I know many people use charts and other visual aids for plotting, but this one is new to me. It’s not a new concept by any means, but my TBR stack of articles has been there for quite a while and the printouts of Jennifer Crusie’s blogs just came to the top this week. Take a look at these two:
When I read these, I realized I had done this, somewhat, when writing my Neanderthal mystery. I needed a lot of help visualizing the people for this novel. I wanted to keep in mind what they looked like--that they were not modern humans, but not animals either. I found the best pictures I could and even assigned some of the pictures to the individuals.
I’ve never done so much research for anything in my life. I wanted the story to be as accurate as I could make it. I set it in North America 30,000 years ago, as the last Ice Age was approaching and as the Neanderthals were living their last days on earth as a separate group of people. The Mississippi River didn’t exist, so I had to know what the terrain was like. I had to find out what an approaching glacier would look like, since all of them are receding now. Plants, animals, climate, housing, clothing, I had pictures of it all. Plus, I drew a map of the settlement and the surroundings, after figuring out how far a bunch of people could move in a day. Whew!
Fast forward to the FAT CAT series I’m writing. I had to spend a few weeks away from it to finish up my project for Barking Rain Press, and I was very worried about getting back into it. Crusie claims that a collage is a cure for that. If it really is, I’m all for it. As I read her articles, I thought, “This is great! It will solve my problems.”
Then another light bulb lit up! I already have a bunch of pictorial helps--on Pinterest! I started some boards as soon as I got the deal, just thinking they might do some good. I have a Dessert Bar board and one for Fat Cats! If you glance at my boards (http://pinterest.com/kayegeorge/), you’ll see they all relate to something I’m writing in some way. I’ll need one on Minneapolis, or maybe Dinkeytown, the setting for the series. Or maybe I should combine all of those for myself. Since Pinterest just announced the new Secret Boards, I can experiment and see what I come up with. I’m looking forward to this!
(Just found this: http://pinterest.com/volpane/for-collage-public-domain-images/)
However, I can’t find any illustrations of collages. Oh well. Click on some of the fantastic ones on the second Crusie link--they’re super duper!
Lightbulb & Glacier from Dreamstime