Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pictures for World Building

Map from Vatican Museum

Map from Vatican Museum

I shouldn’t be concentrating on world building at the moment.  I should be writing furiously on through to the end of my novel, but sometimes a break for a bit of world building and picture perusal feeds the creativity and inspires my writing.

The above maps are from the Vatican Museum in Rome. They really sparked my imagination, luring me into visions of mystic fantasy worlds full of vivid color and lush landscapes. In working on the maps for my fantasy novel, I use these for inspiration. Don't know yet if the maps are for my own reference and inspiration or to be included for the readers.

Pompeii, Italy

There will be at least one ruined city visited in my current fantasy novel. I love this scene of a street in Pompeii - those stones were stepping stones. The carriages could drive over them, wheels between the stones, and pedestrians could avoid the flow of muck in the streets by crossing the stones. Pictures from Pompeii, along with  the experience of being there, give me an eerie feeling. Strolling through its streets, you get a real sense of walking through a place ripped violently from life. Pompeii's state of preservation adds to that sensation - as if this town was filled with life just yesterday. That's what I want to capture in my scenes in my book.

Brimham Rocks, UK
Not being native to Yorkshire, I'm always delighted by the other-world feeling I get visiting its various landscapes.  Visiting Brimham Rocks was like stepping into a movie scene. I love the contrasts in spring, when the vibrant ferns and flowers juxtapose against the sculpted, gray stone.

These are just a few of my inspiration pictures. Does anyone else use pictures to inspire their world building? If not, what do you use?

Posted by Jennifer B. at The Writing Cocoon.


  1. Lovely pictures! When I'm visiting somewhere, I try to think of the stories the area could hold. Castles, forests, swamps. Everything holds some inspiration and there's a feel of what *could* be lurking around a tree or corner that gets my imagination running wild.