I think it’s time I made a confession. I like visuals. I guess this is obvious after I went a little crazy making all of those Character Aesthetics cubes right before Stepsisters came out, but I really like visuals! Maybe it’s the younger me that liked to draw so much and dreamed of one day being a fashion designer or a photographer or maybe even an interior designer (none of which I actually became, though I did dally for a few years in radio) – but visuals are my guilty pleasure. I buy cookbooks and home design magazines just to look at the pictures – and try out the recipes, of course, but mostly to look at the pictures! So yes… I guess it’s pretty safe to say that I’m a glutton for this stuff.
And I’m not ashamed. A pro writing tip that I’ve read somewhere before is that location and setting should be characters in their own right, and I couldn’t agree more. Reading is fun because it nourishes our imagination. We go on adventures, feel feelings, and see amazing visuals of these characters, these events, and these locations in our heads. The descriptions of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books bring that world to life. The descriptions of foreign locales in travel writing transport us to them without ever having to leave our seats. And it’s my sincere hope that my descriptions of Stirling City, Maple Springs, and the other hot spots in the Deceived novels give my imaginary world some life as well – though my success, I guess, is up to you, the readers!
Sometimes I like to take these visuals out of my cramped little noggin and look at them as they may appear in the real world just for the sake of science, so in the same vein as those character aesthetic collages that I threw together a while back, I decided that a few locations deserved a closer look – and I couldn’t think of a better place to start at than the von Essen mansion!
I did a few quick Google searches in hopes of finding some photos that would capture the way I envision the mansion to look in my head and put them into collage form for you with some added commentary and insight. Obviously, credit for these pics belongs to their respective owners – all I did was mash them up in Photoshop for fun. Give the picture above a little click to learn more about the style, background, and aesthetics of this setting!
I’ll be storing more Location Studies in the Bonus Goodies section as they come. I’m interested to see how the pictures in my head match up with those in yours! How close did we get? Is there another location you’d like to see? Tell me about it! 🙂
<3, Stephanie Rose Vigano
P.S. Stepsisters has been out for a month now! Wow, time flies!!!