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Inspiration: Picturing Your Story

I am in love with Pinterest. Yeah, I know. So is everyone else. But if you are like me, and have always loved collages, and images and pictures to inspire you for whatever it is that you love to create–whether it is decorating, crafting, cooking, and yes, writing, Pinterest is so perfect for collecting the pictures you love and that you love for inspiration.

Take this one for example:

I absolutely loved this gown! A Regency fashion print from 1810, published in Ackermann’s Repository Series 1, Vol 4, the July Issue. Not only was it right dead on for the year of my book, but this would have been quite the height of fashion and daring–which I wanted, if only to get my rather reticent, and unlikely heroine to step out of her shell.

But the print also works to put all kinds of details into the scene–how Tabitha’s ankles would be showing–Scandalous!! The Van Dyke lace around the neck. And the slashings in the front that would let the interior show. I changed the gown to blue to match my heroine’s eyes. And to give the gown even more meaning, it was actually Tabitha’s best friend, Daphne who chose the gown for her–in secret and away from the stringent eyes of Tabitha’s strict guardians. Immediately the gown in this print added all that much more to the scenes. Which is exactly what picture inspiration should do.

I’ve used photos for inspiration since I was a kid. I’m notorious for ripping photos out of magazines–in the doctor’s office, from my mom’s house and my own are shreds when I am done with them. Pics of gardens, house interiors, recipes, knitting patterns, sweater pics, clothes, whatever I find interesting.
And then they go into folders, of notebooks, or pinned to the wall.

Oh, Pinterest where have you been all my life?!

My friend Jane Porter, writes with an entire notebook of pictures to inspire each scene. She collects photos of all her characters–and then goes the extra mile to find as many pictures of those models, movie star or person, who inspires that character. She has them in every mood, nuance and angle, so she can continue to pull from them the bits of inspiration that help round out a scene. Check out her Pinterest boards–they are amazing.

Q. How do you use pictures to inspire? I’d love to know where you find your pictures and how you use them.

P.S. And if you want to see some of the pictures and prints and places that helped inspire Along Came a Duke, here is the link to my Pinterest page.

4 comments to “Inspiration: Picturing Your Story”

  1. Jenna Bayley-Burke
    May 5th, 2012 at 7:51 am · Link

    I’m using Pinterest for storyboards too…it’s even better than simply collecting the photos. The images link back to articles and research. The visual bookmarks are so much easier!

    • Elizabeth
      May 6th, 2012 at 4:40 pm · Link

      The whole site is just amazing and has so much potential!

  2. SharonA
    May 5th, 2012 at 8:29 am · Link

    I love Pinterest, too! I’m the classic collector of photos and things cut out of magazine. I used to have dozens of quotes and small comics pinned up all around my desk at work. I find quotes in a variety of places, from friends on Facebook to articles to random advertising slogans. I also love home architecture and design ideas, garden ideas, inspiration for getting my quilting studio and office organized, fitness inspiration, history – you name it, I’m pinning. I’ve only begun to use it for storyboards, I’m still too distracted with my research in history to begin to focus the ideas. Fabulous pictures are out there from the Metropolitan Museum of Art costume collection, take a look! I’m following your pinterest boards, you can find some Met photos on my boards @sharonabraham.

  3. Elizabeth
    May 6th, 2012 at 4:41 pm · Link

    Your boards are amazing! Duly following! Thank you so much for sharing.

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