Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reverse Inspiration

Before I sit down to write a particular scene, I often google images and listen to music to inspire the mood I hope to capture with words. Recently though, the opposite happened. It's been almost a year since I finished a particular scene, but about a week ago, I stumbled upon a piece of artwork which could have been a snapshot of the image in my mind when I wrote this scene. The small details don't all match, but the mood is spot-on.

Here's the image:
Borrowed from Lilif Ilane

And here's the excerpt:

        The walls, velvety black and endless, were studded with what looked like diamonds of various shapes and sizes. The stones twinkled like stars in the soft light which bathed the cavern and fingers of mist trailed through the ghost-like ferns clinging to the water’s edge.
        At the far end of the lake, directly across from the cavern’s mouth, was an emptiness which swallowed the light. She waded toward the darkness, the rising water and lily pads fighting her every step. Finally Selina was close enough to make out the flawless shape of a woman emerging from the rock. She was submerged from the waist down, the upper portion of her body slightly preceding the lower half as she leaned out of the rock. Her long, flowing hair was draped forward over her naked torso and her open palms reached out to Selina, inviting her in. And though a hopeful smile was draped across her beautiful face, it wasn’t quite enough to distract from the scorn and fury in her frozen eyes. Selina shivered under the intensity of that stare.

It's not exactly the same, but close enough to be a bit eery. And close enough to make me wonder what it would be like to flip through an illustrated version of my manuscript. 

The mental image created by a piece of writing has a lot to do with the reader though and I wonder if the writing and the image pair up as well for everyone else as they do for me.

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