Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Visualizing My Worlds

Otto and Hazel's world.
When I started my first novel I would get a picture in my head of a character or scene. I don’t think that’s too unusual for a story writer, however, I would (and still do) get “stuck” in my writing.

I discovered that if I find an image on the internet to use as a focus, I am able to continue writing. For example, I needed a picture of a red-headed kind of scruffy young man. I Googled ‘red hair on a man’ and came up with lots of images. The beautiful Ewan McGregor became the image of my character Otto Daniel in THE INK OF TIME.

Kat Von D, along with an Asian and an African American young woman became the amalgamation of my character, tattoo shop owner Hazel Himmel.

Nate's science fair project
from junior high.
Then I went a step further. I printed out all of the images that helped me visualize my story and attached them to the back side of a display board we had jammed in a closet from a science project years ago. (Sorry Nate!)

I was happily creating my own world when one day I ran across a board on Pinterest by Author Katie Ganshert. Apparently, either, she and I A) think alike or B) writers creating visuals to help them along is a real thing… because there it was! A whole board dedicated to her debut novel Wildflowers From Winter. (Now she has several more boards for her other novels- yay for her!)

I decided to create my own Pinterest board for THE INK OF TIME. It was pretty easy because I already had so many of the pictures saved on my computer. The Pinterest board gave me the freedom to simply “click” on an addition to my work. I’ve created a link right here. Click the colored word  Pinterest.

I have another world- and a previously abandoned display board- that’s become my anchor for another novel. This new story is about a group of six people trapped in an elevator during a horrific earthquake. Think San Fran 1989 World Series Earthquake. That kind of earthquake. The kind that destroys infrastructure and greatly limits contact with the outside world.

Mel, Webb, Morris, Tanya, Irena, and Birdman
live in this small, small world.

Six people. Oh, and did a mention, a bird? A Hyacinth Macaw, to be exact. Six people and a bird.Trapped. No outside support. All six of these people have their own baggage and their own agendas. It’s a microcosm of society. The weak die. The strong live. Some are givers and some are takers. People find out what they’re made of. This story does not have a title yet. I’m only about 6,200 words in so a title hasn’t come to me yet. I’m just calling it the elevator story or the earthquake story. (Even my working title isn’t solid!!)

I’m a member of a Face Book writers’ group. Just this week someone in the group posted a question about characters having favorite/important songs. Forty-some people, including myself, responded and shared their character’s song.  All the comments were written as if the author was answering for the character. By the way, Hazel’s song is Nothin’ from Nothin’ by Billy Preston. J

Welcome to my world(s)…..

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself.


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