Friday, May 13, 2011

Barbie’s Bunkhouse: Bringing the story to life

Blogger didn’t feel well this morning, so I’m hoping this post will eventually be up today! 
I know we’ve all talking about outlining and plotting and using music to keep us in the story. Have any of you actually use pictures – drawn out, live photographs or pictures from a magazine. I haven’t done this in a long time, but when I was first starting to write, I took a huge piece of poster board and cut out people from magazine who I felt represented my characters. Then I made notes about them around their picture. I also found pictures of items they might have in their house, or their hobbies, etc… It worked great to keep me motivated and to remind me of key things I wouldn’t want to forget.

For my latest YA, which has a lot of fantasy elements in it, I’ve actually draw free hand pieces of my world and written all around it exactly what this particular item does, or what’s inside it, etc.. just to remind me because it’s just that cool. Sometimes I wish I were a little more creative on the computer so I could bring my hand drawings to life in a real live picture. But alas, I’m not. Nor do I have the proper software, so I guess I will leave it to a professional someday when they buy the book!

Now, I’ve also gotten into the fun habit, when I have time to play around and fantasize, of looking up celebrities who I would want to play my characters if my story was ever made into a movie. Now THAT is much more fun than cutting pictures from a magazine! And sometimes, to my disappointment, my favorite celebs just don’t fit the bill with my characters. (sigh) Which makes me wonder if I don’t need to find a story to fit THEM! (ha!)

Using a musical playlist helps keep the plot alive in my head, and having a visual imagery of my settings and characters helps keep the rest of the story to life for me.

What things have you done to bring your story to life?


Kari Lee Townsend said...

OMG I remember those days! I had a whole map of the ranch for Destiny Wears Spurs, with photos of all my main characters, too. I loved doing that.

Great post, Barbie. I need to do that again.

Anita Clenney said...

A few years ago I attended a workshop on creating collages for your stories. I remember one author explaining how she collected things that just felt right for the story, and how shocked she was when she realized from those things she'd collected, subconsciously she'd tapped into a piece of the story she hadn't realized was there. It had something to do with a photo or a button, I think.

For my mystery series that I'm working on, I created a document with pictures of actors I saw as similar to my character. It was great at instantly getting the character in my head. For instance, I have a nosy neighbor that is so "Gladys Cravits" from Bewitched. And a sheriff who resembles Clint Eastwood. It was fun.

Liz Lipperman said...

Great post, Barbie. I visualize what actor/actress would best play my characters, and that way, I can get mannerisms I didn't think of the first time. I also use music and download a song for each big scene. Evey time I hear that song, I am pulled into my story.

And guess who will play my ghost? Eva Longoria. I think BIG.

Lindsay said...

Interesting post Barbie. Frequently, I need a picture of a building, most times just the outside, to look at when I write the descriptions. Sometimes I even have to find several pictures then put the parts I want together, in my mind. People aren't so hard for me to visualize but again from a collection of different people. Hair color, length from one or two different people. Shape of face, size from others. I don't think we take all the physical attributes from one person.
What's freaky is when you see the actual person you imagined, from parts, all combined in one real life person. It's happened to me, thank goodness, only once.