Alina Popescu, Writer

YouTube Inspiration: Writing Fantasy and Historical Appearances

YouTube Inspiration: Writing Fantasy and Historical Appearances
April 19
15:50 2017

Appearance is an important part of your characters. Sure, their personality, the situations they are put in and how they react, their relationships, all lead to their character development, but what they look like is equally important. How do you know what people in your world look like without putting effort into writing fantasy and historical appearances.

While with fantasy you might get some idea of what characters should look like from art of all types – paintings, drawing, book covers, movies, posters, it’s a little harder with historical characters. How would they do their hair? How long does it take to braid it? Could they do it on their own? As for makeup, what does historical accurate makeup entail?

While I like movies and video games for inspiration, I find it that seeing normal human beings doing their hair or putting on makeup to create historical or fantasy looks is quite appealing and inspiring. Plus, some of them can give you a better idea on time invested, and what your characters might have used for makeup and, more importantly, why.

So here are three interesting YouTube channels to explore and what they can help with:

Zabrena – Historically Accurate Makeup Looks

We all know makeup was popular with men and women of Ancient Egypt, but did you know what they used and why? Did you know green was popular because the substance they used would keep your eyes clean and healthy? Or, when thinking of Ancient Greece, did you ever think all women would sport a unibrow? I for one had no idea this was a beauty trend!

I’ve discovered Zabrena’s historically accurate makeup looks by mistake, and yes, I did start with the Unibrow reveal of all videos! Since then, I’ve goon through half her history of makeup series. And you thought watching makeup videos was a waste of time 😀

Silvousplaits – Viking Hairstyles and More

Remember my Halloween braids and the Viking hairstyle I forced on my boyfriend? Silvousplaits inspired those. It’s fun to see Viking hairstyle on TV shows, but how can you do them? How long would it take? Do they really last long and would they be the best way to do your hair in battle? Nothing like seeing a tutorial and trying it on yourself to figure that out!

I discovered this channel because of the Viking hairstyles, but I’ve discovered other shows and historical periods covered. Plus, there are some more creative, fantasy appropriate hairstyles. Just browse through the playlists and find what inspires you the most.

Julia Graf – Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Makeup

Julia Graf is one of the most creative makeup YouTubers ever. Those of you who’ve met me in Birmingham at Second City Signing, might remember my makeup from the fancy dress party. Well, it was a less professional, but still interesting makeup look I found through Julia – a black swan/black crow inspired look.

Second City Signing, Fancy Dress Party

Second City Signing, Fancy Dress Party – 2015 – with the amazing V.L. Moon

Julia’s Halloween lists are amazing. Anything from popular, fantasy, and horror makeup looks can be found here. She is amazing and it never fails to inspire me. If you need inspiration for witches, elves, queens, vampires, and other creatures or humans, make sure to check out her work.

Quick Reminders

While inspiring, entertaining, and highly informative, these videos should be part of your research not all of it, when writing historical fiction. I wanted to share some of my inspiration finds to keep the writing juices flowing. However, it takes a bit more if you want to succeed in writing fantasy & historical appearances. I hope you found this useful, though! Please let me know what you think it the comments below.

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Alina Popescu

Alina Popescu

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