Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday #125 Images and Imagination

This Week's Topic:
What images inspire/ represent your WIP or favorite book?

So actually, I did a post quite like this a couple of weeks ago, talking about how finding images to round out the feel of the characters actually changed the story. Here. To summarize:

But actually, I quite rarely use photos of actual people for my novels.  I don't want them to be that concretely defined.  I sketch and doodle, I make maps, I work up my own cover art.  I even have a thermos which has pen & ink drawings of my characters from one novel decorating it.

Interestingly enough, the books I can't have photos for are my fantasy stories.  The one I have photos for is Sci-Fi.  But I would love to  print the photos and use them as a reference for a sketch.  Pictures of real people often crush the possibilities you need to imagine.  It may be why I hate reading books with photo-covers.  Even a perfectly realistic painting is so much better.


  1. You are amazingly talented! I love the cover art. Gosh, if I had cover art for my mug...I may have to paste some of my pictures to mine. Thanks for the idea. :)

    And no, I rarely picture an exact someone in my main character roles. I like to leave a little open to even my own imagination.

  2. Oooh I do love a good map! And wow, you're a really talented artist!

  3. I love the map. You're very talented. And I love the picture of young Keanu Reeves. A very good looking guy!

  4. Well you are talented. I know if I tried to draw my own it would be a disaster, I can make stick people look bad lol.

  5. That is a really good map, Cara! I like to have a clear idea of what my characters look like, but when it comes to putting them on paper, I tend to describe only those elements that I think are important to know. I think the more the reader's imagination is given free rein, the more the reader will adopt the characters and make them their own. So I'm very careful about using real people to inspire my characters... although if I see a nose or an eye color that fits one of my characters, I'll certainly use it! :)

  6. I love that map! I wish I could draw maps as well as you!

    1. There's an easy trick to them. The best way to go is to find a close up map of a real place, clip a portion of it that looks right, print it, and then trace the outlines, upside down or at an angle (lightboxes are awesome here). Once you have the basic frame you can add bits or cut bits that are unnecessary, and then mess about with layers and colors and fonts until it looks nice. There are even some great brush packs for photoshop that are designed for map making (deviantart!) and have all the little trees and castles and things in them.

      Give it a shot! It's easy and a lot of fun.

  7. Wow! Those drawings look great!
    (and can I say that I totally dig young Keanu Reeves on that picture :D)

  8. You drew all that? Wow! I'm impressed! Congrats on being so talented ;)

  9. Oh my gosh, I can't get past Keanue Reeve's long hair!

  10. Great montage! And I'd take a young Keanu, as long as he doesn't try to talk--his voice just ruins the image for me!