Visual References, Ideas, & Storyboards

Are you one of those people who has a corkboard full of glossy magazine clippings and tattered newspaper articles? Or a scrapbook filled to bursting with cut-and-pasted idea-fodder?  A photoalbum filled with visual references in the form of photographs?

I'm not.

'Cause I'm not that organized, you see, and I'm pretty lazy.  However, since Krispy began frolicking on Pinterest some time ago, like a lemming I followed suit and next thing you know, we have Pinterest board dedicated to our WIP that Krispy is still slacking on so I'm bullying her here for all the internets to see.

Before Pinterest, we were Tumblr monsters, but Tumblr isn't the most useful or effective vehicle for image organization and tagging--with the end result being that Krispy and I both trawled through our Tumblr archives to re-pin things we liked onto Pinterest.

It is very nice to have images and references neatly arranged on an endlessly scrolling page online, the process being both easy and a timesuck enjoyable.  My problem is that I forget/neglect Pinterest for long periods of time and therefore hardly use it for the intended purpose of inspiration.  Nevertheless, a glance through it now and again helps me get into the right mindset for the stories at hand.

It's also interesting to see other writers' story-idea boards on Pinterest.  Take a gander at the moody mythological archery-raven-highlands of Beth Revis's WIP or Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me board.  If there's one thing you take away from the experience, it will be atmosphere.  It can be an enriching experience if you've read the book/are familiar with the work; for instance, I read Shatter Me and seeing that Pinterest board is like omg I SEE IT.

Here is a selection of inspiring images from the masterpiece Krispy and I are working upon:

Source: google.com via Alz on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via alice on Pinterest

Conspiring together upon a virtual corkboard helps Krispy and me procrastinate keep track of things we like as well as focus on mood, scene, and setting.  (Or at least I hope it does for Krispy, since we only started this board after the writing ball was in her court. Months ago, and is still there. Ahem.) 

Here's the rest of the board for this story: Sandbox

Links to some of our other Pinterest storyboards.
Alz: Muse / Waterfall
Krispy: Luck / Equinoxal

Do you have a literal, metaphorical, or virtual corkboard for your story ideas?


Ariana Ferrone said...

Wow, just from looking at those few images I have a feeling for what you're writing about! Personally, I love collecting photos and songs to inspire my writing. It helps immerse me more fully in the world I'm trying to hold together.

Julie Dao said...

The only pictures I ever kept for my stories were of actors/actresses who looked like my characters. They were stored in a folder right next to the word doc. I love Pinterest now! You guys picked out some great photos. Hopefully you can light a fire under Krispy's butt so she can get writing soon!

Connie Keller said...

I love the photos. They're gorgeous!
(I need to check out Pinterest--but I'm afraid of more time being sucked from my writing.)

I don't have a corkboard or anything like that. I just have a small spiral notebook that fits into my purse--all my story ideas go into that book. Later all my editing ideas will go into the same book. Once the novel is done, the notebook goes into a bin--mostly because I can't bear to throw them away.

Angela Brown said...

I haven't used a story board of any kind before but I'm trying it with this MG story I'm working on.

I love the pics shown here. I get the feeling of something dark, suspenseful and the picture that looks like the Thames has me pondering. Hmmm...

Lydia Kang said...

I love what you have! That horse is magnificent. I can't wait to buy your books someday. :)

Golden Eagle said...

Those are amazing images!

I have a bunch of images gathered in a folder that I'll look at occasionally if I really need inspiration.

R. J. Ropsen said...

I love these pictures. There is so much emotion in them. I never thought of using pictures to inspire my writing but it is an awesome idea.

Sophia Chang said...

Ok. This is the best case for Pinterest as a writer's tool I've heard ever. I've always had no interest for it since that's what Tumblr's for, but now framed in your terms I can see the benefit of not having all my novel references jumbled together with other research links. Although, again I could say - that's what Scrivener's for! We'll see if I start using my pinterest account...