At the Swoon Reads twitter chat last night, one of the questions that we first list panel members were asked was if our ideas came from real life or our imaginations. My answer? Imagination inspired by real life. This is true for not only plot events and dialogue but also for descriptions of characters and settings. I find pictures especially useful for helping me show character's emotions, what that emotion looks like on their faces and in their body language.
Google Maps is a great resource for setting as well, since you can use street view to get snapshots of places where your characters live or visit. A scene I'm working on for Kiss and Cry involves a drive through the Rocky Mountains and into Utah and Google Maps meant I could "drive" their route through snapshots. And if a picture's worth a thousand words, how much more for a movie? I also love YouTube videos for research. Since I personally don't enjoy seafood, I've never eaten a lobster. But I could learn exactly how to do it on YouTube.
Do you have a favorite source for visual inspiration? Please share by leaving a comment. Thanks!
P.S. For those who missed the twitter chat, I leaked that there's a new Halloween scene coming to The Boy Next Door. If you want spoilers, check out my The Boy Next Door board on Pinterest.