Visualise Your Story

Writing can be a visual, multi-dimensional experience similar to painting, or designing a structure. I have always developed scrap books of my stories using pictures I have found to help me describe my character and setting.


I once went on a Book Bound course led by Karen Ball of Speckled Pen. She made us rip out pictures from magazines that linked in some way to our character. We were not allowed scissors we had to use our hands and carefully tear out the images. At first, I found this difficult as I like order and conformity and this was a little too haphazard. But I soon got into the flow and found it quite freeing and inspiring.

It was fun. It didn’t help with the character I was working on at the time as she was quite dark so the magazines were not suitable. But it did help develop a new character from scratch. It can also help to develop key images within your story before they are drafted into scenes. I believe visualising your story is a great way of adding texture to your text. It is good to see the world from a different perspective. Let your imagination go wild.


I suggest you search the world wide web and magazines for images that inspire and help you develop your characters, setting and plot. Turn it into a collage. This could be done using sites like Pinterest, or software like Paint, or by hand-gluing pictures printed, or cut out of magazines onto large sheets of paper in the same way as Karen Ball made us do, although you can use scissors if you want. Don’t glue down the pieces too early so you can let your mind free-flow.

tree collage

You could even turn your writing space into a canvas. Sketch with words, post scenes form your novel and photos all around your study or writing space to sculpt them into a 3D-version of your book. Move things about, add some colourful phrases and quotes from your characters here and a touch of darkness there. Look where the light is coming from and then transfer this light into the pages of your story.

OK. Maybe I’m going over the top but writing is multi-tasking, and I am quite good at that.

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