Images Inspiring Fiction

I’ve heard various artists say they’re often inspired by images. Most famously Ron Howard claims he draws inspiration for his movies from single still images and photographs.

On Tumblr today I stumbled across this painting by Edward Hopper, which was the initial inspiration for my book CHERRY MONEY BABY. Something about this woman (an usher?) alone, apart from whatever’s transpiring on stage / screen, lost in her own thoughts…it got me thinking about a young woman who feels tangential to someone else’s larger drama, a girl on the outside looking in, and I wanted to tell her story.


Fellow writers, are there pictures and images that inspire your stories? I’d be curious to hear about them (and see them).


  1. I have always been inspired by the works of NC Wyeth, which is no surprise – given he was one of the most well respected illustrators for stories of his day (even if he didn’t seem to respect his own work as an illustrator). For me, my love for NC Wyeth’s illustrations all started after seeing this image of The Giant. Ironically, he didn’t paint The Giant for a story, but rather a mural for a school in honor of a young student who had died. I’ve yet to write a story based on this image, but I will someday! All of his illustrations evoke a wonderful sense of place and adventure. Here with the Giant, I think it represents how children view the world of grown-ups – mysterious, larger-than-life and somewhat terrifying.

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