Casting a Novel: Better to Pretend

Writing a story or novel doesn’t immediately suggest a visual process. The images we see in our minds are brought to life by the words on a page, hopefully enough so that a reader can create in their own imaginations who they see as they read the story.

When I write, the process is very visual. I see the story progressing in my mind almost as if it were a movie. Things move along quickly and I can imagine scenes like I am standing next to the characters in them. However, certain details often lack in definition: faces for example. In my work in progress, Better to Pretend, I have known since the beginning that Cory has shocking blue eyes, something the main character Jenna is very attracted to. He also has messy dark hair. but what about the rest of his face? What does he really look like? As the story has progressed, it also came out that he has a crooked smile. Bits and pieces have filled themselves in. Still, in my mind, that face lacks definition.

One of the first things I think about when I start working on a piece is what would this be like as a movie? Right away, some pieces are more suited to film than others (I’m not going to lie, one of my biggest dreams since I was a kid was to have one of my stories made into a movie). However, I still try to imagine them that way. One such piece is Solidity. I think it would be a great movie, but could it be pulled off in a way that doesn’t make the ghostly main character too gimicky? Not that I have to worry about that, as I haven’t written the story yet…. but back to the point.

Over the course of the last year, especially as I have started writing seriously again, I have also opened up to different forms of online media, particularly Pinterest. It takes the story boards that I would love to put up on my walls into a portable medium. If I see something I like or that draws me in, I can simply pin it and move on, able to return later for reference.

The idea of seeing more stories in movie form offers a fun strategy: If my novel was made into a movie tomorrow, who would star in it? I could just do simple searches for blue eyed boys with dark hair… but why not put someone in there who could literally bring that character to life? Better To Pretend is the first story I have ever done this with, and it provided the finer details to some of the faces. I you want to check out the Pinterest boards I have created for my current works in progress, go HERE.

So, if Better to Pretend were made into a movie tomorrow, these are the faces I could see cast as major characters. A girl can dream, right?



Cory Andersen (Nicholas Hoult)















Jenna Raynes (Saoirse Ronan)

Mrs. Stokely (Susan Sarandon)


Sandra Raynes (Rachel McAdams)

Evelynn Everett (Amy Adams)


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