he is an aircraft accident investigator who’s afraid of flying.
Now, who should he be modelled on? Daniel Craig, maybe. Not sure about him though; too James Bond and he has that pursed lips look that doesn’t fit. Hugh Jackman is out as well; too rugged and, well, too Ozzie . Ewan McGregor is too wimpy.
Come on, someone out there must have some ideas! A free signed copy of the book to the lucky person who suggests the best film star and an invitation to the Premiere in Hollywood.
Or a bottle of plonk.