Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you have a Vision Board?

Are you living the life of your dreams?

If you're not, you need a Vision Board.

I've had a vision board for years, pasting pictures, quotes and stories on my board about my vision to write and sell books that take place in exotic locales: Japan, the Near East, 1930s Berlin, WWII London, 1889 Paris.

It's all there on my vision board.

As I get ready to start each new project, I change my vision board. The picture above is how my Vision Board looked when I was writing Cleopatra's Perfume with old pix from the 1930s, etc.

When I was working on The Blonde Samurai, it looked like this:

I keep my favorite pix, add new ones. It's always in motion--like writing a story. It's important as writers to be flexible and be willing to change elements in our stories to keep it fresh, up the stakes, or make it more dynamic.

It's also important to know when to let go--

Which I did tonight when I finished a project and said "I'm done."

How 'bout you? Do you have a Vision Board?


Michelle Polaris said...

I don't,but I'm extremely impressed by your organization Jina. The main problem with this type of project for me is that I'm not a visual thinker. I'm not sure I'd benefit from one. But I can see how perfect it would be for somone visual. They're beautiful.

carabristol said...

No, I don't have one. Like Michelle, I'm not that visual. However, I DO on occasion look at photos on the internet when I'm trying to describe something (two recent examples: chaparral and Spanish architecture). Maybe I should have print them out and pin them up. Maybe I'm more visual than I think...

Jina Bacarr said...

A vision board is only one tool in writing, Michelle. We all have our magic bag of tricks that works for us. That's what makes our books--and our voice--unique!

Use what works best for you...

Jina Bacarr said...

Cara--if you're writing a specific type of story, printing out a picture (e.g. Spanish architecture) allows you to take your time to STUDY the picture...feel its stone/wooden texture under your fingertips, follow the swirls of its design and see where it takes you.

It also frees up your mind to create your story once you've established your setting. Like a stage set--let the play begin!

Dalton Diaz said...

I don't have one, but I should. There are times when I'm writing a story, but not really feeling the characters 100%. Then I see a picture that perfectly portrays the hero and/or heroine, and that's all I need to get it right. When that happens, I can usually finish the book faster to boot.

Jina Bacarr said...

Sounds like there's a vision board in your future, Dalton!

It's our job as writers to give the reader just enough info so they can form their own visual--so it's important that we are clear in our thinking about that visual. That's where the pictures come in.

You can also get visual cues about a character from people you see in your everyday experiences, whether it's Aunt Mabel's curious eyes the color of blue mottled soap; or the checker at the market with the bold tattoos on her bare, fleshy arms.