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Settings that Inspire

Monday, October 22, 2012

As a writer, my story ideas start with a character 99% of the time. Sometimes, though, there are those places—or images of places—that make me want to write a story set there.

Since I spent all weekend grading freshman comp essays, I had no brainpower left to come up with a book-related topic. So today, I’m stealing one of the prompts for an essay my students had the option of writing a couple of weeks ago and I’m presenting it to you. This is something you can do whether you’re a story writer or not.

Look at these images tell me about them. Make something up or tell me how it makes you feel. If it brings to mind a song or a Bible verse, share that.

A picture’s worth a thousand words. You don’t have to write that many, but do share with us what one or all of these images inspires in you.



  1. Debbie Mitchell permalink
    Monday, October 22, 2012 12:49 am

    In the first picture, It’s such a nice day for taking a long walk, looking through the store front windows….The air is crisp and the colors are radiant…..This bench looks like a nice place to relax with a good book. Perhaps something by Kaye Dacus? 🙂
    In the second picture, I envision a dragon flying overhead, he protects the land and I see medieval knights practicing their jousting while beautiful maidens stand by admiring the knights’ skills…….There is peace in the land, for the dragon keeps watch whilst the people enjoy life……
    In the third picture, It’s the Secret Garden…… many wonderful stories to imagine while prancing barefoot in the lush green grass…….This would also be a great place for a wedding.


  2. Monday, October 22, 2012 2:08 am

    I want to clean up all those leaves in the first picture. It’s frustrating that it’s on concrete so I’d have to use a broom instead of a rake, but it would be satisfying work regardless. Everything else in the picture is neat and tidy, with the bench and trash bin placed just so. The leaves just bother me.

    The middle picture makes me feel cold, empty and desolate. It’s sunset–an end. The gray of the stone affects my mood far more than the green, but the color of the sky adds a promise of hope.

    The third picture feels like where I am in my creative life right now. The path beckons with the sunshine, the green bushes and the promise of a beautiful garden. I’m stuck inside the dark room and feel trapped by the narrow door frame I have to pass through.

    Guess all this speaks to my pessimism, but I really love the 3rd picture. I’d probably crop out the door frame so I wouldn’t feel so claustrophobic. Then I’d stare at it and dream of all the possibilities such a day holds.


  3. ausjenny permalink
    Monday, October 22, 2012 3:37 am

    The first pic reminds me of fall and makes me want to go and see where the trees look like this it makes me think of Whistler in Canada when I was there and saw trees like this and the building behind has an alpine feel to me.

    The second photo makes me think of a former time when there were knights and ladies and magic in the air, of being on a tour to visit this place and being able to walk through the ruins and feel the bygone era.

    The last photo makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. A garden to go explore and not sure where you will end up. It also looks so peaceful and a perfect place to sit and read.


  4. Monday, October 22, 2012 1:07 pm

    Congratulations, Kaye! You’ve managed to do what no one else has – get me to visit Pinterest. I’ve been waiting until someone came along who doesn’t use it as an online recipe book or a repository for pet photos. This Anglophile was also surprised to see in “Settings That Inspire” many locations I’d never heard about. Thanks!


  5. Tuesday, October 23, 2012 9:16 am

    That first one made me feel like I’d stepped into the Mitford books (At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon). Always a good feeling.


    • JamaGenie permalink
      Tuesday, October 23, 2012 5:50 pm

      Mitford! Yes! Only Father Tim was missing. (I have the entire Mitford collection, btw, even the cookbook – an entire weekend getaway by itself! – and do “step into Mitford” from time to time when my soul in in need of a tune up.) 🙂


  6. Rheta Ellis permalink
    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 5:24 pm

    Hi Kaye,

    The first picture reminds of the tv show with Bert and Ernie and Oscar the Grouch!with the tree just right I almost see Big Bird walking right on by.With the second It make me think of King Arthur and his knights.And the third make me think of Queen Victoria and Albert.Just putting in my two cents.


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