Home   |   LCS Prints Store   |   About Me   |   FAQ   

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Picturing it - IWSG February 2020

It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader. Co-hosts for the February posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson. To find a list of contributors and to link to their posts, click here.
 


February’s question: Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

Long-time followers of Middle Passages may remember the photos I used to post after taking daily walks with an honest-to-goodness camera hanging around my neck. I used the resulting images as inspiration to jump-start my writing. 

Almost six years ago, I went out one foggy May morning. Mist gives ordinary things a touch of the ethereal and that day, I photographed a dilapidated house perched on a saltwater pond, emerging from brush and vapor. Something about the place spoke to me, and once downloaded, the photo spurred me to write a flash fiction piece for Middle Passages. At the time, the piece was simply a writing exercise, a way to force myself to get words on to a page. But at some point, and I honestly can't remember when, I committed myself to that little vignette and ultimately, that snippet grew into the novel I’m currently querying.

For today’s essay, I scrolled through Middle Passages to that original post from May, 2014. I was delighted to find that in spite of something like seventeen drafts, full chapter re-writes demanded by my writing group, editorial changes, and revisions based on comments from a friendly reader, some of the same language and rhythm from that original blog post remain on the first page of my novel, The Beneficiary

Almost six years ago, when I wrote that flash fiction post, I included the following under the picture:


When all else fails and you can't come up with a topic for a blog post, take a picture and use it as a writing prompt.


It’s a practice I recommend to this day. Who knows? You may be surprised to find in addition to a bit of flash fiction, a novel might claw its way out.

What single thing has inspired you to write?

19 comments:

Jan Morrison said...

I remember that!And I agree. When I was in Labrador I had a spate of time (6 months?)when I went for a walk, camera in hand, took photos, posted one and wrote a poem inspired by it every day!Such a rich world. Glad the heart of your novel still beats.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And now you're querying it! That is awesome.

Nick Wilford said...

That's a great story! We need to keep our eyes open because we just don't know what could hit us on any given day and where it could lead to.

Joanne said...

I do remember your post and your photos are always lovely. I am often inspired by a photo or an overheard conversation.
Continued good luck on the queries. Something is going to stick!

mshatch said...

That's great you're querying. I'm crossing my fingers for you!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

That is an excellent idea! I will add that to my list of ways to combat writer's block. One of my books started as one simple idea- what if Scarlet O'Hara wasn't so doggone mean at heart? That thought lingered until my mind created an entire story. Funny how that happens from small things.

Julie Flanders said...

Wow, what an inspiring story! This is such a gorgeous photo it's not hard to understand why it prompted you to write something. Good luck with the querying!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You always have such wonderful photos here. And that one is absolutely haunting.

Natalie Aguirre said...

You are really a talented photographer. Cool that your picture inspired your story.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

That is sooooooo cool! I can see how such an atmospheric photo could kick-start your imagination, but it'a absolutely fantabulous that it inspired you to write a novel. Good luck with the queries!

Lee Lowery said...

What a gorgeous photo! And what a great story about the novel it inspired. Good luck with your queries!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've always enjoyed your pictures and envied the great places you had to walk.

Donna Hanton said...

This is a stunning photo, and an inspirational lesson.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I can see why that photo inspired you. So atmospheric and beautiful.

Yvonne Osborne said...

That is a great practice. I still have one of those good 'ol cameras. I once saw an abandoned "writer's cottage" on a dune overlooking Lake Superior. My sister said it was rumored to be some sort of writing haven for someone but there was never anyone there. I found that to be the saddest thing.

Bbet99 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Empty Nest Insider said...

I agree that you are a very gifted photographer, and I'm so glad this photo jump-started your passion for writing. Wishing you all the best, Liza!

Julie

Connie said...

I have often used photos I've taken as jumping off points to write poems. Most of the time these photos are of something in nature.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Pictures can be such an inspiration. It's a good use of Pinterest, too. Scanning through, one can fine all kinds of pictures that give story ideas.