2 Feb 2011

Twitter hashtag: #eyesinspire

Inspired by fellow writer and positive Twitter force Ron Vitale, who recently created #swimupstream, I want to introduce a new Twitter hashtag: #eyesinspire.

Images or pictures are a great source of inspiration for stories, worlds and characters. Many ideas enter our thoughts through our eyes: when we travel, when we pass people on the street, or when we look at photographs that show us the world in a different light.

The #eyesinspire tag is about sharing images that inspire you to write. Pictures that spark stories, settings and characters. Photographs, paintings or drawings that take you to a different time or place, that evoke an unknown or unexpected atmosphere, that make you aware of another layer of reality or that glow with a pure, ancient or dark magic, so strong you can almost taste it.

#Eyesinspire is a tag for writers and photographers, for artists and travellers, for people with imagination and the desire to see beyond the obvious.

I am hoping many of you will join me by sharing the images that inspire you. That way, if we ever get stuck in a story (or lost without one), we can explore these rich visual worlds to spark new ideas. And our stories in turn can inspire new images.

Here are a few examples of questions that can help trigger ideas:

  • For images of settings & scenery:
    • What kind of character would I expect to find here?
    • What kind of character would be the least likely to be/live/appear here?
    • What if those 2 characters (or peoples, races, ...) would meet here? Which conflicts would arise? Would they find a way to cooperate?
    • If certain elements in this landscape would be transformed (be much smaller, much bigger, transparent, invisible, made of different material, ... (go wild here)), how would that affect the landscape, the living conditions, etc.)?
    • What would this setting have looked like in a distant past? In a distant future? (Both constructive & destructive scenarios)

  • For portraits and photographs that include people:
    • Who is this person / these people? Name? How old?
    • What happened right before the picture was taken? (positive & negative scenarios)
    • What did he/she/they do in the past few days?
    • What are they about to do right after the picture was taken? (positive & negative scenarios)
    • What are their plans for the future? (short & long term) How could those plans be disturbed?
    • Which emotions do you detect in this image/picture?
    • What is this person thinking?
    • Who was the last person he/she saw? Who is the next person he/she will see? What will happen?
    • What would happen if you took that person out of that picture and dropped him/her in a very different setting? (experiment with various settings here, depending on your genre)
In short: look for opportunities for conflict, obstacles, interaction, unlikely scenarios, turning things upside down, etc.

I hope you have found this useful and I'm looking forward to seeing you on Twitter!
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