I’ve recently started using Pinterest and I’m really enjoying it. Having been to Art College, I’m a visual person, and definitely always learn better if I can see something. Just lately I’ve been setting some important scenes in Havana, which I visited a while ago, and looking at images has almost been like going on holiday. Almost! Ha ha.
I also tried making a Mood Board to reflect the feel of my novel The Dare Club – I think I succeeded to a certain extent, although it was quite difficult to find images that reflected what the characters look like inside my head after the event.
Aleysha from The Dare Club
I suppose the best way to do it would be to start with image before I write! Though I have to admit, when I’m reading, I don’t need to be told much about what a character looks like in order to form an idea myself. Maybe that comes back to me being a visual person, I don’t know. Anyway, when I’m writing, I have to try and bear in mind that some people do like to be given physical information about characters.
How about you? Are you happy to mostly make up your own mind what characters look like? Or do you prefer a guiding hand?
I’m about to plunge into research about Havanna and Cuba in order to write some scenes for my upcoming novel, Taming Tom Jones. I visited Cuba in 2001, and had an amazing adventure holiday there, so I’ve already got some insight into the country. On that holiday I made a good friend – Sharon, who lives in London. Sometimes you meet people you just hit it off with right away – Sharon is one of these people. We met up last Thursday before I went to The London Author Fair on Friday, and it was great to catch up – we always have lots of laughs! This time, with the scenes I was about to write in mind, I turned the conversation to Cuba – and we shared lots of memories about the holiday we had there – the sights we saw and the experiences we had. And the silly pranks we played, including making ‘Castro moustaches’ out of fluffy catkin seeds stuck onto double-sided sticky tape. We dared each other to wear them and to pretend nothing was different. Strangely, it took people quite a while to comment! Daft, but great fun at the time – we laughed so much we cried.
I wish I had a photo I could show you, but that was before the digital age. Anyway, as I began my research yesterday, I came across these amazing images of Cuban murals of older people – I loved them because they really seemed to celebrate older people, and to suggest that they are respected. How wonderful!