Monday, March 24, 2008

Sources of inspiration...

I know I've blogged about this before, but it's very timely for me, and possibly enjoyable for you. A couple of years ago, I learned of this annual calendar put out by the French Rugby Team. It's a near-nude calendar of actual rugby players, in their natural form. No airbrushing, shaving, etc. Personally, I find it lovely to look at. For those of you itching to Google (ya, I know who you are) it's called Dieux du Stade (2005 was a good year).

Well, as I'm working toward finishing my current WIP, of course I'm getting inklings of ideas for my next book. And guess what it's about? RUGBY! Hehe. So I found that in 2005 (yup, like I said, a good year) they put out a book in addition to the calendar. And there are these two Italian brothers on the team...Anyway...fanning self. I just found out that my book arrived off Ebay today (I'll avoid the details on all the problems I had) and I'm about to open it. Real time folks...

Opening box... (he shipped it in a priority mail box turned inside out, then sent it via media mail so I got stuck paying an extra $12.36 upon pickup. Ooops, did I say I wouldn't go into the story? Sorry, I'm still P.O.'d).

Nice job bubble wrapping. These men must be protected. All those muscles...

Removing from bubble wrap...

Oooh Italian brother on the cover. Book is much larger than I thought. Difficult to hide under bed...

Ummm...okay...I lied...it's not always near-nude...hmm circumcision isn't an international thing I take it...

The Italian brothers! Yaaaaay! Man they look good. Ok, so the reason I bought this book, in addition to the obvious fact that they are gorgeous men, is to get an idea of the 'rugby body.' Do you buy that? Good, I hope so. I thought it would help me write the rugby book. I was also thinking that a photo shoot might be involved, and what better way to write about a photo shoot than look at a book of rugby photos? Hmmm?

Back to the point of this blog (yes, there was kind of a point) - I need visual inspiration many times when I write. I can't think of a person as a character, I need to find photos of real people. I like to find photos of rooms or cities to describe. And, I like to find photos of naked rugby players.

Have you every bought a book of inspiration? Made a collage? Keep a word document with character info and pictures? Have a bulletin board of hotties? Or is this level of character pre-planning giving you hives?

And a treat for your Monday and beacuse I'm in a beyond fantastic mood - some pictures of the book as I was looking through it (gotta love cell cameras)...

Oh, and in the words of my dear friend and co-worker: "Look at the shading and the tonality. Amazing production on the work (about a minute later); well, I can see why you paid that much in shipping." ;)

The cover












Mud wrestling takes on a whole new light...











My rugby hero is SO having this tattoo

The Italian brothers (and no Eli, they aren't gay.)






11 comments:

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Question...

Are those two naked men wrestling? If so, you know my take on it...

;) I'm glad you're so excited about your book, Lisa. I'm not entirely visual - I'm more linear in my thinking, which is why lists and notes work well for me and pictures never have. That said, I don't generally hunt for character pictures because even when I find someone who "sort of" fits my character, there are always elements that don't. However, with the new series I'm working on, I've got seven unique men, and to keep them straight in my head (the hero is clear, the others...not so much), I did go searching for some random photos just to give me a "look" for each one. Of course, then I listed their attributes on a word doc next to their photo, and it's the list I refer to way more than the photo...but...the photo does help when I need to remember who's blond and who's dark, etc.

Of course, come to think of it, I do have a whole file folder full of Paul Walker photos... Yeah. Um. We'll just call those research. ;)

Alice Sharpe said...

Lisa, LOL, enjoy your morning!

As for me, nope, not a picture person, either. I can't think of one time I've looked for a picture of a character. When I fill out art forms, I have to tediously search through the books for eye color and such as the character for me is more alive on the inside than he or she ever is on the outside, if you know what I mean. Once and a blue moon a character will have a characteristic that sets them apart -- the bright red hair out of a dye bottle on the heroine in Duplicate Daughter, for instance, but usually, no.

This translates into my reading, too, as I seldom really conjure up an image of a character's appearance. I guess I need to work on this!

You really are a visual person. I bet your describe your characters in loving detail. And that's good.

Karen Duvall said...

I did the picture cut-out thing for my characters when I wrote my second book. I don't know why I don't still do that, but I guess the picture inside my head is truer than what I could find in a magazine. Or in istockphoto.com That's a great resource for a quick look at different kinds of faces so that you can better imagine the crooked grin, the half-lidded eyes, the raised eyebrow, the long/short/cropped/shaved hair style, etc.

I'm visual, but having real photos doesn't help me that much as I'm writing.

By the way, that tattoo... hmm... I like it!

Genene said...

Um, research? You mean those pictures of gorgeous men are supposed to actually have something to do with the book you're writing? LOL!

Now, what was the question again? Oh yeah, more than one question...

My books of inspiration usually have more words than pictures, but perhaps I should consider a different option. :)

I usually find a photo or two of someone similar to a character. As Eli and Karen said, with a "look" or an expression that reminds me of the character.

And, Eli, seven must be a good number! The series I'm making notes on has seven brothers and one sister. Pictures are very helpful in keeping the characters separate.

I don't usually list their physical appearance in a separate document, but print out the sentences or paragraphs from what I'm writing that describes their attitudes or their physical characteristics.

It probably seems weird that I do so much plotting on paper (and my walls!) but don't do in-depth character sketches. Once I know what a character looks like and perhaps a handful of key things about a character, they come alive in the story. If I get stuck about what they would do in a particular situation, I "interview" the character about that situation, which is very revealing about what's deeply important to them.

Yes, I've collected pictures that remind me of a character's house or furniture or a particular place they go to set the scene more firmly in my mind. I'm not sure I've ever gotten a collage done, the pictures are usually just tucked in a file folder or stuck on the cork boards in my office.

Thanks for the upbeat visual beginning to the week, Lisa!

Paty Jager said...

Nice photos, Lisa!

I do use a modest character chart- what they look like, their background, and things about them that may or may not come out in the book. I also like to have a photo to look at when I'm stuck. Not so much to ground me in what they look like but to stare at and think about how they are feeling or how they are going to react.

Lovely blog! And interesting how each one uses or doesn't use photos.

I like to purchase Cowboy Calendars for the same reason you purchased your book Lisa.

Lisa Pulliam said...

Eli and Paul Walker. Sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. I, too, am guilty of such 'computer folders.' My Gabe Saporta folder is overflowing at the moment.

Alice, I rarely conjur up an image of the people I'm reading about too. I just can't read about someone and get that visual, it's very hazy in my mind.

Karen, that would be nice to have a stronger visual in your head than what you could find! I envy that!

Genene, hahahahaha! You are too funny! Good idea about interviewing a character, I am going to have to try that tonight. I'm at a sticking point and that just might work!

Paty, glad I'm not the only one ;) Cowboy calendars sound might nice!

Kendra said...

...tattoo!...drool...

wipes off keyboard and noseprint on screen

Lisa Pulliam said...

Hahahahaha Kendra! Not a tattoo I would have imagined to be sexy...but now that I've seen one...wow.

Kendra said...

How would you describe that? What kind of image is it from or ethnicity is it? If I wanted to put one on a hero somewhere...

Lisa Pulliam said...

I would describe it as a 'tribal tattoo.'

Alice Sharpe said...

BTW, evil Blog master, nice job sticking out photos on the front page there!!!! What fun. Thanks....