Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Inspiration

I'm currently working on a book about pirates.

One of my struggles has been describing their fictional world because, before now, I've never written a fantasy setting.

So, for the last couple months and I've been taking a pictures of otherworldly things. Like this:

And these:

And these too:






Pretty inspiring, no?

It's a lot easier for me to describe something I've seen rather than something I've only imagined. I love having pictures of the real world to inspire my pirate's fantasy world.


Do you get your settings straight from your imagination or do you base them off things you've seen?


17 comments:

Scott Stillwell said...

For me, it usually feels like the settings are coming straight out of my own imagination, but I'm sure there's always a nugget of something I've seen in real life. Based on the frequency and strangeness of my dreams, I'd say my psyche does a pretty good job of shuffling my real-world experiences into a barely recognizable macaroni salad of images and impressions.

Since you're writing about pirates, do you ever read any nonfiction to help with the technical aspects of your story?

Em-Musing said...

Ahoy, Natalie!!!! I love pirate stories! I became infatuated while here in the Mexican Caribbean and pictured a pirate ship or a Spanish galleon on the horizon. FYI, Jamaica was a very frequented port. (maybe that's why I love rum?) Here's a link you might like http://www.pirateglossary.com/
Can't wait to read your progress.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Base them off things I've seen (somewhere at some time).

And how cool, pirates!

(Good to be able to comment again.)
~ Wendy

VR Barkowski said...

I love pirates! And such gorgeous photos. Multnomah Falls *is* inspiring.

Alas, I have no skill with world building. I ended up setting my trilogy in the Bay Area so I could actually visit my settings. Now that I live 3000 miles away, it's proven a glitch in my process.

Wen Baragrey said...

Oh yes! That is VERY piratey! I use photos like that too, especially of the characters themselves and also the places they'll go. I need the visual inspiration too :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Seeing is so much more helpful. And if I haven't seen it, reading about it works, too.

When will I see this thing, girl??

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Love the pics. I don't think it's horrible to take your inspiration from real things. I mean, look at Lord of the Rings. The movies were set in the real world, but they left out anything that would be a telltale sign of anything modern. I think they pulled it off wonderfully.

But this is something that I have been thinking about as well. My book, which for now is definitely a stand-alone, could be made into a series if I (or future agent) wanted it to be. But the next book would have to be in another world. I plan on doing something similar to you, taking pictures of things that might give me inspiration so that I can then add to them and make it more real.

Keisha Martin said...

I loved PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN movies (especially the last one it had a beautiful mermaid) the cooliest thing about fantasy is creating your own world so far-fetched from what is the reality, I love the pictures very inspiring.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Those pictures are beautiful!! I do half and half with my setting descriptions. Some I pull from real life, some I just use my imagination for...

Giles Hash said...

I get inspiration from both the real world and my head. Since my perception of reality, and therefore the words I use to describe it, are based on my experiences, even the scenes in my imagination are inspired by real-world places and events. :)

Faith E. Hough said...

Wow--beautiful! Like you, I like having photos/real places to work from. I've only dabbled in fantasy, but even then everything was solidly grounded in things I'd seen--just with a twist.

Anita Saxena said...

Excited to hear more about your pirate stories. Yes, definitely seeing real life setting helps when you're trying to create imaginary ones. I like the magazine National Geographic Traveler because it has amazing photos of spectacular places across the world. You should check it out. Maybe you'll find something for your pirate story.

Emy Shin said...

These are so beautiful! I have been getting my settings straight from my imagination, but I think this is such a great way to liven your settings. I'll definitely be trying this out!

Jessie Humphries said...

Those are amazing pictures. I think I like both. I know, way decisive here. I just think I am inspired by real places and then imagination takes over and makes them better.

Michelle Merrill said...

Love Pirates and love these pictures! Do you live near these places? Cause I do :) I love finding things that give me more inspiration for a book.

Christy said...

Such gorgeous photos! Where were these taken? Even if I don't try, my settings are based off of places I've been or seen photos of or watched in movies. And it's funny how those settings that I do create from nowhere end up being someplace in my mind that I could swear I've been to!

Love your blog-I'm a new follower.

Christy

Anna said...

Hey....those all look like Oregon! You should move here to gain inspiration.