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  • Writer's pictureNina Lane

Vision Boards - Part 2

Physical or digital?

The ease of changing digital vision boards is a frequently cited reason authors prefer them over physical boards. In addition to using Pinterest as a way to connect with readers and expand their fictional worlds, authors are inspired by the images they pin to the boards.

Romance author Mignon Mykel finds inspiration for her book-specific Pinterest boards often by scrolling through Facebook. "Sometimes, the image is something that I feel puts me directly in a scene, or it's an image I can use as inspiration for a scene," she says. "I write in one world, so I have twenty-plus pairs of characters hanging out in my head for future books, and sometimes when randomly scrolling through Pinterest, an image will scream 'Bishop brother!' or 'Landon and his house flipping!'"

Mykel refers to the boards as an intrinsic part of her creative process. "I use the boards mostly when I begin to write," she adds. "It helps me to have a visual representation of each character, for one. My Interference board was incredibly helpful with the writing; I printed out the board and looked at it nearly every day when writing."

Romantic comedy author Becca Taylor plans to keep her focus on story structure and inspiration by using physical rather than digital boards. "One [board] will be story line (my romancing the beats), and one for images that strike something or set the scene, so to speak," she says. "I’m hoping it will keep me from getting distracted. Because say I want to envision an apartment or an outfit, I don’t want to look at Pinterest. Too many things could easily pull me away."

Taylor uses images to bring her characters and settings to life: "The people images help me think of fabrics and what they might feel like, color of skin, hair, textures of the sofa or bed. When they walk into a room, what would they see."

New adult romance author Betti Rosewood uses both physical and digital boards, which she changes up daily. "I use several boards per book on Pinterest," she says. "Each character has a board, as well as locations, and the general vibe of the book. I also use a whiteboard where I put images, quotes and handwritten inspiration...

I organize my boards by character and location (digital), as well as by book (physical). I usually choose things that inspire me. It can be a visual representation or just the feel I’m going for; sometimes it’s a color palette, a glimpse of the plot, a writing prompt."

Rosewood keeps her physical book board private ("It's full of spoilers!") and uses it as a constant source of inspiration. "It’s always there for me to go back to, so I can pick up where I left off. It’s like a stream of consciousness – whatever inspires me at the moment. Not all of the things on the board end up in the books."

Author Kathy Steffen creates a digital vision board when she starts a book, and the process feeds into her creation of a physical vision board. For Steffen, the digital and physical boards influence different parts of her writing process.

"It begins as Pinterest and photos from the internet (or magazines if I see something that sparks me, but researching on the internet is so much faster)," Steffen says, "that I pin to a cork board regarding my characters and setting...It’s like the logic part of my brain likes the Pinterest boards when I am in research mode. The creative part of my brain prefers the [physical] vision board and I go into creative mode. They feel very separate yet connected, and I use both during the first draft process."

The creation of a physical vision board, whether for an author's books or life goals, has an undeniable tactility that digital vision boards lack.

Join us for our next post, where we talk to authors who enjoy the craftiness of creating a physical vision board.

Do you create vision or mood boards for your life and work? Tell us about them in the comments below!


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