Sunday, April 1, 2012

Collaging as a Tool for Writers

I gave the writing craft workshop this afternoon for my group - Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada - and thought I'd share some of the collages I created for the session.


The session was Visual Inspiration - A Collaging Workshop for Writers, and I focused mainly on using online collage programs to create inspiration boards as a writing tool.


Our group has been very enthusiastic about using traditional 3-D paper collage as a way to really get a handle on the story elements in a work-in-progress.

So today I introduced a few computer methods to create collages, as well as sharing the way I personally use collaging as a means to focus on nebulous things like hitting the emotional points of the story.

Main ideas I touched on:

* turning to screencaps from film and TV shows to grab the emotional moment, rather than using a photoshoot image of an actor or actress

Going for this:



rather than


* focusing on a specific element such as a relationship dynamic, or the three main plot points needed for the three-act structure, when creating a collage.

Going for this:


instead of


You can click on the collage to enlarge the image.

Using collage as a meditation tool - so that you have a visual focus for your subconscious to work on - will help to get you out of being stuck either during a first draft or during revisions.

Here is a traditional collage I did for the Scorpius story using paper, scissors and glue during a writers' retreat:


Here's a computer collage I did for the same story:


Find a simple collaging program - the one I used was Picassa - and start throwing images onto the screen. The template can bring images to your attention in a way you'd not considered before. This can be the elusive nudge to settle your story back onto the right track, or help you to consider a new way of looking at your characters.   

2 comments:

Anne MacFarlane said...

Julia, so glad you posted about today's session. I was so disappointed I couldn't be there so this is the next best thing.

I love the suggestions you made about picking movie scenes that depict the emotion. Or picking the pictures that depict the turning points. Never thought of doing that.

Travis Cody said...

Interesting idea.