Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni books Dianne Salerni blog Dianne Salerni Appearances Dianne Salerni contact Dianne Salerni teachers
Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Inspiration from Pictures

Inspiration from Pictures

I know a lot of writers collect songs and compile playing lists to inspire them during their writing, but I’m more of a “silence is golden” writer. Now, pictures are a different story. I like to print out pictures and prop them up near my laptop for inspiration.
Melissa Sarno recently shared a picture on her blog that she found inspirational for the setting of her WIP, and Marcy Hatch recently told me how a picture she spotted on somebody else’s blog set off a chain of thought resulting in her newest “toy.”
As for me, I’ve already blogged about how a photograph of a caged grave ended up inspiring a whole novel. I also located a “cast” for that THE CAGED GRAVES while searching Library of Congress historical photographs. My choice of pictures even ended up changing the personalities of my characters.
I’ve got pictures to go along every manuscript. This is a daguerreotype of Robert Cornelius, but to me he’s Hodge, the love interest in one of my stories.
In another manuscript, one of my characters drives this car – an electric Riker Demi-Coach.

And I’m already starting to collect images for my newest project:

What images have inspired YOUR writing?

16 Responses to Inspiration from Pictures

  1. Sarah says:

    Whoa–those are some interesting images for this latest WIP of yours! As for me, I’m not a very visual person, but I think I told you that my last ms was inspired by a terrifying video I saw of the inside of a slaughterhouse. Not exactly a picture, but definitely a powerful visual.

  2. E. Arroyo says:

    I love pictures. There’s nothing quite like capturing that one moment in tine. You got some great ones.

  3. I love old pictures. They definitely inspire.

  4. These are some great pics. I’m very visual myself. For my adventure romance I have tons of locale pictures, I photoshopped my own island so I could visualize it, and have lots of pictures of cruise ship decks. It’s a little harder when I create a fantasy world for my SciFi Tale, but I think when I get back to work on it I will need to do that there, too.

  5. Jaime Loren says:

    Wow, I LOVE those pictures! I’m a pictures person too. Music tends to distract me. I end up singing along and breaking out the XBox mic, and … oh. Too much information.

    I have pictures of houses and cars for my novel. Also, Google Maps is my best friend. I love that I can virtually cruise down a street and find a diner that I can turn into my characters’ local hangout. 😀 For me, that’s how I immerse myself in my characters’ world.

  6. Linda G. says:

    Oooh, now I’m intrigued about your new project! And maybe a tad claustrophobic. *grin*

  7. KrysteyBelle says:

    I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to you that I do the same thing. I have pictures of various seals named in the story as well as Aileen’s rocks in her back yard and the island that Aileen gets marooned on.

  8. Thanks for the shout-out Dianne 🙂 The images that inspire your new project are SO intriguing. Obviously, what you see in them is probably very different from what I see, but if it’s anything about laying track underground, you must visit the Transit museum in Brooklyn!

  9. Wow, awesome pictures! Can’t say that I’ve ever used photos to stimulate my writer’s imagination, but now I’m intrigued with that as a possibility.

  10. Kat C says:

    I do find I am inspired more by music and even reports on the news and stuff if I’m writing.

    Howeverm after reading Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen I see how inspirational pictures can be. There is something about them where you don’t really know what is going on the pictures, you can only imagine.

  11. mshatch says:

    Ha! Too funny that we both are talking about the pictures that inspire us today. And I’m with you and Jaimie; music is often too distracting. It’s probably a good thing I DON’T have an XBox mic. lol.

  12. Lenny Lee* says:

    hi miss dianne! for sure i love pictures. i go at blogger images lots and look at all kinds of them and print lots of them. i got bunches for my wip and they helped me know just how my characters look. wow! from those pictures your next books gonna be soooo cool and wierd. ha ha. for sure you got my imagination running wild.
    …hugs from lenny

  13. I love the cave image. I’m with you. Have trouble writing with music. I find it just distracts me but images are so inspiring!

  14. I take a lot of inspiration from photos, especially when I’m writing scenes for something historical or that’s set in a place I’ve never visited. I guess that’s more like research, but I feel inspired, nonetheless!

  15. Jemi Fraser says:

    I think it’s so cool that people do this (both the music and the visuals) – I never had. Both kick my brain into gear but I’ve never used any of those thoughts in a story.

  16. BookBreather says:

    Oooh. The pictures for your new project are definitely interesting. I get the feeling that you enjoy writing stories that take place in the past.

    I’m not a very image-inspired person. My ideas are all usually character driven, and I get my inspirtion from random conversations that I “accidentally” overhear. Actually, I’m called out all the time at school for eavesdropping. I listen to others’ conversation, and if something strikes me, the conversation will branch off in my mind and turn into something totally crazy. Then I figure out what kind of characters would have a conversation about that, and that I develop some sort of plot.