Visualizing the Magic

(Just realized that this never got reposted from Romancing the Book. Enjoy!)

As a reader, and a very visual person, I enjoy picturing the characters and the settings as well as the clothing and the décor of the books I read. As a matter of fact, when it comes to setting, unless I can clearly picture where the characters are, I have this vague sensation that I, along with them, am just floating in the blackness of space. But it’s a careful balance for every author to ensure that they don’t bog down the pace of a book with too much description.

However, while I’m writing, being a very visual person, I need visuals – photos of my characters, blueprints of my rooms, pictures of my locations, snapshots of dogs and doodads – some to verify details, some just for the inspiration. When I first started writing, I gathered these visual prompts into folders on my computer – until I discovered Pinterest!.

Just like any other social media, you can definitely get lost on Pinterest. I must admit that I immediately went looking to see which of my favorite authors had boards. Some do, some don’t. As a reader and a visual person, I was very happy to find the boards of my favorites out there so I could explore and find out a bit more about their process and what they visualize as they are writing.

I’m still learning all the various ways to use Pinterest – still pinning away, but I wanted to share with you some of the ways I have used it while writing the Books of the Kindling.


WNC Mountains
First, the fabulous setting of More Than Magic – the gorgeous Appalachians in Western North Carolina. No one captures the beauty of those mountains better than Dave Allen Photography. He has done so many breathtaking shots that it is hard to pick one, but this one represents the view from Woodruff Mountain that tends to mesmerize guests.

And then there’s the rest of the setting. When you are writing scenes, it’s important to know the layout of rooms and even the precise arrangement of furniture. I went looking for the exact layout of the house, which involved an interesting exploration of house plan sites. I found a likely layout, made some modifications of my own, and voila – the Woodruff home. Here’s the first floor.

And of course, you need to furnish your setting. The Woodruff home is comfortable and homey. I decided to search out some decorating ideas just so I would have a picture of the interior of the home in my head as I wrote, as well as the exterior, since they have a wonderful wraparound porch and sunroom. Actually, I would LOVE to live in this house!


And of course, the characters. Some readers prefer to picture the characters for themselves, which is why my Pinterest boards have warning screens so you don’t have to see the characters if you don’t want to. So, *WARNING*, if you don’t want to see the characters as I visualize them in my head, you might want to skip this part.

Young Grace

My character photos for More Than Magic were intended to capture the physical characteristics of the main characters. Note that I didn’t say “absolutely capture the main characters”. I don’t think any author can do that unless that author is also an artist. When I was trying to describe Grace Woodruff to someone early on I said that she was a “grown up Alexis Castle from the TV series Castle” (actress Molly Quinn). I was thrilled when the cover artist for More Than Magic the fabulous Nathalie Gray, aka Kanaxa, actually captured Grace perfectly on the cover of More Than Magic as a grown up Alexis Castle! What do you think?


And now the guys of More Than Magic. Again, finding someone who is a perfect match for what you see in your head would require being an artist, and a very good one at that. But I have to admit, this handsome man, Richard Armitage, comes very close to what I see when I think of Nick, although Richard’s a bit older. He does have the necessary black hair, amazing gray eyes, and lean looks. You can imagine the rest (and that’s the fun part). What do you think?


And finally, the fun stuff. You can also pin things like this, which fits in perfectly with the underlying theme of all the Books of the Kindling.

And that is how I used graphics to guide me as I wrote More Than Magic. Thanks for coming along!

Category: Pinterest  Tags: ,
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