I’ve been doing collages of my books-in-progress for years now, with varying degrees of success. I first heard of it from Barbara Samuel and I loved the idea, so I immediately began to paste pretty pictures onto oaktag to inspire me. It didn’t further the plotting process but it meant I could go buy expensive magazines and the results were very nice.
Writers will do anything to keep from writing, even dishes and making the bed. Cutting pretty pictures out of Veranda and Vogue definitely beats household chores, but sooner or later you gotta hit those keys.
Then I went to a seminar Jill Barnett did on collage, and discovered you could use words! Silly me for not thinking of that. Jill used the try-fold poster board kids use for science projects, so I went out and bought a lot of those and new magazines, cutting out words as well as pretty pictures and got this:
That one was for ON THIN ICE — the blonde guy is the villain. Again, inspiration but not progress. Then I went to a meeting of the local RWA chapter and someone there gave talks about doing collage via scrapbook pages. LOVED the idea. It meant I could go buy scrapbook stuff. Unfortunately they don’t have many scrapbook tchotchkes for my kind of books, except maybe at Halloween, so I gave up, until Jenny Crusie, former art teacher, got me under her wing. She and Lani Diane Rich and I are plotting a fairy tale book, so we spent an evening doing scrapbook pages and having a great time, and this time I think it will really help with the plot as well as serve as inspiration.
But with collaging it works well if you’ve got an avatar, a stand-in for your characters. I often start that way anyway, until they become their own people as the book progresses. I’ve got heroes for books two and three. Book two is a bad boy former pirate ship’s captain from the slums, and I thought Ian Somerhalder had the combination of gorgeousness and sauciness to get me started. The brooding heir and accused wife-murderer works will with Richard Armitage.
But I’m stuck on the first hero. Sir Richard Durant is charming on the surface, devoted to the son he knows isn’t his, hates his evil wife with a fierce passion, and is trying to destroy his life with morphine and absinthe. So I need someone gorgeous (of course, for inspiration), charming, but with a hint of desperation. More noble than the captain, more open than the brooding heir. Someone with brown to blond hair, not black Irish like Armitage.
Anyone got any ideas? His heroine is tall, calm, with a strong organizing streak, very maternal and brave, with scars across one side of her face. She’s always had a crush on Sir Richard, but because of the scars she hides away.
So … who’s a good hero? Throw some names at me — I need help.