Conversations: 4/21/2017


One of the methods I use to kick-start my writing involves taking a walk through our local library and looking for Picture/Photo books. Not only do the beautiful scenic photos inspire me, but the details fill me with “What if?” questions—which, in turn, push me right back into writing. Sometimes I am captured by exquisite coffee-table-books that are strategically placed throughout the library; those oversized, thicker photo-pages with captions that identify the country, state, mountain range or desert location of the images. Other times I settle at a table in the History section or cozy into the big rocking chair in the Children’s section. Following are a few examples of these types of books and how to discover your own treasures in their midst.

home of the bluesHome of the Blues by Debby Wallace and Daniel Coston is written from the perspective
of “IF the walls could talk.” These two authors (Debby a retired RN now freelance writer and Daniel an established photographer for magazines and CD covers) have done their research and reconnected the world with sounds of the past created in a place that continues to inspire us today.

If you are writing a “period piece” set in 1900s America, you’ll benefit from reading these pages and walking into the images of “The Days of the Blues.”

For sheer scenic imagery check out the books of photographer William A. Carlson: FROM DELICATE LILY PADS TO SCULPTURED from delicate lily pads to sculptured peaks by william a carlsonPEAKS: Landscape Photography with Verse Impressions from North America, Scandinavia, and New Zealand…or his second book of photography, IMPRESSIONS OF NATURE IN BLACK AND WHITE. Carlson’s work has captured the positive attention of American Landscape Photographer, John Fielder, which led me to begin turning the pages. Earlier I mentioned the value of details and these images gave me just that—the ability to imagine myself standing in these environments and experiencing my own “sensory responses” that are mentioned in his verses.

For those of us who utilize setting almost to the point of creating the places as additional characters in our stories, this genre of Nature/Scenic photography can be most useful. When we cannot be there ourselves, we can still have the opportunity to meld with such photos and imagine the prick of pine needles dropped from majestic, towering pine forests.

FROM these two basic genre/types of published works we can be inspired to:

  • Create a historic and/or seasonal location that meets the needs of our storyline.
  • Develop a fluid time—morning, afternoon, evening, “dark of night.”
  • Set the weather patterns that effect our characters.
  • Utilize each of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.

But don’t forget the sixth sense and the additional four (at least) senses that every one of your Readers will engage as they turn the pages of your book(s). They are mostly physical senses and include:

  • Pain: from physical, emotional, psychological injury.
  • Balance: the equilibrium that keeps us standing on our feet or seated comfortably in our chairs.
  • Motion: the active use of joints in our bodies that move our “parts.”
  • Temperature: the body’s sensitivity to internal and external temperatures.
  • The Intuitive or perceptive is what most call “the sixth sense.” However, many scientists today believe it is just as much a part of the human sensory system as the others.

Steeping ourselves in Sight and Sound environments, whether joining Outward Bound trail blazers or sitting comfortably at home, in a library or neighborhood park will enhance our writing skills. My writing always benefits when I take the time to build my memory bank (and files) with such images. I hope you will, too. ⚓︎


ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

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