Monday, October 5, 2009

Who would star???

I overheard the greatest word the other day:

Placeholders.


I had never heard that before, and it is so fitting. Here's the concept: as a writer, do you ever 'cast' your books in your head? I have heard of some writers who do this, and it seems to work well for them. Jeffery Deaver, for example, once said at a reading that he had always pictured a grizzled Harrison Ford as Lincoln Rhyme, and I've heard that some other writers picture their protagonists as certain actors when they are writing the book.


I tried it. Apparently I picked the wrong actor.

See, I wonder if part of the rationale behind doing this is the hope that your book will someday make it as a big budget movie. That's an awesome hope. Thing is, I know my first one won't make it. I'm okay with that. As Chris Roerdan said this weekend, writers are the only people on the planet who think they could solo at Carnegie Hall the first time they pick up an instrument. I know that isn't the case (it's okay, trust me, I've read my first completed manuscript).



But the thing is, I keep trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. Or rather, one of my favorite tall and lanky pegs into a moderately squared-off hole. If I were ever to have a book made into a movie, I'd kill for John Cusack to star in it. That would make the world totally cool for me.




Problem, though. Every time I try to picture Cusack as my protagonist, it doesn't work. He's totally wrong for the part. And I'm the one writing the part. HowTF did that happen?

So tell me, do you do this? Or have you tried it, only to be thwarted by your own imagination as I have? Am I just pissing into the wind here?

2 comments:

Basil Sands said...

I have definitely done this same thing. Trying to imagine who would play the characters in my stories is a good exercise. My son and I actually talked about this the other day.

He pictured Liam Neeson as the Spec Ops Officer turned Pastor turned vengeful husband. I picture Dwayne Johnson as the retired Marine turned hunting guide who runs into terrorists in Alaska. And then someone mentioned the dude that plays Kumar to be my ethnic-Persian CIA agent / ADHD hitman.

The problem is of course if a studio doesn't call soon, those actors, at least the first two, will be too old. So I need a call soon or I'm going to have to reimagine the whole thing.

jnantz said...

I'll see if I know anyone who can speed up the process over in Hollywood for ya.

:D