I am one of those who uses actors as avatars for my characters.
When I visualize things, it is often in quick flashes. I don’t get the long camera takes. It’s there and gone. So I often do not get real visuals on my characters.
So I cast my stories like you would a movie.
In the beginning I would try to find a pic where the actor was wearing clothes similar to what would fit in the story. After many a time where this was not an option, I began instead to look for pictures where the expression on their face matched what I knew about the character.
Hindsight being what it is. I should have been doing that from the beginning. But I tend to take the long way around on things.
A curious fact, I have used Sean Bean more times than any other actor.
There is one case where a picture of an actor started a story. Matt Smith, during the wardrobe tests for Doctor Who, wore a coat and had an expression that to my mind put him in the role of a hit man.
The twist came with the decision to cast the story with actors only from the triad of SuperWhoLock.
For those who are unfamiliar, SuperWhoLock is the combined fandoms of Supernatural, Doctor Who, and BBC’s Sherlock.
Here is the link to my Pinterest board for that story. It has a fatal plot premise, but I do need to use those characters.
On a level I do envy those who can come up with original visuals for their characters. But it is not something I worry on and instead enjoy my whirl as a casting director.
Now if only some of them could be persuaded to follow me to this couch.