Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 22, 2007

Starting Stories with Pictures

A lot of my work begins with a picture that sticks in my mind, so I love the story of how C.S. Lewis first imagined a faun holding an umbrella and wrapped package by a gaslight in the forest when he was sixteen. The image came and went, until he was 43 and and decided to turn it into a story. It didn’t quite work until nine years later, when he had dreams about lions, which got things moving. He was also inspired by children being sent to his house to escape the London blitz in WWII, and their presence reminded him of the pleasures of childhood reading. And how once upon a time he and his brother used to sit in an old wardrobe and tell each other stories.

Lewis calls imagination a faculty that “stirs and troubles” the reader with “a dim sense of something beyond his reach.”



  1. I didn’t know that was how the stories started for him. Ooh, how I like that.

  2. WOW! That was fascinating! Thank you for sharing that story!

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