The Casting Couch for Character Development

Jessica Alba as Max in Dark Angel

Who Do You Want To Act The Role Of Your Protagonist?

An effective way to increase the connection you have to your characters is to sit on the casting couch. There are thousands of talented actors who could be cast into the role of your protagonist. Who would be their ideal counter and play the role of your antagonist? You could even select your supporting cast and run the credits through your mind.

Jessica Alba is going to play the lead role when they turn my current work-in-progress into a movie. Well, in a perfect world she would. Of course I’m sure she’ll love the script. It’s not finished yet but it’s going to be fantastic and it’ll be exactly what she’d want to do next. I picture it; I visualize and see her eagerness and anticipation. She knows the role is right for her and she’s looking forward to spending months in this characters skin.

Who will star in the book-to-movie adaptation of your novel?

As our characters develop during the writing process they grow in our mind. They start off as simple sketches. Insubstantial figments that act on strange whimsy. As we flesh out these strange creatures we discover personality, history, motivation, and depth. In time they take on a life of their own. We hear their voices in our heads and they begin to push the story rather than being resistant followers to our commands.

Visualizing these stars acting out your book can help you delve into character and story. With an actor in mind scenes become almost movie-like in the mind’s eye. As I write a scene I see Jessica Alba as my protagonist. She becomes my character. She mirrors her spunk and fire. Her dark hair and eyes reflect the sense of disturbed darkness within my character. I see the scene unfold as if I were watching in high-definition and surround sound.

Could Paul Walker be my next book's leading man?I haven’t cast my leading man yet. I’m considering Paul Walker but keeping my options open until someone feels “just right”. I find my hero much more difficult not only to picture in my mind’s eye but to feel and know. He’s still fragmented. I can’t “get” him. Perhaps that is why I haven’t been able to cast him. If I could find the perfect actor to play his part would I find myself more connected and attached. Who is this man and if any actor could play his part who would I choose?

Who would you cast in the movie of your novel? Does having your star in mind influence your writing and your sense of connection to your characters?

James Bond On Blogging: Tips Six Through Ten

What did you think of part one, The First Five James Bond Tips For Blogging? Ready to learn more about how a James Bond attitude can influence you as a blogger? Inspired by Ben Barden’s, “10 Ways Bloggers Are Like James Bond”, here is part two, James Bond On Blogging: Tips Six Through Ten.

6. Look Snazzy In A Dinner Jacket

Dress For Success: 007 says, 'I Belong Here'We might be hidden behind these computer monitors just as James was often hidden behind his deep cover missions but he always knew how to turn out for those social events that mattered. From the depth of Iraq he could brush the dust out of his dark hair, use a pen knife to shave his three-day stubble, and sequester the latest in Armani fashion. He would walk into a room and command attention because not only had he dressed the part but he had an air about him that shouted, “I belong here.”

We mightn’t have so many official get togethers, outings, or events but as bloggers it is still important to step away from the blogosphere and out into the public eye. There are many ways to do that locally and online. The important thing is to dress the part and wear the right persona. Even if initially you feel like a fraud you have to develop the mindset, declare to yourself, and everyone else, “I belong here.”

7. Know Who You Can Trust

Bond lived in a dangerous reality. He has lots of enemies and very few friends. Even the friends he had he couldn’t be sure he could trust. His agency even tried to kill and control him a time or two and he had to learn to be very aware of the nuances and hidden messages in every interaction. Body language and instinct played an important roll in keeping 007 alive and mastering the ability to read other people saved his life.

Bloggers are far more fortunate because our social sphere is friendlier and more generous in nature. For the most part, bloggers want to know bloggers, they like bloggers, and we can all work together harmoniously. However, the internet is rife with misinformation and unscrupulous behavior. It is vital that we learn to spot a fake, distinguish a lie, and avoid adding our own voice to shoddy products or people. Our lives might not depend upon learning to read others but our integrity does.

8. “Everything or Nothing”

007 plays an ‘all or nothing’ kind of game. It made an apt title for one of the 007 movies. For Bond, taking chances was a way of life. He would risk his life and the security of his nation to go after the small odds that would pay out the biggest returns.

When blogging we need to keep in mind that we live in an ‘everything or nothing’ world. We don’t need to put our lives on the line or invest the family fortune but we do have to play hard, take chances, and evaluate the pros and cons of every action we take. Being a risk-taker isn’t about leaping into every situation it’s about making preparations for the best outcome and then taking a chance based on fact and reason. Sometimes those chances won’t work the way we hoped but they will propel us into a new situation and new opportunities.

9. “Never Say Never Again”

How many times did Bond get the upper hand, only to be thrust back as his target made an unexpected move? How many times did one enemy, or James himself, fall only to rise again? When it comes to the game of spies you can never be sure that the game is over. You never say never, again, and again, and again.

