I'm writing a story for oc_bigbang
, and that means I get art made for me. Yay! And it looks like I'll get the rough draft done on time, even bigger yay! When I signed up, they asked if I had a particular actress in mind for my OC, Tora Manar.
Well. That's a problem for me. I have face blindness; recognizing faces is difficult for me, and so visual cues aren't at all what I write from. I mean, even when I'm writing characters from a TV show or movie where they already have
actors that I have seen many times I don't really picture them at all when I'm writing (or reading) fic. But, you know, I thought I'd try, which has led me to a frustrating half-hour with Google Image search. I don't want Manar to be supermodel-gorgeous; just kind of normal-looking is fine with me. Because she is a kind of Bajoran-girl-next-door who survived the Occupation and the camps and wants to rebuild Bajor and make a better life for herself and her family. Fairly ordinary, glass-half-full type. One of my inspirations, back when I thought this was a romance instead of a gen story, was Lalita from Bride and Prejudice
, played by Aishwarya Rai
. Now that I know it's a gen story, Lalita's refusal to accept patronization from the privileged people is still a contributor to Manar, although Manar is much less likely to point it out unless it's really big. She's trying for a career as a Starfleet officer, she's trying to blend in and get accepted and so she's got a lot more incentive to bite her tongue. But, you know, Aishwarya definitely has supermodel good looks that I don't want Manar to have. But that got me started with Bollywood actresses (and also, it annoyed me that while we occasionally saw Bajorans of color in the background, I can't think of a single ep that had one with an actual speaking role), and from there several other searches, and here's what I've found.Vega Tamotia
seems to have a good face; pretty enough, but not hubba-hubba. But her skin is a bit lighter than I described Manar's skin as being.Karthika Nair
is a bit closer, but I'm not quite sure about for some reason--maybe it's her expression in most of those pictures, she looks a bit too cynical or something. This is Star Trek after all, and so Manar has a bit of that optimistic/Pollyannaish quality that infuses most of the Star Trek universe.Rula Jebreal
is wonderful, but a tiny bit too close to the too-gorgeous, and also possibly slightly darker than I described Manar.
Now, I've never seen any of these women act (nor read Rula's books nor seen her TV show), so this is going strictly off of pictures. What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
(The other main character is a Vulcan male, in that indeterminate middle age Vulcans have where they look thirty and could be anywhere from 30 to 100 years old. He may be distantly related to Spock and to Ambassador Soval from Enterprise
, with whom he shares a name. I don't really care about what he looks like; there are thousands of white actors in the right age range to choose from, and there are probably quite a few who could do appropriate Vulcan dignity. Besides, it's not Soval's story, it's Manar's. He's got his own internal life, but we only ever really see glimpses of it.)