Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Visual Attraction

Tonight I watched a new program about dating in the dark. The gist of the program is that the candidates meet in a room where they can not see the people they will potentially date. There are three men and three women and they must evaluate each other based upon what they hear and sense in a room with no light. Based on that meeting, they then request to meet individually with the one person who they would like to talk to individually. Later, experts revealed who they were most compatible with based upon their personality profiles. Ironically, each of the three couples picked the same person the experts found to be their most compatible match.

They were given time to get to know each other but it was still in the dark. Then they were put with a rendering artist to draw the likeness they mentally of each other based upon their non-visual impressions. Finally, they were shown each other independently when the other could not see their reaction. At the end of the program they were given the opportunity to continue dating outside the show. To do so they were to meet on the balcony of the house where they had been staying. If they didn't want to continue seeing their "match" they could walk out the front door and keep going.

As romance writers we describe attraction between our characters. The majority of our heroes and heroines are attractive or noteworthy in some way. In the future I am going to rethink how I describe my main characters because this program made me think about physical attraction in a different way. The couple who seemed to be most compatible in the dark was the only couple whodidn't make it when the lights came on.

How important are looks when you describe your main characters? Are they all movie star handsome or pretty, or do their looks take second place to their personalities? Did you follow the same tendencies when you picked your special person?

9 comments:

M.V.Freeman said...

What an interesting concept, dating in the dark. I'd probably go nuts! LOL

As for me, when I write, I don't necessarily write "beautiful" but there has to be something compelling. I like to combine things, I don't necessarily want a drop dead gorgeous guy, but he has to have some quality that really stands out--his strength, his presence etc (same with the heroine) Think of guys like Benicio Del Toro (not gorgeous, but compelling!)or Alan Rickman-his voice alone just has be captivated.

As for my special someone, I thought he was easy on the eyes, but it was not just that, it was his integrity and his strength, he treated me --and still does, like a queen.

Wonderful post Diane! Sorry for the dissertation, but you made me think. :)

M.V.Freeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Beeching said...

Interesting post. The overall thing I go for in hero and heroine is strength of character. Everything else takes second. The same goes for my hubby, although he wasn't difficult to look at either. :)

Carla Swafford said...

My characters are rarely perfect looking and they often think about there faults in a matter of fact way. Though they always turn out to be beautiful or handsome through the other's eyes. Love does that.

JoAnn said...

Very interesting post, Diane. I wish I had seen that program. What was the name? Wonder if it's on Youtube yet...

Diane Richmond said...

The name of the show is Dating in the Dark. It is on Mondays after the Bachelorette.

Carla Swafford said...

Geez Louise! Their!!! Not there! Mistyped sorry.

Kate Diamond said...

I always like when authors use physical description to give me the characters and character relationships, but they don't tell me too much. This way, I can fill in with my own fantasy requirements!

Example: the only things I remember about Shane (from "Agnes and the Hitman") were that he had black "shark eyes" and a strong build. I filled in the rest on my own. And trust me, in my head he's hot, hot, hot!

Christine said...

It's an odd place to be as a writer: so many contest ask for tons of description, but I prefer to fill in the blanks.. Hugh Jackman comes to mind.

We can't deny the reality: attraction is physical at first. I think the best story I read, don't remember the name, was about a movie star who'd had all kinds of implants to make herself "beautiful" only to be forced to take them out surgically and become "ugly" again. And find love nevertheless!

My husband says "ugly" is the last prejudice to be eradicated.