Image and writing

Shilo Shiv Suleman on her interactive book.

What I wish is that my book would illustrate itself (as I compose the text) with interesting drawings!  I have a deep fascination for layered images and shapes and shadows (see artwork of Kara Walker).  But, since I know this wish will most likely never come true, I have to trudge on through.

I have tried sketching characters before.  However, my lack of arty awesomeness creates doodle-y stick figures that couldn’t earn prime refrigerator space let alone inspire my writing.  [Seriously, xkcd has more artistic realism!]

Instead, I Google.  If I am looking for a picture to fit my description of a character, I can find it.  If I want to get an idea for a particular place, see me go nuts with keywords.  If I need to talk about a specific thing–like a type of fish–the visual can help me get on with it.  I keep these images in a Microsoft OneNote file for each project.  I can keep track of characters and places.  I can develop unique cultures by blending ideas from each image.  Basically, it’s eye candy…kind of like Pinterest, but more focused toward building my writing.

What keeps the writing images in your head?


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