Do you ever cut out pictures of your hero and heroine before writing a story?
I own plenty of romance magazines as well as Cosmo and a few naughtier magazines from which to cut out pictures of men and women. This better allows me to visualize my hero and heroine. I try to cut out pictures from the waist up otherwise it's just distracting. Lol. Sorry, little dirty humor there.
Anyway, I'll also cut out settings from travel magazines, as well when I'm working on a specific place. This helps because I'm not a big traveler. My imagination will fill in the blanks from there.
So, do you visualize characters in your mind, or decimate magazines as I do? Once I've cut out these pictures, I tape them to a piece of paper along with a brief description of certain characteristics I need to remember such as height, etc. From there, the pictures go up on my wall, so I can briefly peruse them as I write a story.
It can be time consuming to find the right picture, and often times you have to settle for something less, but it's always a good idea to have a visual aid at hand when writing. At least, it's been my experience that these things are helpful.
I've heard other writers say they write out long histories for their characters. An excellent idea for those who can do such. Personally, the technique doesn't work for me. I know their back-story, but don't need to know who they had a crush on when they were twelve, unless it relates content to my current storyline.
Remember, if you use pictures not to get mired in finding just the right one. Picture cutting is an involved process and may take away vital writing time if you don't keep it to a reasonable amount. You don't want to spend weeks searching for a picture when you could be writing instead.
One of my current WIPs is a wolf shifter romance that takes place in a dystopian world. Yeah, a lot going on, but the point is that I have a picture of a gorgeous man I use for inspiration. For writing, not anything else. Lol. Hmm, maybe that was just my dirty mind again.
Anyway, what's your best way to flesh out the characters of your story?