Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Posted by Laurel Garver on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 8 comments

I'm a verbal/auditory thinker. My stories usually begin with a character talking to me. I actually get pretty confused by assembly instructions from Ikea that are nothing but images. I NEED words to understand the world. So it was a real eye-opener when my last post, with seasonal writing prompts, garnered this comment: "I find I 'freeze' when given a written prompt. But visual prompts...get me writing."

She's not alone there. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series was born from a single image: "a scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who did not know he was a wizard" (wikipedia). In a guest post here, Michelle Davidson Argyle mentioned that her novel Out of Tune began with the the simple image of "a girl and a guitar."

So today's post if for you visual thinkers. I've gathered some nonverbal prompts to stir your imagination.




Photo credit: BBoomerinDenial from morguefile.com


Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com


Photo credit: EnriqueRodriguezSantamaria from morguefile.com


Photo credit: taliesin from morguefile.com


Photo credit: phaewilk from morguefile.com


Photo credit: krosseel from morguefile.com


Photo credit: jamsheed from morguefile.com


Photo credit: gracey from morguefile.com


Photo credit: kconnors from morguefile.com


Photo credit: wintersixfour from morguefile.com


Photo credit: JANYLEE from morguefile.com


Photo credit: nasirkhan from morguefile.com


Photo credit: kconnors from morguefile.com


Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com

Have your stories started with an image, a phrase, a voice, or a premise? Which of these images is most evocative for you?

8 comments:

  1. Every story idea I've ever had was either sparked by a visual image or solidified after an initial idea.If the idea comes first, I immediately start searching for character, setting, and world building images. It's how I get inspired to move forward with a story.

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    1. So visual is pretty key for your process. Do you do Pinterest boards? I know a number of authors who do.

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  2. Not all of my novels have started from a mental/visual image, but several have. And the ones that haven't, start with an idea that leads to visual images--usually the final scene in the novel.

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    1. Visualization happens later in the process for me. It's so cool to hear how different writers find their entry points into stories.

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  3. My ideas usually come from dreams, but I do pull up google images to help me solidify a new environment and occasionally a character. Descriptions become so much more engrossing when using a reference point.

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    1. I've had ideas come in daydreams, but not so much sleeping dreams. That's really interesting. Definitely images are helpful for rooting settings and being able to describe them.

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  4. Excellent story starter images! I get stories from pictures, word phrases, and random intersections of words, images, and newspaper articles.

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    1. A wonderfully hybrid approach! Great ideas here.

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