One of the most useful tips for writers that I’ve ever stumbled across is the concept of creating Character Aesthetic boards to help with visualizing a character outside of the limitations of black-and-white type. Character Aesthetic boards are basically collages of pictures collected from various sites like Google or Pinterest that come together to speak to the “aesthetic” of a character and visually represent who that character is at their core. If you’ve ever clicked around on Tumblr or Pinterest, you’ve probably seen these, and not only are they seriously fun and pretty to look at, they can also be really helpful tools as far as writing inspiration! I threw together a few boards for my Deceived characters in an attempt to get to know them better, and will be leaving them here for you as bonus goodies! This page will continue to be updated as more boards are added in the blog. 🙂
Cecilia DeAngelis/von Essen – first wife of Bruce von Essen and mother to Angelina and Blair. Quiet, kind, and sophisticated, Cecilia is a former ballerina with a thirst for travel, an appreciation for art, and a special talent for painting and gardening.
Bruce von Essen – As the founder and CEO of the successful investment firm, Vonessen Inc., Bruce can almost always be found in a sharp suit and tie. Angelina and Blair’s father is a wealthy businessman whose hobbies outside of the office include international travel, fine dining, attending various arts performances in the city, and sailing his boat on the lake.
Victoria Adessi/von Essen – An opportunistic gold-digger with a love for high fashion and lipstick the color of burgundy wine. Manipulation is her name and $$$ is her game. Most of her (former) co-workers at Vonessen Inc. consider the ambitious single mother to be the greatest thing since sliced bread – but behind closed doors, Victoria is just about as petty, narcissistic, materialistic – and disturbed – as a girl can come.
Nicolette Adessi/von Essen – Victoria’s daughter and Angelina and Blair’s stepsister. Her peers might dismiss her as the “easy” cheerleader on the squad, but a life growing up with Victoria has left her insecure, misunderstood, and desperate for attention – even if that attention often turns out negative. Cheering and hooking up with boys may be the talents that she’s infamous for in school, but she’s also a pretty good cook and can bake a mean cinnamon bun.
Blair von Essen – Blair likes anything vintage, pretty, and romantic. Innocent, introverted, and studious, she loves to read classic literature, drink loose-leaf tea, play the piano, and follow the rules. When she isn’t focused on her schoolwork, she’s dreaming of traveling to Paris. But behind her perfectly-polished exterior lies a troubled girl battling with deeply-rooted insecurities. Blair struggles to achieve balance and perfection, and often finds herself overwhelmed by the pressure that she puts on herself.
Angelina von Essen – Determined, popular, stubborn, and rebellious, Blair’s fraternal twin sister is the self-proclaimed “Queen Bee” of Archbishop Wright Prep. She loves to sing, play tennis, and hang out with her friends – but only a few of them get to see the real her behind the mask. Though the real Angelina struggles with anxiety and frustration, her best friend Aiden Andrews is the North Star that keeps her grounded. She’s got big career dreams and promises to keep – and she’ll do anything to make her goals a reality.
Aiden Andrews – Honest, loyal, and endearingly mischievous, Aiden is about as All-American as they come. Though his family isn’t nearly as well off as most who send their kids to Archbishop Wright, the scrappy wide receiver has been Angelina’s best friend since third grade – and her “secret” (or not so secret) crush. Aiden loves making weekend improvements to his old blue Camaro, playing football, and hiking in the great outdoors.
Ashleigh Andrews – Aiden’s little sister and Blair’s best friend. Ashleigh loves reading, soccer, and comfy cable-knit sweaters. She’s a great student, a good listener, and a supportive friend. Ashleigh rarely wears makeup and doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with cattiness. Mature and grounded, she’d much rather hit the bookstore or paddle around in a kayak than party. She and Blair share a dream to visit Paris one day.
Josh Ashford – Archbishop Wright’s cocky star quarterback. He’s a scruffy, athletic bad boy who likes to cruise around town in his garish Trans Am blasting Def Leppard to tick off the neighbors, party on the weekends, and sneak his father’s Cuban cigars. He and Blair are completely and totally mismatched… but they’re the school’s biggest super-couple.
Gisele Singh – As Angelina’s best girl friends, Gisele Singh and Katie Winters have been the Queen Bee’s loyal sidekicks since kindergarten. Gisele is Angelina’s right-hand girl and second-in-command. She loves Indian food, fashion, dancing, and singing, and when she manages to snag herself some free time outside of her other obligations, she likes to spend it posting shopping hauls, beauty tips, and make-up tutorials on her growing YouTube channel.
Katie Winters – Katie Winters is the third member of Angelina’s little posse and one of Nicolette’s fellow cheerleaders at Archbishop Wright Prep. Bubbly, optimistic, and always eager to look on the bright side, this fun-loving redhead adores all things pink, kawaii, and unrepentantly girly. Snoball cakes and cutesy anime are her guiltiest pleasures.
**Note: all credit for the photos contained in these collages belongs to their respective owners. The images were found in Google/Pinterest searches using various key words. None are mine unless specifically noted. All I did was put them into collage form.
**If you’re interested in this concept and want to create aesthetics/inspiration boards of your own, here is a useful article by author Darla G. Denton on what it is and how to do it!