Images help in writing?
Most definitely. Maybe it’s not for every writer but imagery helps me focus on parts of a story. A building where something happens. The way someone looks. Important objects like for instance a ring or a necklace. Having a images to go back to when describing one of those subjects really can make a huge difference.
Let me give you an example.
Some of you may have read the Naked Crow books. If you have, you’ve come across Winny Schneider, the woman with only one breast. It’s very helpful to have an image of someone who looks like her, to have a good reference, if only to remember which breast was removed. Mixing those up counts as a major no-no to me. Describing Winny is much easier with the help of this image.
I’ve tried to collect images on this place called Pinterest, but they dumped my account because it contained ‘porn and sexual activity’. Ehm. Well. People who know me can tell you that there are collections on Pinterest that really go into these realms. Not mine. Another example would be the house and garden of Unsworth Manor.
This image actually shows a Dutch building but it worked for me while writing that story. Having that house as a place to work from helped a lot in imagining and creating the garden as well.
The details of the subject or object may get a bit blurred at times as the story progresses, but that’s fine. It’s fiction after all. As long as the walls of the building are standing, it’s fine.
The other way around can happen as well
With the third volume of the Mirror Earth series the opposite thing happened. I had figured out a character that in the end appeared to look different from what I had imagined. That happened because I asked around for an image of a body-painted man.
The body shape of the man was quite to the point which pleased me a lot, but in the story I had coloured in in a different fashion. Again, though, this is fiction, so I altered the story to make this character look like the person in the picture. The same happened to the colours of the girl in the image, by the way. Sometimes you just have to do stuff to make everything work.
And sometimes things just come together
After writing my very first naturist fiction, the original Naked Crow book, I only knew Sheila had blonde hair. I had found the Crow word for that, xx, and found it a great name. After finishing most of the story I looked for someone who could be Sheila, for the cover image, and this lady was perfect, so I bought the image. (I found it on a stock photo site which has sublime imagery for covers.)
From that moment on I knew more about Sheila, because I have her image.
The writing life is full of surprises…