Thursday, April 7, 2011

Visual Stimulation

As a writer, I often turn to the visual arts for inspiration. I'm not sure what models Tyler Kenyon and Kyle Ledeboer are meant to convey here, but my brain thinks there are a few stories waiting to be told:

I wonder -- what's going on in this picture? Intense fitness training? A playful game of truth or dare? Could either scenario lead to something more? Add some bondage elements and you'll get a rough idea of how my Muse works. What do you think is going on in this picture?


K. Z. Snow said...

Frat boys. A challenge. And it's leading them places they hadn't expected to go -- or maybe, subconsciously, had ('cause dude's britches are hanging mighty low!)

Hm. I'm trying to remember if a visual ever prompted me to write a story, and the only instance I can think of is a scene from the British "Queer as Folk." (This had nothing to do with fanfic, btw.)

Now I'm curious, though. Which of your books were inspired by a photo or a piece of art?

Katrina Strauss said...

KZ ~ I wouldn't say art has inspired entire books, but certainly has inspired scenes, personality dynamics, and character look and wardrobe. Chinese yaoi artist Heise has been one of a few influences behind Blue Ruin. A prime example is this image here:

Thanks to that image, readers were treated to a balcony kiss, with Derek in a suit and Blue in a white robe. On a deeper level, I've sought to recreate the dynamic conveyed in that image throughout Derek and Blue's relationship.

It's neat you mentioned QAF, because I once went back and edited a scene to reposition a character just like a hot Gale Harold photo. (Which I found after a marathon viewing session of the US version.) That simple change in position prompted several new paragraphs!

Satori's look and wardrobe were based on that of a hot goth model who was dressing "steampunk" before we had a label for it. There are several more examples, some I could cite specifically, others that I've absorbed more so through osmosis. I'm a very visual person, having dabbled in art and photography as well over the years, and one art form often inspires and fuels the other. :D

Katrina Strauss said...

P.S. KZ ~ Oh, and I originally commented on your suggestion in my first response that Blogger ate it... I like where your mind is going with this! Those low-slung pants also got my thoughts racing. ;)

K. Z. Snow said...

Ooo, that's interesting. Heise's art is absolutely gorgeous.

I would've never made the connection between Satori and a "hot goth model." Now I'll have to go back and reread the descriptions of him!

I believe any good fiction must have strong sensory underpinnings -- visual, of course, but also tactile, aural, and olfactory. Even taste comes into play. If a writer can't bring scenes to life in readers' minds, that writer isn't doing his or her job very well.

Katrina Strauss said...

KZ ~ Grinning and nodding here! One of the best pieces of "how to" advice I've received is: integrate the five senses into each scene (smell and taste interchangeable if need be). I find it helpful whether I'm crafting an intense love scene, or describing a walk through the park. One need not go overboard, of course, but a single mention of sound or sensation can go a long way in immersing the reader in the moment!

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