How I Write Novels

Casting Celebrities to Develop Your Characters

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
2 min readMay 9, 2022


1 Trick I’ve Used To Write 5 Novels

Writers dream of having their books made into films. But why wait for Hollywood?

When I wrote my psychological thriller Fierce Little Thing, about a group of kids raised in a cult, I cast the main characters (in my mind, at least) as child actors I’d seen grow up, because the book goes back and forth in time between the present, when the main characters are in their forties, and the past, when they are early teens.

Saskia, my protagonist, was “played” by Evan Rachel Wood.

Her love interest, Ben, was “played” by Henry Thomas.

Saskia’s best friends, Issy and Cornelia, were “played” by Tempest Bledsoe and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

I put these actors’ pictures up in my office, and whenever I felt out of touch with what my characters might say or do, it helped to write from what I already knew.

How do you use the world you’re familiar with to write about the world you’re creating?



Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

She/her. New York Times bestseller / Author of five novels including: Fierce Little Thing, June, and Bittersweet.