Some people can get an image of their characters in their mind, hold on to it carefully, and describe them, bit by bit, in such a way that you too can see them. I am not one of those writers.
Descriptions in general don't come easily to me, and people portraits least of all. I got away with that in To The Max cause Max is telling the story, and he isn't the kind to describe himself. He describes Richard, but in simple terms - long lemon blond hair, and midnight blue eyes. I had to do better than that for the cover artist, and believe me, it wasn't easy.
But I've discovered a way in which to improve on my descriptions, a method which I know other authors use - before we begin, we do a character photo search on the Intenet, looking for guys that match our image of our heroes, and then it becomes easier to describe them, cause you're looking at a model!
Often, I have a hazy idea of what type I'm looking for - say a blond, brunet or redhead, approximate age, stuff like that. Then I google some or part of that, and see what comes up. If you go that route, be prepared for a lot of pictures of totally extraneous and unrelated items (especially if you keep safe search off, as I do. I once wanted a picture of a champagne bottle. Simple enough, yes? Well, I ended up with a picture of a woman, with two bottles, placed in certain orifices, and I was like wtf? Seriously?
Yes, seriously. So be prepared for sights you may not want to see, just because they're tagged that way.
Another place to look is on model sites - you can google those too. Model agencies such as Nass, among others. I found my Avery of my Captivations series by the other method, and I'd never heard of the model I found, but he was perfect - turns out he's like the top model in the world or something. Who knew? What do I know about Dolce & Gabbana? Zilch! But I know a handsome man when I see one, so let me show you my idea of what Avery Deacon looks like:
I have to say it makes me want to find a man that dresses in Dolce & Gabbana!
It's fun to look for guys this way, and very rewarding when you do so. Of course I can't use David Gandy's picture on my novel - I'd hate to think what that would cost. But I did get Jimmy Thomas, who is incredibly awesome and very sexy! In fact he's on two of my covers so far, and I know he'll be on at least another one, just not sure when. I picked out the pic myself, and my lovely editor bought it! Let me show you those covers:
Right now, I'm currently searching for someone, and having a hard time doing it, so I'm going to throw it out there, in case anyone is interested in helping me in my search: I'm trying to find a forty-ish guy who looks like Robert Plant (long waved blond hair, rugged looks) but isn't Robert Plant. Any help in this quest would be appreciated!
Tell me about your experiences in finding your picture perfect guy! I'd love to hear them!