Thursday, September 2, 2010

Building A Better Hero

When I first explored Second Life, one of the things I found most intriguing was the ability to custom create and develop the look of your avatar, down to the way it smiles and what type of nail polish and hair style it wears. My idea was I could create an avatar based on the loose descriptions of my characters. This way I could get a better handle on them as I write their personalities and add more depth and detail to bring them to life in my stories.

Amid deadlines and family issues, I lost track of that idea and am now giving it another try in Earth to Elena, my sci-fi/paranormal romantic comedy.

Elena Hendren is an inter-galactic traveler and former thief, stuck hiding out on planet Earth. Her former partner-in-crime, Darius Maelstrom, is part con artist, part muscle, and all bad boy. Together, they were the alien version of Bonnie and Clyde. Elena and Darius were forced to go their separate ways when the interstellar patrol chased them through a rift in space/time. Now, six years later, he's finally found Elena again.

Given that basic bones description of who and what Darius is, I imagine some of you are picturing him a certain way, despite the fact I haven't mentioned his hair color or eye color or general body build. This is where developing an avatar look in SL is so helpful. I can try out various hair styles and colors, eye colors, body shapes, skin tints/colors, and other details. And I haven't begun to touch on clothing and how creating a signature style for your character says a lot about their personality!

Here are a few pics I took of Darius, trying to create a visual representation of what I saw in my mind's eye when I pictured the hero of my story:

I took this pic to show not only Darius with his shirt off (to see his basic build) but also some of the backstory setting—his home world of Azuropa.

Notice his eyes aren't quite like ours. ;)

I also played around with hair styles and other elements, but decided from the very first, that he had dark hair and cut somewhat short—but not military short.

I can see I'll need to work on his clothing some more, although I do like what he's wearing and will probably have him in jeans most of the time he's on Earth—well, unless he's outta them. ;-)


Cora Zane said...

Oh, wow! Great pictures! You mentioned you'd brought him up to my skybox, but you didn't tell me how awesome they turned out. He looks fantastic!

Cassandra said...

Oh thanks, Cora! And thanks for the loan of your skybox! I love that one scene you have and it makes the perfect background for an alien vista. :)
I proclaimed it Azuropa. heehee

Cora Zane said...

Then Azuropa it shall be. ^_^ Seriously, the photos turned out fantastic!