Pictures as Inspiration

Pictures inspire me, get me into the mindset of my character, and set the scene.

Before I write I find the photo I want, study it for a few minutes, and then rip into my latest WIP.

Here is one of the pictures I used as inspiration for my male lead character; Jake, the gruff yet honorable trail guide… 

Here is one of the many photos I used when I write from the POV of my female lead, Kate; the headstrong yet naive woman traveling along the Oregon Trail with Jake.

How about you? Do you use photos, music, or other props as inspiration for writing inspiration?

12 thoughts on “Pictures as Inspiration

  1. Pingback: Ashley Tisdale – Headstrong DVD (Part 2) | Cover Musician

  2. Christi: Knowing more about those two characters, I can also now “see” them in another way. It’s obvious why these pictures were so inspirational for you.

    Yes, photographs also pull me into a story or character.

    Love this 🙂

  3. Florence,

    I’m so glad you took the time to read a few page and now see the characters too.

    Congrats on your interview today over at Romance Writer’s on the Journey!


  4. Pingback: Using Images to Capture a Character « Diane Lynn Tibert

  5. Christi, that’s a great question . . . and great photographs.

    I’m a very visual person, so I use images all the time. I have a file on my hard drive dedicated to images harvested from the web specifically to help me visualise characters and settings.

    You’ve inspired my blog today. I was going to write about something else, but when I read about images and characters, I had to share my experience with treasures I’ve found while surfing.

    I credited your blog for the inspiration and added a link, so others can read your post.

  6. Diana,

    Thanks for the comment and for the link on your blog. I’ve already wandered over and made a comment 🙂

    If you check out my book trailer you’ll see a lot of the props I use during writing to set me into the time period. I also have a few items I wear while writing/revising certain scenes; a long skirt that drags on the ground to get me in the mood of how frustrating it would be to carry around all that material, a silver jewelry box, and a cowboy hat and bonnet are some examples.

    Thanks again!


  7. I’ll take a leap over to your book trailer and have a look around.

    Getting into costume is a great idea. We can always try and imagine what it might be like to wear something and do the things our characters do, but until we actually don the clothing, we don’t know for certain.

    I have fairly long hair — the girl in the avatar has been growing her hair for five years — and I like to braid it with rags intertwined when I write about my female magic-user. It gets me in the mood.

    Again, this is a great post. I’m sure others use props and images to help enrich their writing, too. If they don’t, they’re missing all the fun.


  8. Diana,

    I also have a book I use as my “go to” reference for 1800’s names.

    It’s called “The Official Register of the United States” and it’s put out by The Post Office Department and The Postal Service. The date on the spine reads 1885. Since names change over the years I find this book to be a valuable tool to flip through when needed a period name.


  9. My stories are contemporary so heritage clothes and reference books don’t offer much inspiration, but I do like pictures. Since I “see” my MC as a mental image before I start, I end up searching for pictures that reinforce that image. I create collages for each story with pictures of people and items that are relevant to the story. They sit in the front of the binder I have for research, notes and printouts of each story.

  10. Pingback: Using Images | Blog Posts that helped my writing

  11. Pingback: Using Images to Capture a Character « Diane Lynn Tibert McGyver

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