Writing Tip – Take a picture

Ideas come from anywhere, but when I’m working on a longer project, a lot of my ideas tend to come from places I’ve visited or stayed in.

That’s certainly true of Badlands, but it’s equally true of my current work in progress, a supernatural crime mystery set in and around Hickling on the Norfolk Broads.

The Pleasure Boat Inn & dyke, Hickling.

While I’ve visited the Broads loads of times over the years, the only time I stayed in Hickling was in 2019 when I went with my two sons for a few days kayaking, walking and trying not to drown in the Broad.

The seeds of the new project were sowed in that trip, and now, two and half years later I’m past the halfway mark.

As I’m writing, I’m having to dig back into pictures I took at the time to reconnect with the details and the memories that have faded since.

I took the pictures precisely for this reason and it’s something I do on every trip I take. If I see something I may want to feature in my story – a house, a pub, a lake, a barred gate or say, a wreckers tunnel – I try to photograph it from as many angles as possible.

I also make notes to recall any particular smells or sounds or sights that I may later want to recreate.

These photos and notes, along with Google maps, help to pin my fictional events in the real places that inspired them.

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2 thoughts on “Writing Tip – Take a picture

  1. I used to do the same back when I used to write about places and people. It’s so much easier to remember things when I take a picture of the surroundings, like the hedge that provided some shade from the hot sun, or the worn-out wooden swords lined against the walls in the Kendo dojo. Great tip!

    Liked by 1 person

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