As Authors we face the challenge of transforming stories in our imaginations into images and sensual text. And in fact the greatest challenge novelists face comes when they create flesh and blood characters from intangible imaginings. But don’t fret, I have a solution…
I started reading a library copy of Martha Alderson’s The Plot Whisperer and I love the author’s idea for creating collages for characters and plot. She inspired me to create three vision boards yesterday (two for my completed fourth novel and one for a novel in progress) featuring my characters and setting. And don’t just stop with collages and vision boards, create scrapbooks for setting, plot, back story, the characters’ astrological charts, and images that resemble the characters that roam through the imagination.
First, you require a pile of old magazines, a pair of scissors, large sheets of paper and crafting glue/glue stick. Optional–music that connects you to your character. For instance, while I worked on my vision boards for my novel Love Quadrangle, I listened to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. This piece of music runs as a theme throughout my novel so this helped me feel the energies of my characters and story.
Second, rip or cut out any magazine image that relates to your characters, their setting, their hobbies, interests or to scenes in your novel (helps if you have at least written a rough draft). Then arrange and paste the images on large pieces of paper.
Third, cut out words from magazines that describe your characters or the themes of your story and paste those on the boards along with the images. If you choose to go the scrapbook route, then just do the same on the scrapbook pages.
The downside of the scrapbook is that you have to remind yourself to look through it periodically so you can pick up the energies of your characters, setting and story. The upside is that it saves wall space and you can keep the book neatly next to your computer.
If you went with the vision boards, hang them above your work space and glance at them often. I find that the boards help with building story, developing character further and help you to empathize with your characters. Just like Law of Attraction followers use vision boards to manifest their heart desires in the world, the vision boards for novels can also manifest your novel into the hands of publishers and not just through magic and synchronicity.
I found that my novel came to life even more after I made the boards because now I could finally see my characters as real people. My passion expanded and when our passion expands we send out strong positive energy to the Universe. The Universe responds. Suddenly something that seemed intangible one minute took on new life, like a seed sprouting and growing into a fruiting plant.
The magic happens because we delve into our subconscious mind and so we’re even able to solve plot and story problems as we give our left brain a rest. In the creative process our thoughts and feelings flow through us and so do solutions. It’s the same as taking our mind off a problem and going for a walk then returning home with inspired action.
I first heard about vision boards when I did Julia Cameron’s program The Artist’s Way. In one of her chapters, she included an exercise of ripping images from magazines (without analyzing the images) and pasting them on large sheets of paper or notebooks. I put the collages away in a closet, then months later when I pulled out the collages, I noticed how many of the images manifested in my life without me giving much thought at the time. I believe that the subconscious mind has a direct link to our souls so this explains the magic somewhat.
So find some magazines, large sheets of paper, markers, glue, and scissors then vision board your completed or drafted novel. This process will also help us manifest movies for our novels since we put energy behind actual images. What do you have to lose? And it’s fun.
If you want to enhance the fun part of the process, blow bubbles, use color crayons, and listen to your favorite childhood music. Add sparkles and stickers. This gets you in touch with your innocence and inner child where true creativity lies. Don’t forget to let me know how it goes.
I’m an intuitive coach, astrologer and novelist who gives both long-distance and in-person sessions. Find out more at Metaphysics for Everyday Living.