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Photo via Flickr.com user Les Haines.

Photo via Flickr.com user Les Haines. Parliament is an iconic bit of London. Nearly everyone who has visited London has visited Big Ben, and my MC is no different.

Ready to embrace another round of WIP Wednesday? I’m continuing to work on my novel, working title Spurn the Moon, and I just have to resort to photo hunting for inspiration throughout the week.

Okay, you called my bluff. I don’t have to, I want to. I love photography, and I love scenic photography. Forget people, give me places, buildings, pastoral scenes!

But this love comes in rather useful when writing. Why? Well, I can see a photo of a scene or building and my mind immediately starts putting people there. People I can imagine. But buildings I sometimes need a bit of help on. And entire settings sometimes need a bit of guidance to truly pop off the page, let alone keep all the elements straight.

How to find the right photos:

There’s a bit of luck involved in finding the right photos at the right time. Pinterest is great to create a board (private or public) of inspiring photos for my WIP. And I occasionally jump on there to see what’s out and about, and quickly get lost in the maze of photos.

But I keep coming back to Flickr and its plethora of fantastic, professional quality photos, like the one below of the Tower of London, a place I’ve been, but can’t get a photo of like this unless I took a helicopter ride over London. A photo like the one below can give my MC a path to walk or run, one that I would otherwise have to map out via Google or Bing maps and not get quite the clear idea of what it would be like to run down the Queen’s walk along the Thames.

Photo via Flickr.com user Rick Ligthelm

Photo via Flickr.com user Rick Ligthelm. The Tower of London has to be one of the most visited sites in London. it’s not only gorgeous and chocked full of history, but it is right on the Thames, with a fantastic view of the Tower Bridge.

I’ve been to a lot of the touristy places in London. After all, I’ve visited at least half a dozen times in the last 15 years. (Wow that makes me sound old. But I started world traveling as a freshman in high school.) and while I love seeing the castles and “touristy” things of London, I don’t plan on my MC, who is moving there, visiting the tourist sites of London.

Where to search:

Herein lies one of the beauties of the Internet. (I know, I just gushed about it two weeks ago too.) but nowadays finding pictures of the average Londoner’s day is a whole lot easier thanks to Instagram.

Photo via Flickr.com user DncnH.

Photo via Flickr.com user DncnH. There is something about this photo that makes me think of my MC rushing down London’s classiest streets to find a wedding present for her mother.

And Flickr.com. Don’t forget Flickr. You can honestly follow people who post to it like they post to Instagram. And then you have those gorgeous works by professional photographers. The best thing about Flickr is the ease of downloading photos to use elsewhere–if the photographer allows it. But the interface of Flickr is prettier than Instagram, too. 😉

Why bother:

So this past week, I’ve been hard at work on a few scenes for my novel, all of which include places I’ve never been in London. Now some of them I am using a literary license on, and reality be darned, I’m not worried about it. But there are some details I do want to get right, like the pathway in Kensington Park. Gravel, pavement, rock? Turning to photos for these kind of tidbits could be valuable. Granted, it’s best to go there yourself or ask someone you know, but photos can be a great starting point.

Kensington Park, photo taken by me on my recent trip to London.

Kensington Park, photo taken by me on my recent trip to London.

Sometimes, all you need is a starting point, and that will allow you just enough information to either make up the rest or ask the right questions of someone who’s been there. Then you can have the right details and be exact.

Remember our quote of the week:

“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Then when your luck (publisher, agent, reader, etc.) comes along, you’ll be ready.

Tell me:

How do you do your research?