Gearing up for the Launch Party

What a generous soul. Let’s help her out, people!

Destiny Allison

I know I’m the only one doing metaphorical somersaults about the launch of my new novel, Pipe Dreams. Everybody and their mother has a book out these days and in the age of the Indie, writing a book doesn’t carry the same weight it once did.

But I think it’s wonderful that so many are finding ways to express themselves and live their passions. We’re not all Faulkner or Michael Angelo. What we are is growing, learning, and becoming the people we want to be. So I think every book, artwork or green seedling in the garden is cause for celebration.

I also know how hard it is to find the time, energy, and money to pursue those passions. So my launch party is going to be a little different. Instead of making it all about me, I’m going to make it about all of us.

And I’m asking for your…

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What the Perfect Face Can Teach Writers About Characterization

Recently on the show Live with Kelly and Michael they presented the picture of the perfect face. The idea behind the “perfect face” was to take the best features from some of the most beautiful people in the world and combine them to create the image of the perfect face.

the perfect faceI couldn’t find a copy of the picture they displayed on the show but I found one that is similar. I apologize if anyone reading this bears a close resemblance to it but combining the perfect features of others make this image a little freaky.

jennifer-grey-nose-job-before-afterThe little imperfections in people are what make them interesting. Without them a face becomes boring.

Think of Jennifer Grey from the movie Dirty Dancing. She had rhinoplasty some years after the movie and when she appeared on a TV sitcom the public didn’t know who she was.

The image on the left shows her before and after rhinoplasty. She was adorable, right? After rhinoplasty she lost that unique quality that made her recognizable. She’d become ordinary.

Here are some images of famous people who are known for their “perceived” imperfections.

Michael Strahan: gap between the teeth.
Michael Strahan: gap between the teeth.
Martin Scorsese: bushy eyebrows
Martin Scorsese: bushy eyebrows

Adrien Brody: prominent nose
Adrien Brody: prominent nose
Seal: facial scars
Seal: facial scars

Now imagine if these features were modified. Would these people be as memorable? If Jennifer Grey’s transformation is any indication, then the answer is, “Probably not.”

The same goes for the characters in your book. Don’t create what is known as a “Mary Sue” or “Marty Stu” which is a character that is too perfect to be interesting or memorable. Without unique characteristics the reader loses the ability to distinguish between characters.

Add things other than facial imperfections or unusual physical features. Give them a unique expression, a phobia, or an annoying habit. Throw in those little oddities. Make them endearing. It’s what readers love and it’s what they remember.