ChetLee

How characters are described vs how the appear in your head.

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I have been listing to the stormlight audiobooks will working and driving and I found that I would sometimes subconsciously picturing the characters incorrectly. For instance, Kaladin has long loose hair, but I can't help but picture him with a ponytail. I'm sure that he could have it tied back but when his hair is mentioned it is always loose and covering his brands. I also never seem to picture the brands unless I am think about them. I also can't seem to help but picture Dalinar with a beard. Some times he is clean shaven but then all of a sudden he has a neatly trimmed beard. There are many more examples but I want to know if anyone else can't help but picture characters differently. Also do you picture the story play out like a cartoon or real life? I mostly see it as a cartoon but I sometimes subconsciously switch to life like.

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For some reason, my head refuses to believe Shallan is a redhead. Everytime I imagine her, the color goes to black.

Breeze is the presence from DC comics, down to the mustache and bowler hat.

Inquisitors are 9 feet tall and you'll never convince me otherwise.

I'll think of more later, but those are the immediate ones I can think of immediately.

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One very common misvisualization is that the Alethi are Caucasian, when they are actually very dark skinned, with epicanthic folds, and are closest to a Arabic/Asian/Indian mix. I personally have a hard time visualizing people, so I pay really close attention to descriptions :D

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10 hours ago, HSuperLee said:

Inquisitors are 9 feet tall and you'll never convince me otherwise.

Amen to that. I always pictures them as really talled, buffed and railroadspikes(not just spikes but those giant spikes) in their eyes. Nothing will ever convince me otherwise.

 

Also Vin was Ellen page to my mental image. And Kelsier was never blonde lol

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I have a problem.  For some reason, I can’t help but picture some characters as being... kinda fat.  Not all characters, but certain ones.  Like Adolin, for example.  When I first red WoK, I pictured him with a chubby face and a husky build.  I guess it’s cause I thought it matched his laidback personality.  But then I saw fan art and I was like yeah.... that makes more since considering he’s described as handsome a lot.

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I always see Rock in my head as Hawaiian. 

I agree with those that see Inquisitors as super-tall bodybuilders.  Even Marsh gained a few feet in my mind.

Once I learned Steris was on spectrum, I pictured her as Abed from Community, with a wig on.  And now I can't let go of that image.

 

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13 hours ago, HSuperLee said:

For some reason, my head refuses to believe Shallan is a redhead. Everytime I imagine her, the color goes to black.

I have the same problem with Renarin. He always seems to have feathery blonde hair.

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Szeth has brown skin, and i don't think i'll ever change that

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I also always imagine Koloss with big pot bellies.

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Kelsier always has black hair when I picture him. I know he’s blonde. I can picture Marsh blonde and I know they look a lot alike, but he still always has black hair. But I also have a hard time really visualizing characters so that’s the only one I can think of right now. 

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For some reason I've always imagined Nightblood (I'd argue he's a character) like

Spoiler

 

this:

Image result for rose's sword

.... but black with some silver around the guard and pommel.

 

Also I always imagined Dalinar as bald and the Parshendi as Zabrak (Darth Maul's species but without horns).

 

I've been watching The Good Place on Netflix and now I can't help but imagine Ted Danson as Hoid. Maybe he's a little old for the role but I've always pictured Hoid as an older gentleman.

Edited by Pagliacci
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I always picture Jasnah as some 60 year old prudish looking lady. I also always see Rock as some huge African dude with a Jamaican accent and no matter how hard I try I can't see him with red hair.  

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3 hours ago, supersmith said:

I always picture Jasnah as some 60 year old prudish looking lady. I also always see Rock as some huge African dude with a Jamaican accent and no matter how hard I try I can't see him with red hair.  

That is rough lol

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Adolin always has had brown hair in my mind and Spook's has always been black. Kelsier is an older middle-aged guy from the start and Szeth has got hair no matter how hard I try. Also, MeLaan is like Snow White with longer hair and even paler skin.

Edited by Silva
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A personal quirk of mine. I cannot visualize women's heights no matter how often they are described. Every woman in every story looks about 5'7" in my mind for some strange reason.

