What’s a picture worth in prose

Seeing as so much of writing is in the visualisation I set myself a task a while ago; to sketch all of the main characters in the work in progress. And seeing as there was a good reason I studied lit and not art, the results weren’t exactly amazing. 🙂

However, I did find it a really useful way of putting a physical face to my new friends – even if it was because I was thinking ‘well, she won’t look anything like THAT’. Now I’m wondering how many prose writers out there sketch characters, maps, layouts or even fashion designs for their stories?

3 thoughts on “What’s a picture worth in prose

  1. I wish had even the skill you have! I am always doodling but nothing that would come close to what I pictured in my mind. It would be great to have someone sketch characters based on my writing.


    • Yeah, I reckon it’d be great in one way – but I think I might get huffy if someone drew them drastically differently to the way I saw them. Don’t you? Or am I just being control-freaky?


      • Well that’s the thing. However you write your characters’ physical appearance, it won’t convey to the reader exactly what’s in your head. The reader will have a different picture anyway. But it would be interesting to see how someone talented interprets what you’ve written. What if it’s completely different? Would that be always a bad thing? Maybe it causes you to consider adapting your phrases to reflect that illustration?
        For me, I’d rather be more controlling of the style rather than what is actually drawn. I’d prefer something photo-realistic rather than cartoony or abstract or otherwise exaggerated.


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