Pre-visualisation has always been my favourite part of the storytelling process. It’s all about imagining the possibilities for the story. You gather visual references and build a look and feel and you discover the best way to tell the story. It forces you to rely on emotion and instinct. At first you don’t know what you want but when you see it you know it’s right.
I learnt to pre-visualise by making projects for film and television but it’s very useful in the novel-writing process, too. Here are some of the visual and aural references that I gathered while writing my book Two Wolves (known as On the Run in the US). (Apologies to copyright-holders in these images. Please let me know if it’s yours and I can credit you!)
|These images capture the mood and tone of the story for me, even though the kid in the image is younger than Ben Silver.|
|I think this is from an Xbox or Playstation campaign and the fear and secrecy and loneliness in the kid’s eyes really captured something of the predicament facing my characters in Two Wolves.|
|My wolves are metaphorical but the stillness and honesty in this wolf’s face is what I wanted to capture in my approach to telling the story.|
|Stand By Me is one of my favourite films of all-time. It’s based on Stephen King’s The Body. This image, for me, captures the melancholy mood of Two Wolves and the loneliness, possibility and adventure in the story.|
|This album was my constant companion throughout the writing process. I will blog the entire book soundtrack in coming weeks. I like the timelessness of this image and the music.|
Keane is another band I listened to throughout the writing period. This song dropped me right down into the feeling of Two Wolves and it has an energy that would get me going on days when I just didn’t feel like writing.
I first jotted the idea for Two Wolves after watching news stories about kids who had actually been taken on the run by their criminal parents and I tried to make the story feel as real as I possibly could. When I made the book trailer I decided to take the story full-circle and return to the TV news format.
Here is the Story Scrapbook for Two Wolves, created after the book was published but using some of the images and maps and music that inspired the writing. You can explore and click and swipe and play with the elements in the Scrapbook and you can use our site www.storyscrapbook.com as a pre-visualisation tool for your own story.
Next week, I’ll dive into another aspect of the story. And here is a post with my views on Creativity, published today on Damien Madden’s blog.
Cheers. Love to hear your thoughts on pre-visualisation and vision-boarding in comments below. 🙂