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Honestly, even though I now know that the Shin are supposed to be basically Caucasian, for literally my entire first read of the first three books I was mentally viewing Szeth as oriental, just because he displays pretty much every common stereotype of that ethnicity, including the use of oriental-sounding honorifics such as ‘-nimi’. And even now I typically just picture the Alethi as dark-tanned Caucasians.

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I had a hard time accepting that Kelsier had blonde hair. 

 

On 10/18/2018 at 10:04 AM, Lidolas said:

I always see Rock in my head as Hawaiian. 

Same. I think that's not far off though (apart form the red hair). He reminds me of a Final Fantasy X character, Wakka, who has red hair but is otherwise based on Pacific Islanders and the english voice actor does a Hawaiian accent for him. Like Wakka, Rock is very good natured and jovial, but also very casually racist. "Air-sick lowlander" 

I know Brandon has played FFX and said it was probably his favorite gaming experience. He's also said the naming conventions of the Horneaters is based on Polynesian names.

 

Quote

 

Epic Games interview (Nov. 21, 2011)
#1

Epic Games

What is your most memorable gaming experience / best gaming memory?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably Final Fantasy 10 as I mentioned. At that time I was working the graveyard shift at a hotel, and I was doing a lot of writing on my own trying to get published. I would come home every morning at seven a.m. and play for a couple of hours alone in the quiet apartment, thinking about my own stories, experiencing the story of the game.

Words of Radiance Chicago signing (March 22, 2014)
#3 

Questioner

The Horneater names are very similar to Polynesian names...

Brandon Sanderson

That is the direct inspiration. I love how Polynesian languages sound, and it's something I've been wanting to use for years.

 

 

 Image result for FFX characters

 

 

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I've always pictured Kelsier as lean and with brown hair. And the Inquisitors are all like 8 feet tall, and the koloss never have cracked skin.

Also, Jasnah has pale skin in my mind. I get all the other Rosharan characters correct, but not her.

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Hoid will always look like Michio Kaku in my brain. 

 

As for the rest of the characters, regardless of their descriptions, I make visualizations based on their personalities.

Rock looks more like a Viking than a Polynesian 

Teft looks like a Sergeant I worked for when i was in the USAF.

I think Szeth is the only character that I picture having the Asian complexion.

Perception is a funny thing.

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For some reason I always gravitate towards imagining Adolin with black hair. IDK where that even came from but it's how it goes on average in my mind.

5 hours ago, IllNsickly said:

Hoid will always look like Michio Kaku in my brain. 

LOL :D

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I always picture nightblood as a curved sword, more of a katana with a cross guard than the straight blade they describe in Warbreaker.    It probably has two edges too.

 

Kolos are basically big trolls in my head, pot belly and very knobby.

 

Im pretty sure I have none of the Rosharan ethnicities correct in my head, as a blanket statement.

 

 

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I always tend to imagine atium shadows as faint blue images rather than simple translucent copies (no idea why, I guess my mind thought 'hey it's magic lets make it blue').

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I always pictured iron/steel vision having curved blue lines instead of straight ones.
Neither Inquisitiors nor Obligators habe the tatoos in my mind.

i picture Adolin and Renarin as white but not their families.

For a long time i imagied Chulls as giant red goats for some reason. This changed fast when seeing a drawing.

 

Chasmfiends will always be a huge angry shrimp.

 

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For the most part my imaginings match the descriptions.

The main exception being Kelsier amd Marsh who I had forgotten were blonde until this thread.

I always picture Kelsier as having slicked back brown hair, like Neil Caffrey from White Collar.

Edited by Jace21
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I kind of always imagine the stories like, well, the Stormlight stories make me think of anime or manga, so I end up seeing an anime in my head. The Mistborn stuff reminds me of Final Fantasy or some other Japanese video game, so I kind of have a vague half-medieval Russian/half-JRPG image for those books. I think I did Elantris mostly straight and I'm not sure about Warbreaker. A lot of the shorter AU stories I don't know about either.

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