My husband once said to me “I have always loved blondes, but I knew I’d marry a brunette.” When we were dating, I was a bottle blonde, which, because I colored from a box, was really more like a strawberry blonde. He knew my natural color was many shades darker. So, he got both his wishes. He also likes my hair long, but he goes along with my forays into short and sassy. Right now he’s half happy. I’m blonder than I’ve ever been, but the length is just not where I want it. Maybe by Christmas, according to my stylist.
When I create characters, I tend to make my heros dark blonde with blue eyes, just like my husband. Sometimes I don’t even tell the reader the heroines’ hair color. I’m a reader too and unless it’s important to the plot, hair color doesn’t matter much. The trend these days is to leave appearance up to the readers’ imagination. Readers fill stuff in with their own preferences.
This is just one way that reading is an active relationship between writer and reader. To go from words on a page to inner visions is fun. Our brains love to play. Our imaginations, whether reader or writer or both, are always ready to party. Which is why readers don’t like to be told too much. Hence the saying “show don’t tell.” Readers love predicting plot points. They love it even more when they’re wrong and the writer totally surprises them with a twist they didn’t see coming.
Which is sort of what happened yesterday when my husband came home from work. He was expected my dark hair and instead he got the blonde of his dreams:)