Seriously, how good is Pinterest? And google? Remember the olden days, when you had to buy and scour through art and photography magazines to find images that made you feel? (So umm, I may be revealing my age here, but in those wobbly, early days of dial-up interwebs I’d rush to the newsagencies every month to get my hands on the latest Oyster, Russh and Frankie magazines, and some of those glossy pages would hit me like fists in the corneas. They made me feel like they were a passport to somewhere other than the confines of my town.)
I think in pictures. Sort of. I get an image in my head and then try to find the words to match what I can see when my eyes are closed. But then it’s not entirely that either, I mean, it’d be the world’s most boring piece of writing if you tried to describe *everything* in a photograph or a painting. The thing is, some pictures just make you feel, and when I’m inspired by a picture I try to put the right words together so that, when done correctly, they make me *feel* the same way that the picture makes me feel. If that makes sense?
After I’ve got the embryo of a story in my head, but before I pour the words onto a page, I look for images. This is part procrastination but mostly inspiration (or so I tell myself). These days, instead of cutting out magazine pictures and sticking them on my bedroom wall I make the story a Pinterst Board, because then I can take the pictures with me wherever I have an internet connection. Sometimes I choose pictures that remind me of the setting, or maybe what the characters look like, but it’s not just the physicality of things. A lot of times, I’m looking for pictures that I think the protagonist would like, or colours and images that would resonate with the protagonist, or would reflect the way they feel. The Pinterest Board I made for Yellow is very pastel and dreamy and whisper soft, along with grittier and darker undercurrents. After making the board, I felt like I knew Kirra a little bit more, and it was only then that I felt like she could speak to me properly. The second book I’m working on has an angrier energy, and whenever I’m unsure of her voice, I look at the pictures I’ve pinned, and then I can hear her again.
I know quite a few people use music in a similar way, and don’t get me wrong, each story I write has a sound-track too, but sometimes lyrics in songs mess with the words in my head when I’m trying to type, so when I’m trying to keep hold of the right tone, I prefer pictures.
Does anyone else do this, or do you use another technique?