Posts Tagged ‘story vision box’

I like to cut and paste. I don’t mean on my computer. I mean actual scissors and sticky stuff. 

In preparation for a writing class I’m teaching (Writing for Children II at UCSD Extension), I spent some time yesterday cutting pictures of people from magazines. I find that visual cues can be powerful triggers for creativity. Images can help concretize–which is not a word, but it should be–the vague wandering of one’s mind. Pictures and objects can help make abstract ideas and characters take a more concrete form. 

I know this. I plan to teach this. And yet, I hadn’t thought to do this for my current WIP, aka “the thing that will not be tamed.”

But in cruising through the magazines, all of a sudden I saw a girl and thought, “Hey! That’s X.” And then I saw a phrase that I needed. And a picture of a place I’d been trying to make my characters visit. It was so golly gee exciting. It made me feel like maybe, just maybe, this really is going to be a story some day. 

So. Maybe I need to take my own class. Or at least take my own advice. Maybe it’s even time to make a vision box. 

Here’s one I made while writing MY BEST EVERYTHING. It’s a simple one, but it helped me believe in the story along the way. 

Vision box for My Best Everything

Vision box for My Best Everything

Some of things included:

  • Moon images, of course
  • Bottles, more of course
  • Lulu’s fortune: You will travel far and wide
  • A game wheel for Truth or Dare
  • Moonshiner Tim
  • “Even a spill can be beautiful”
  • Car keys, with key chain that reads For I know the plans I have for you. ~Jeremiah 29:11
  • A rosary
  • Cowboy hat
  • Sea shells
  • Rusty junk car
  • Gold coins
  • A recipe for a science experiment involving yeast and flying grapes

See it. Believe it. 

Sarah Tomp


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