Visual Boards to Help You Write Your Novel

Hello Fellow Readers and Writers–

I’ve been doing something for several of my books that I thought you might find interesting and fun–making Visual Boards.  For writers, it sparks imagination.  For readers, it’s a fascinating look into the mind of a writer and how they work.

I’m working on a stand-alone novel at the moment.  The working title is Trouble in the Orchard, but that may change.  It’s a combination of light romance/light suspense/light paranormal.  (How’s that for mixing genres? 🙂 )  I needed inspiration for the characters and setting, so I hopped on over to Pinterest and found pictures of stores, orchards, old farmhouses, and characters I thought I might want to include in the novel.

On one flap of a small tri-fold board, I drew a map of what the orchard might look like, including where the farmhouse, store and out-buildings might be, as well as the apple trees, roads, a stream, etc.  On the center and right-hand flaps of the board, I pasted the above-mentioned pictures.  It now hangs in my office, so I can view it every day.

The pictures of the characters help when I need to describe them.  Same with the buildings, orchard and store.  Plus, “Apple Annie’s” picture is front and center.  She’s there, leading the heart of the story…and how can I not sit down and write when she’s there looking at me?

Pinterest is full of inspiration, whether you’re writing fantasy, mystery, romance, or paranormal.  And, if you want to see some of the pictures I’ve saved for Trouble in the Orchard, take a look at my board.  It may be titled “A Death in the Orchard” board, because originally I was going to write a mystery.  Then my characters started coming to life and led the story in a different direction.  (Happens to me all the time.)  I’ve learned, over the years, to trust my characters and follow them.  They know where the story is going.

Anyway, if you’re having trouble “picturing” your story, try doing some Pinterest searches.  Visually “seeing” your story world and characters might be just what you need to get into your story in a more concrete way.  Plus, as I’ve said, it’s fun!

Happy Reading and Writing to You All,

Jill-Ayn Martin

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