Images That Inspire Me

Most of you have read my article THE IDEA-TOILET PAPER and know I can get ideas from anywhere. However, I’ve been asked to share some pictures that have inspired me. I decided a place to start would be my banner, which you can also see in other places like my twitter and Facebook author accounts.


I have another at a different angle for the other accounts. (And just so y’all know, I took this picture.) It inspired the location for my middle grade story BEAST, which is a twisted fairytale retelling of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. This is a snapshot at the edge of a lake I walk and the cemetery across from the east side of the path. At the right moment of the day, when a white mist hovers over the lake, the area can look quite haunting. And although it inspired the location, it did not inspire the story’s premise. BEAST is an expansion from a story I wrote during English class nearly twenty years ago. And yes, I still have the graded paper!

Scary Manor 2

I came across this manor while googling old structures to get a better sense of design while writing THIS SCARY MANOR BLOWS. The home Agnes’ family inherits is somewhat similar to this one, except hers has turrets, secret passages, and hidden rooms, oh and ghosts! Also, the main floor has more height and a lengthier staircase leading to the front door. Agnes fell in love with old buildings because her dad was an architect. It was important for me to get descriptions right through her eyes because she missed her dad so much.

Black Fog

I wrote BLACK FOG after a vivid dream, much like a very long movie trailer. Back when I wrote the story, I had googled images of black fogs to help me describe the appearance of the creature. While I can’t find the original image I used, it was very similar to the one above. Now add life to the blackness by imagining the ominous fingers billowing around your chest and dissolving your flesh to ash. Voila! My character was born.

As much as I’d like to show photos all day, I won’t post a never ending blog. Just know, authors use various tools to help them describe the images they see in their head. Whether it be drawings, pictures, paintings, statues, trains, objects in their home or a hotel, the sky, their yard, the list is endless. And of course, sometimes writers use nothing but their noggin because the character or place is already so vivid. Either route an author takes is fine by me, I just want to be sucked into a story that seems plausible.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction


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