You know what are fans? Fantastic. Not just because they are enthusiastic, and supportive, and all the other great fan traits, but because they can do something I can't. Fans can see character's faces.
Not me. I can many a thing about a written character, everything from clothes, to gestures, to hair color/cut/style. Height; I can see height. But I never get a clear bead on a face. Not for characters I read, and not even for characters I write. It's a really bizarre thing. If there's kissing, I can see the profile of a cheek, lips, maybe a shadow of chin, or nose, but I don't see eyes. If there's crying, I don't see mouths. My brain has quadri-sected (new word, own it) faces. Only the action-relevant quadrants appear in my mind's eye. It's like having a really sharp telescope that won't focus out of more than half a face at a time.
But, oh my gosh, fans! You guys are glorious! My friend Kara is an artist, so her whole reader world is images matching up with words in her head. My friend Denise will read a character I've written, and then DISAGREE WITH ME* about what he or she looks like, and I love that. You have no idea how envious that makes me. Fans read a character, and picture him or her. Fans see a character and say, "This character should be played by this actor/actress/puppy dog in order to fit my mental idea of said character." That's wondrous.
Then again, as long as I'm getting all the emotions the scene in meant to evoke, isn't it okay? It is. It really is. My little vague, flesh-colored ovals serve me pretty well, and in fact, it helps me to be open to the physical and visual interpretations of others, readers of my works, or works we both read. So, if you're ever in the position to ask me, "Who would you cast as "Character Character," just expect the best answer you'll get is a general approximation, based on puzzle piece glimpses of features jammed together from scenes all over. And we should both be cool with that, because I'm not blowing you off, or patronizing you. I'm just sharin', y'know?
*Holy Rainbow Suspenders, Batman! How much have we argued about Tristan? She thinks almost all of my casting possibilities/visual aids are too pretty boy, and I think most of hers look like meatheads. But we love each other. We try to find compromise. I think the closest we got was a young Travis van Winkle.
The most brilliant dramas, though, are the ones where both romantic prospects are written in such a way as to drive the reader running back and forth between camps. How? I swear it's gotta involve some sort of potion or magic spell, or soul-selling sorcery. Do the writers make both options so prime as to be a golden choice either way? Are they they drama equivalent of a Mary Sue? Nope. Those don't work. As with novels, it's boring.