Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Visual Inspiration

Ever get stuck because you're unsure about a landmark?
Ever reread one of your descriptions and question the authenticity? Ever just draw a total blank and don't know where to begin????
This is where the world wide web comes in handy!

You can't remember the layout of Kenilworth Castle or its Keep? Do a search for the official website and you'll find tons of photos!

Or the view from one of the caves at Bandelier National Park has you scratching your head? Do a search!

And don't just search the official websites. Look for the images in a Google Image search.
If you are basing your story in a real location or near a real landmark or building, you need to be accurate in your descriptions. (If your story includes such details, of course.) But if your character is in Maine and your lighthouse description sounds like one that resides in Oregon, readers familiar with either location will know!

Not only will actual photos help you with the physical location, but with your lighting & direction. If your character is on the Carolina coast and the sun is setting in the west, that's a problem - UNLESS they are at Atlantic Beach, in which case, you'd be correct!

So do your research on real locations.
And for goodness sakes, be sure to get the size ratio right!

Unless of course, your book is "Calvin vs. Godzilla!"


  1. Oh,that last photo is too precious. Is that your kitty? These visuals really helped with what you were posting about, Diane. This is wonderful advice for writers of any genre.

  2. Cute picture! I'd bet on the cat over Godzilla. :)

    I love Google Images and use it a lot when I write.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. That's what I always tell anyone trying to break into any sort of writing for profit, be it online guides, or writing novels and getting them published (like i'm an authority on that) but if you want to lend authenticity, do your research, visit a place if you can, spend time there like I did with my story. The internet is indeed your friend in this case.

  4. Yes! Thank God for Google! I don't know WHAT I'd do without the internet for research. Remember when you had to spend all day and lots of days at the library searching for stuff? Now it's all a couple clicks away. Totally cool.

    The Old silly

  5. Good advice and wonderful photos.

  6. Thanks!
    Yes, that was our kitty Calvin. I'd bet on her, too!

    I've a visual person, so I rely on photos and maps to help me with my writing.

  7. My money's on Calvin winning that round.

    The Internet has saved so much time for writers. Not just for pictures. It also provides a way to ask questions on listserv groups you belong to.

    Straight From Hel

  8. Love the reminder and the suggestions! (-: Aren't we lucky. Helen's got it right!

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

  9. Thanks for sharing the tips and images, especially that last one! I've made use of Google for websites and images and am always thankful to have the internet!

  10. Great pics. We are certainly getting dependent on the Internet. I love it!

    Morgan Mandel

  11. Oh great tip! I use google images, too!

    Very helpful. thanks!