I’m a very visual person. I need to see something to write a description of it, so while writing my manuscript “Love Redesigned”, I combed the internet and magazines for images that I could use to inspire scenes. Pinterest quickly became my best friend. I’ve been a scrapbooker for almost 20 years (good gravy, that long??), so I did what any scrapper does, and put together a scrapbook/storyboard for my novel. I bought a SmashJournal from Michael’s, got out my tape runner, scrapbook paper, and went to town pasting images into the book. I let go of my normal strict design tendencies and collaged the entire book with an old world style.
I created tabs for each section: Roman (my hero) and his goals, motivations, conflict; Genevieve (my heroine) and her GMC; the settings; secondary characters; the wedding (that which brings the H/h together); and the backstory for my hero and heroine.
It was great fun putting this storyboard together. When I had begun the manuscript, a character popped onto the page one day while I was writing – Genevieve’s gay BFF. I was shocked, because I hadn’t planned for him at all. Then later, while I was searching for wedding pictures online, I saw a picture of two little flower girls, and voila! I gave a secondary character twins!
Some pictures reminded me of scenes I had already written; other pictures inspired scenes and action that fit into the story. I started carrying post-it notes (really pretty ones!) to jot down notes throughout the day so I wouldn’t forget when genius ideas struck me. Then I’d stick them in the storyboard/scrapbook where needed.
I created an entire world for my characters in this scrapbook, one that I wish I could visit in real life. By piecing together pictures, I furnished a chateau, an 18th century farmhouse, Genevieve’s dream bakery, and the Paris that I want to visit someday.
How about you? If you’re an author, do you use pictures to inspire your writing? If you’re not a writer, do you scrapbook, or cut out pictures that inspire dreams?