Art Projects for Writers

Some of my friends on Twitter have mentioned here-and-there that they have created visual representations of their works in progress.  This is different than book trailers posted on                YouTube.  What I’m talking about is making a visual aid while you are still writing the book.

This makes sense to me.  I think of the painter who has a lovely model in front of him, or the painter who sets up her easel on the banks of the river to paint the landscape.  As writers, our imaginations are (by in large) amazing things, but they only go so far.  For me, what’s in my head tends toward the two-dimensional and monochromatic scale.  So it’s pretty labor intensive to pull the necessary color and texture into my work.

One Twitter friend of mine, Malena Lott, made a three-panel collage for an old wip.  It was covered in photos and key words that represented her themes.  I’ve heard others mention making dioramas of scenes.

I decided this past weekend to put it into practice.  I collected picture postcards and photos off the internet, bits of poetry, and some textiles that reminded me of certain clothes characters wore, and then I glued a “leaf” from a cedar tree to give a sense of the outdoor woodsy scene.

I have to say it does give a certain inspiration to my writing.  Now instead of sitting down to a blank screen where I’m surrounded by the dishes piled up in the sink and the kids school permission slips in  a pile at my feet,  I have the color and the texture of the sandstone cliffs of northern Minnesota.

If you’ve ever made a visual aid for WIP, I’d love to hear what you did and how you did it!


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