The Cast of my Latest Short Story

“The X of Doom” is the short story that I’m currently working on. I started it in January with the intention of finishing the first draft that month; it’s now the end of May, and I estimate that the first draft is about halfway done. Characters have been put into place, backstories have been told, destinies have been revealed, but I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen next. I’ve been staring at the document most of the day. I’ve added a few paragraphs, but I’m still at a loss. Maybe I just need to listen to some pirate music and get some inspiration.

So, in lieu of actually working on the story, I’ve been doing what I frequently do when I work on a project: finding celebrities who look like the characters as I imagine them. In “The X of Doom”, a young woman from the year 1973 named Deborah finds herself up against the Pirate Queen in the year 1769. In my mind, Deborah looks like Emily Browning, who starred in Sucker Punch, The Uninvited, and A Series of Unfortunate Events:

While I had Emily Browning in mind as the face of Deborah Skelling since the early outline of this story, I spent a lot of time pondering the face of the Pirate Queen. Up until the other day, I thought it would be Helen Mirren or Judi Dench. Then I realized that the Pirate Queen had to be younger, just to make the backstory work. So today I decided that the Pirate Queen should look like Jennifer Connelly (who starred in The Rocketeer, Labyrinth, House of Sand and Fog, Dark Water, and plenty of others):

And portraying Nigel Livingstone, who gets Deborah into this predicament in the first place because of his love for the Pirate Queen, is Jude Law, from Sherlock Holmes, The Holiday, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Because why not:

Okay, well, that was fun and a nice diversion. And now I think I’ll either get back to writing, or to watching Food Network Star.