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Mood Boards For Authors



Wordy has authored an article on vision boards and boxes which are basically creations made to inspire and substantiate future goals. By gathering images, words, graphics, etc., and crafting a collage, the physical or digital representation of hopes and visions yet to come to fruition are made concrete. Vision boards can be based on any topic. The wordy article covers the idea of making such a creation for aspiring authors so they can see the things they strive for, with their book and dream of becoming a published author, front and center. The visual representation makes the dream real and lends clarity to the creator, thereby helping to manifest the intended goals.



Though the presentation may be the same as that of a vision board or box, my twist on a mood board is a bit different. Aspiring authors and writers in general go through a myriad of emotions while drafting a WIP. Mood boards work exceptionally well when one is stuck in a writing rut. When ideas aren’t flowing naturally or a bad mood takes hold, combat the dilemma with a mood board about how you’re feeling. Get it all out by throwing it down on your board, then breathe a sigh of relief and get cracking on your work. One cannot write from an empty cup of ideas. Fill your board with enough pics and props to satisfy whatever mood you're in, then take inspired action toward your writing goals.


What's the best part, you ask? There's no right or wrong way to make a mood board, I answer. Mood boards help to bring your emotions into the light and that can help as you construct your story. Happy, uplifting, positive emotions release endorphins that can influence sentences, passages, and chapters in an upbeat way. Sad, scared, or negative emotions can prompt writing that is darker and/or downtrodden.


Make It Digital/ Contemporary Or Physical/ Traditional



Digital – If digital is your jam, I suggest using a platform like Canva or Pinterest to fashion a contemporary board. Both are popular mediums for getting your creative juices flowing. Grab images from these sights or upload images of your own. I can attest to the fact that Canva is user-friendly and can assist with the development of ideas and constructing a fabulous project. The upside of going digital is that digital boards are easily shared with others.

 

Physical – If you're more of tactile person, who likes to touch fabrics, materials, magazine photos, or any number of objects that can be glued or taped onto your board, then generating a physical/traditional board may suite you better.


Steps To Follow For Designing A Personal Mood Board



Assign An Adjective To Your Mood

There are so many moods to choose from. Meditate for a moment and zero in on yours. Are you feeling lost, insecure, frightened, lacking energy or the complete opposite, confident, brave, energized, motivated? What is it that encompasses your mood? What has led you to feeling this way? Narrow it down and drive forward into inventing.



Gather Your Props – Physical or Digital

This includes anything aligned with your mood – materials, colors, images, hand-drawn pictures, graphics, stickers, small objects, doodles, sketches, photographs, words cut out of magazines that define your feelings, or text you create yourself – poems, haikus, dialogue, passages, quotes.



Design Your Mood Board

After gathering your physical items, arrange them on a foam board or other medium, then glue, tape, use Fun-Tak mounting putty, or pin to a corkboard to secure your personal particulars.



Display Your Mood Board

Leave your mood board in plain sight so you can draw inspiration from it as you draft passages and scenes, or write articles.

 

If you're rockin' and rollin' down the digital avenue, I suggest letting your design fill your laptop’s home screen, so you see it every time you open your computer. Another idea is to print your work and display it in an area you are likely to pass daily.


Let’s Expand This Process

Writing, even under the best of circumstances, can sometimes be tedious. Dialogue can grow stale. Sensory details may get lost in the writing shuffle. Writers might stumble over character traits, appearance, and flaws while drafting. Setting and plot can fall victim to writing fatigue.

 

One solution is to construct a mood board for a chosen character, setting, plot, and/or sensory details. Many writers build a story board to keep relevant information on tap. A mood board follows this same premise except that it's geared toward specific elements in your story.



Character Mood Board

Build one for a specific character or for each of your characters. First delve into the character by asking yourself questions about them and generating a list of items. What makes them tick? What do they look like? Do they have any quirks, problems, or traits? How would they react in certain situations? Do they speak with an accent? Do they stutter? Maybe they’re a fast talker or methodical speaker. Are there physical issues or mannerisms unique to them? Do they come across straight-forward or mysterious? What mood would they display during a specific scene?

 

Now that you’ve zoned in on the character, gather your materials to design a special board just for them. Keep it near when you write as a reminder, so you don’t lose track of who they are.



Setting Mood Board

Whether your WIP has one main setting or different settings, get crafting with a board to represent the setting or settings. If your WIP is a fantasy novel, use your wild imagination to find just the right images, text, and items to bring the mood or atmosphere of your setting to life. Adopt additional boards for each setting. Do the same with settings for romance novels, thrillers, mysteries, westerns, fantasy, sci-fi, and even memoirs. For a memoir dig up old photos to elicit nostalgia.



Plot Mood Board

Every plot has a mood and emotions attached. What are the feelings surrounding your plot? You can create a simple A to B to C to D board, like the one above, so you don’t lose sight of the plot you have in mind. You can produce a more elaborate plot board to help you sort out the particulars.



Sensory Details Mood Board

Aspiring authors often struggle with the show don’t tell aspect of writing. Sensory details help writers stay on course with showing by using the five senses and intuition. This board is easy-breezy and can be added to anytime a new thought comes to mind. It can be a board of general sensory details or one aligned with a specific scene or passage.

 

Once again, gather your words, images, and anything else that pertains to sensory details. Fasten them to your physical board or add them to your digital compilation. Keep your board handy so you can refer to it as you write. I can’t stress how helpful this is in remembering to insert these details.

 

These ideas are but a few of the many possibilities out there to help create mood boards. Please feel free to share your own thoughts on this subject. It might be helpful to other writers and aspiring authors.



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Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.

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Wordy is the get-in-the-know hotspot for writers. From grammar to publishing find info, tips, and inspiration to take your WIP (Work In Progress) to the next level.

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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

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