How Leonardo DiCaprio Makes Thriller Writing Fun

I want to be like Castle on tv. He is an amazingly successful fictional fiction writer who spends as much time finding ways to have fun as finding clever plot twists. But since we don’t live in tv world for more than an hour or two at a time, I struggle as a thriller writer to create a world that will both compel and terrify my readers.

I’ve been obsessing lately with the danger of genre-bending, specifically wondering if a thriller toeing the edge of fantasy and science fiction is doomed for failure or destined for greatness. If you ever read my notes to myself, you might think I need a therapist, not a critique group (actual note: “I am having massive trouble with making this understandable and believable. Like the traps. The traps should already be in place. From the mysterious builder of the Dreamworlds. Why hasn’t anyone seen/visited the island, especially if it had castle, Parthenon?”). So on days like these, I take the Castle approach. Take time out for fun, like googling the “most handsome movie actors.” I’ve downloaded their photos to my writing software, but will not post them here for fear of being sued.

Time for some casting decisions:

As Braydon Fox, the rogue FBI agent who wants desperately to love my heroine, but she is terrified of loving him back – Leonardo DiCaprio, as he appeared in Blood Diamond.

As Leonard Lathe, my heroine’s competing lover, a brilliant man whose growing obsession with the power to manipulate people’s thoughts is causing him to lose his own mind – Johnny Depp.

As Damian James, the wealthy heir who only wants to be a good husband and dad, but feels he has to prove that he is worthy of his father’s money – Hugh Grant, wearing glasses.

Have you made any casting decisions for your novel?


8 comments on “How Leonardo DiCaprio Makes Thriller Writing Fun

  1. Good fun, Pamela, and hopefully it helps keep at bay the men in white coats. Sounds like it will be an expensive movie to shoot, with that cast list! 😉

    Another idea I’ve heard before is to choose non-famous faces from magazines/ads/flickr etc to represent characters. Can help cement them visually into your mind, and give you something to describe.


    • Thanks, Belinda. I like your idea of finding non-famous faces. When using celebrities, it is hard to separate them from their screen personalities. And you’re right that this would be very expensive to shoot!


  2. Interesting idea, Pamela. I haven’t cast my characters, but when I give my manuscript to beta readers, it’s a question I may ask them to consider. Could reveal interesting character insights. Thanks!


    • Thanks for your comment, Carol. I think it might be insightful to hear your beta readers’ visions of the characters. They might be radically different. That’s the magic of fiction. One person may be thrilled that Josh Hucherson was cast as Peeta in The Hunger Games. Another fan might be upset because that’s not how they saw him.


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