How do you decide what your characters look like? Can you conjure up a complete picture in your head from the first page, and form a credible person complete with mannerisms, do you build them up slowly as the story progresses, or do you need something more specific to help you along?
Being someone who has little inner vision - eg if someone says, 'Imagine this room without the swirly carpet, the swagged velvet curtains and the mustard paintwork - imprint it with neutral colors, a feature wall and a new stone fireplace.' Are you there? Nope me neither - I cannot see beyond the 60's carpet and the dusty pelmets - I just can't.
I search the web for images of people from the right era, age and roughly the same colouring as the ones I have pictured in my head -a tactic I employed with my latest novel, a cozy mystery set on board a steamship in the year 1900.
I find it much easier to give them facial expressions, mannerisms, even opinions by keeping these images to hand. How do others fix a character in their heads? - and for those of you who are familiar with my wip - is this how you visualised my amateur sleuth and her accomplice?