Monday, February 13, 2012

Using Story Boards for Inspiration (via Pinterest!)


I've always kept folders on my computer for pictures I'd come across that reminded me of my characters or books, BUT I recently started to do something a little bit different-- Story Boards!!

There's something about having a field of pictures laid out in front you, immersing you in a visual experience that calls to your muse.  It's even better when it's easy to attach pictures a variety of boards with just a few clicks.  My critique partner and writing buddy, Jean Oram, recently turned me on to Pinterest, and I've gotta say-- it's been revolutionary for me. 

With Pinterest, you download a small file that applies a "Pin it!" button to your browser bar, so whenever you find something to pin, you just click on the button, and you can add it to the board of your choice.  How easy is that!!  And I'll confess-- I use it for stuff other than storyboards.  It really is just an easy way to visually bookmark things.

The other nice thing about Pinterest is you can follow a picture back to people's boards where you'll find more pictures similar to the original, and also a link back to the original source.  This makes it a great way to find new sources for inspiration.

Within just a week or two, I've put together a story boards for the manuscripts I'm currently working on, in addition to boards I can use for inspiration when it comes to writing.  I'm a very visual person, so surrounding myself with amazing photos always triggers all sorts of story ideas.   The other great thing about a storyboard is it allows me to "see" all the little details in a scene, since I tend to be very sparse when it comes to including descriptions of any sort.  By looking at a picture, I can see all the little details that bring a story to life, and  I'd likely overlook.

The photos often come from "pins" others have added to their own Pinterest boards, but other great sources for pictures are Tumblr (a sort of visual blog venue), Deviantart, and Flickr.  If I'm looking for models that might match up with my characters, I like browsing theFashionisto.com for male models and FashionGoneRogue.com for female models. For visually stunning photos, do a search (Flickr has a great collection) of HDR.  This is a photographic technique that results in photos that will blow you away.

Now for the one drawback with Pinterest.  I don't know why-- and I hope it's only a growing pains thing for them-- but their search engine, to put it mildly, sucks.  I've tried searching for friends I know are on there, but come up empty handed.  And searches for items turn up fewer results than I'd expect.  Still, for putting together a story board, quick and easy, it's been amazing, and I've still found more photos than I know what to do with.

So, I wish you happy pinning!!  And if you feel like following me or checking out my Pinterest boards, I can be found here!


16 comments:

R. Mac Wheeler said...

seeing your collections helped me visualize the possibilities...

/O)

Calista Taylor said...

Ha! You're funny, Mac. : ) Can't wait to see what your boards are like. Be sure to come back and post a link.

E.B. Black said...

I'm not a very visual person, but this might help me describe things in more detail.

Calista Taylor said...

E.B., it definitely works for me, re writing in details. If I can see it, I can describe in full detail, versus, if it's just in my head, some of the little things get forgotten.

S L Jenan said...

I love the idea-- this is much better than the pages (and pages... and pages) of plastic-sleeved magazine photos I usually assemble for each MS.

But how long does it take to get an 'invite'? Their registration system is screwy.

Calista Taylor said...

SL, I think it takes a few days for them to process the invite (they've been swamped, I suspect). If you don't get through, email me via my website, and I'll send you an invite. : )

Jean said...

The pics you have up there are stellar. It shows me a whole new world! It's also cool in that it also helps me visualize stuff in your stories. Isn't that crazy?

And yes, it is nearly impossible to find friends on there--people you are already following. Ack!

I'm glad Pinterest's working for you. You were the first person I thought of when I discovered it. :)

I've found it handy for putting craft and playful pictures, etc., for my kids play project. (www.pinterest.com/kidsplay)

Calista Taylor said...

Jean, I'm so incredibly thankful that you introduced me to Pinterest! It's been so easy to put a board together. Love it-- and love your boards! A must see if you have kids!! : )

Jean said...

Thanks. There is a lot of very creative stuff out there and it's wonderful to be able to share it in an easy way.

Calista Taylor said...

Jean, I agree! It's a great way to share and find info. I'd also love to use it as a different way to promote and build a platform. It'd be by far the most fun!

Armand said...

That is actually a simple yet amazing way to do it... never would have thought of it, but now I'm going to, especially when I write steampunk... or I'll just look at your great collection, lol

Armand Rosamilia

Calista Taylor said...

So happy to hear you'll be using it for your story boards!! Be sure to send us a link so we can check out your boards. : )

Jarmara Falconer said...

What a great idea! I love the picture of the bed.

Calista Taylor said...

Jarmara, it's been so much fun!! The pictures are really inspiring. And yes, love that bed!! : )

Cheryl said...

Hey Cali, I've tagged you for the Lucky 7 Meme Award. My blog has the info. cherylbdale.blogspot.com

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Cheryl!!