Workshop: Seeking and Finding Inspiration by Zen Photos: You know the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." That being said, shouldn't you be able to write a post worth that much? Yes you could but often times it's hard to even write one paragraph from just a picture. Sometimes a picture represents an idea, other times they express emotions, or perhaps they are much more complex that even you don't get it. If you are using photos to draw inspiration, whether it is for writing out a post or for some other means, make sure it speaks to you and you have a connection with it. I'm pretty sure that if an image depicts something from your country or culture, it would mean a lot more to you than a picture from a foreign country. Pictures are tricky because they can speak to a variety of people, or just a small group. What to Look For: - Colors - Symbols - Characters/Animals/Subjects - Posture - Landscapes - Mood/Atmosphere - The Message Examples Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh Scream by Edvard Munch View of Collioure by Henri Matisse You can also use pictures to help entice roleplayers to your game. There's nothing wrong with spicing up your OOC (Out of Character) thread with a few juicy photos. Just make sure that the images you choose are ones that fit with the genre and concept of your roleplay and doesn't completely overwhelm your thread. Unlike words, where you have to sit down and process the meanings, photos are amazing in the fact that it hits your psyche immediately. Music: Everyone's preference for music is different and the same can be said when you're looking for tunes to inspire you. Some people prefer songs that have lyrics, others prefer vocals or perhaps simply instrumental. Action scenes have songs with a strong beat, tend to have brass instruments singing out the melody and snare drums for the soldiers to march to. Emotional, crying scenes have wood winds, strings and a sorrowful singer. I've found that lots of people can't draw or write, but everyone loves music and easily draw inspiration from it. What to Look For: If you're looking for music to complement an Action/Fantasy/Grimdark or an Epic Roleplay, take a look at Two Steps From Hell. These guys have several albums tied to movies and television shows so they know what they're doing. They have everything from strong drums, a fierce brass section and some eerie sounding choir parts. If you're looking for something somber, I have several composers. Eric Whitacre is mostly known for his choir pieces, but he does some orchestra and band selections. He's a prominent figure in contemporary classical music, and if he doesn't strike a chord for you, take a gander at John Williams. Yes I know, he's done a ton of stuff like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Saving Pirate Ryan, the list goes on and on... But like I said with photographs, you have to have a connection with music to know that it will work for your roleplay. If there isn't one, or if it doesn't sing out for you, it probably wouldn't work. Life: Yes you can definitely find something inspiring or riveting in real life. Our festivals are based off of holidays, like Halloween for Horror Month and many other festival themes are based off of history. So who's to say you can't do a roleplay based on a real life event? There are so many examples so I'll give you a few: - Birthdays - Birth/Death - Christmas/Thanksgiving - Graduation - Death of a Family Member - Emergency Room - Moving into a new home And remember, just because you take inspiration from real life doesn't mean the genre has to stay the same. Lets say you base a roleplay off of moving into a new house. You could twist it and say that the house is either haunted or perhaps it's a time machine of some sorts. This is part of the creative process, turning something around to make it fun and compelling. Thanks for reading folks, if you'd like for more to do another Workshop like this one, leave me a comment here or send me a PM.