As bloggers we make mistakes, fail to update, apologize profusely and what do we vow? “Never again”. Learn from the title of this 007 movie, never say never again. We are human (behind the back lights) and we make mistakes. While it would be nice to learn from mistakes and avoid repeating them you can, “Never Say Never Again”. Just as we might take an unexpected hiatus, the blogging world changes swiftly. When one blogger disappears from the scene it can be tempting to fill the void of his absence. Just because he fell silent does not, however, mean he won’t rise again so beware that you may have competition in that field again if you decide to make the shift.

10. “The World Is Not Enough”

Ultimately, the antagonists 007 faced in each adventure wanted more. They could not be satisfied with the reach of their influence or the limit of their wealth. The real world has an economic glass ceiling that enemy after enemy would attempt to breach. For these people, “The World Is Not Enough.”

How Much Blogger World Do You Want?Bloggers start with a fragment of cyberspace. A page, a handful of posts, a reader. Will what we have ever be enough? Thankfully, this online world expands exponentially in every moment. We add to content and increase storage space every second. Unlike the nemesis that plagues James Bond we are not limited by the extent of our reach and just like them the breadth of our command is in our control. There are no Bonds out there to stop us reaching our full potential. Don’t be afraid to grow as a blogger, continue to expand your reach, share your message, and develop your brand. Is your little corner of the blogging world enough for you?

Do you have tips of your own you’d like to share? Add yours to the comments or come up with your own James Bond Blogging Tips post!

The First Five James Bond Tips For Blogging

Ben Barden’s post “10 Ways Bloggers Are Like James Bond” got me wondering how we can learn from this remarkable character for our own blogging journey. What has James Bond taught you about blogging?

Part One: Tips 1 to 5

1. You’ve Got To Be Creative

No matter what kind of scrap 007 seems to have gotten himself into he always finds a creative solution. His sharp mind looks through various solutions. It turns on a pin head to come up with new ideas and evaluates the situation with razor-sharp instincts.

As a blogger you have got to be creative. Learn to follow your instincts and evaluate your ideas based on each situation. What works today mightn’t work tomorrow and sometimes you’ll have to pull yourself out of a tough blogging situation. Keep your wits about you and learn to adapt to every situation.

2. Use All The Latest Gadgets

From a sporty car to a classy watch! Use All The Latest Gadgets
He’s got an arsenal at his disposal, the latest gimmicks and gadgets at his fingertips and the best tech savvy that British Intelligence can prove. Money is no object (not like he’s footing the bill) so his car is tricked out with GPS, rocket launchers, and very cool aquatic enablers. His phone is the latest model with touch screen and Tetris. James even has a video phone in his house and a perimeter defense system.

If you want to get ahead in this technology dependent industry you have to got keep with the times. Learn about the latest gadgets and how they can increase your productivity, enhance your efficiency, and keep you in the eye of your competitors and your potential clients/employers. Don’t have RSS? Your blog is in trouble. Still using a six year old computer? I’m surprised you can even read this. You have GOT to stay up-to-date with the technology curve.

3. Always Get Your Man – Never Give Up

James Bond ALWAYS got his man. Despite the various boulders (and bombs) the bad guys tossed into his path, 007 found a way to deal with the situation. He kept after them, became an aggravation to them, dogged their steps and foiled their plans from every angle. Bond never gave up a target, he pushed through a bad day, and maintained determination.

As a blogger you need to be equally stubborn. Letting your blog flounder in the wake of an explosion such as the flu is tantamount to critical failure. You can’t let your blog be taken over by the bad guys of lethargy or silence. Like Bond, you have to keep at it, push past resistance, and always get your man. Update your blog regularly and plan ahead so that you’ll always be there when the bad guys next make a move.

4. Charisma And Charm Wins With The Ladies

Ok, so James might come across as the ultimate womanizer. He had a way with the ladies that often lead them between his sheets but his charisma and his charm teach us a valuable lesson. The women James associated with were smart, outgoing, and sure of their own minds. They were confident and knew exactly what it meant to be in the bed of Bond. His honesty, respect, and magnetism was a key to enthralling his audience.

Bloggers need to present a similar persona to enthrall our audiences. Fancy tricks and flashy gimmicks will not convert readers. By being honest, giving respect, and using the depth of integrity and you in your voice you’ll have readers willing to slip between your blogs sheets. Give them what they want when they get there and they’ll be loyal for life.

5. Do Whatever It Takes Even If It Breaks Rules

He might have had some pretty unorthodox means but James Bond was always the go to guy for the good guys. He played with a firm moral stance, knowing his limits and always making sure he was playing for the right team. When things looked askew he took chances, blew off the rules, and played the game his own way to ensure the results were worthy and admirable. When 007 got the job done he did it the best way possible, which wasn’t always the way others wanted him to do things.

Get In Touch With All The James Bond ClassicsAs bloggers we have to show the same fearless integrity. We each have our own beliefs and ideals. We know the battles we want to fight and the outcomes we want to achieve. To accomplish these results we have to have the courage to fight through the reeds that have grown in the path less traveled. Break rules and establish a new order. Innovation is vital and invention comes from doing what has never been done before or doing it differently, doing it better.

Stay tuned for part two, tips 6 to 10.