Wednesday, February 5, 2020

IWSG: Every Picture Tells a Story

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for February is: Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

Yes! In my case, I blame it on the debut of MTV. As a stay-at-home mom with a new baby, the music and videos carried me back to my rather wild rock-n-roll college roots, encouraging me to join a record club (vinyl, remember them?) to pad my long-neglected collection. On the back of one of the LPs, I don’t remember which, there was a picture of the group’s drummer. I couldn’t look away. What a perfect pirate he would make! (In fact, one of their later music vids had a rather swashbuckling feel to it!). While trying to nap between feedings for the new kid on the block, I daydreamed about that swarthy fellow. Piece by piece, a story came together, first in my mind then on notebook paper, becoming my second completed manuscript (the first is still in a box somewhere). And in August of 1987, THE PIRATE’S CAPTIVE debuted under my pen name Dana Ransom alongside SWEET TEMPEST, a historical Regency also written for Zebra Books as Lauren Giddings, my first two published books. And I owe it all to Rock’n’Roll.



I’m very visual when I write. For each book, I put together a folder (either physical, digital or both. Now, I even use Pintrest!) filled with images that support or inspire my current WIP. Faces of characters, clothing they’d wear, places they’d live or travel to. I hang my daydreams on those images as the story emerges and finally expands into text (I’ve come a long way since notebook paper and a manual typewriter). So, in my case, every picture helps me tell my story.


But when I think of a picture that inspires me to finish those stories, it’s this one on my desk of my critique group of over 25 years strong! Their steady stares all say the same thing: “You should be writing!”.


Have a happy shortest month year and Happy Writing! Looking forward to reading about your inspirations!




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the February 5th posting of the IWSG will be Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

18 comments:

  1. Love your story of how a picture on a record cover inspired your story. And how amazing that your critique group has been together for 25 years.

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    1. I think it's actually over 25 because several were meeting together before I joined and we've had several come on board since. We all write very different things and are at various levels in our writing but we draw tremendous energy from one another. They keep me honest.

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  2. Oh how I remember the days of studying the cover art of albums. I love how one of them inspired your career. Like you, I have folders stuffed with pics from newspapers, magazines, and the internet of my story details. That's just how my brain works.

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    1. I double bag with the online and paper. I guess my age is showing.

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  3. Pictures help me tell my story too. Happy IWSG!

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    1. I love writing because it involves all the senses!

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  4. That's one solid critique group! I can definitely relate to rock music inspiring writing. And cool that was your first book.

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    1. Oh the blissful ignorance of those earlier days before writer support group, internet searches . . . and manual typewriters!

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  5. How awesome that is that he inspired your second book! Your story is pretty cool.

    www.alliebock.com

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  6. That is so cool about the pirate. I hope you re-release that one some day. Music with lyrics is too distracting while I write. But instrumentals or lyrics in a foreign language (can we say Andrea Bocelli?) and the richness fills me with inspiration.

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    1. Geez, I've got a slew of books to reissue. I was saving them for my retirement.......which is now. Hmmmm.

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  7. Vinyls are back! My older kids like to buy vinyls and are very proud of their turntables...LOL. Pictures, movies, music are great inspirations for stories!

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  8. Sorry I’m late in getting back to you, Nancy, usual hospital visits, and thanks for your support. Thin Time didn’t do as well as I’d hoped because I didn’t use a subtitle on the cover that would have helped people understand the meaning... (sigh)

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