pillow talk ~ collaging
Collaging for writers is pretty much just what it sounds like - get a bunch of magazines, a pair of scissors and some paste and pretend you're back in kindergarten! Only rather than sticking random stuff anywhere, find pictures that speak to you, that give you the same "feeling" the story you're writing gives you.
To me that's the most important thing. That a glance at the collage puts you in the exact right mood for that story. Which is why the right collage can help you no end and the wrong collage can be a disaster!
I spent a long time writing a book about Damien and Monica before I realised it just wasn't working. The book fit the collage to perfection - all dark, and red, and moody and sexy. I loved the collage, and hated the book. It just wasn't me. I made a radical decision to rewrite using a completely different heroine - Chelsea - and it fell together like nothing else I've ever written. Not so much dark, red, and moody but bright, yellow and real. From that near disaster my most popular book THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL was born. (You can buy the eBook here.)
Collages are also great for giving you nuggets of inspiration. This was my collage for MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE. The heroine Brooke is a yummy mummy and her casual loveliness came from the relaxed images I stuck here. Danny's refined elegance came from the picture to the left. As did his dog ;). From these random pictures that spoke to me I also got Danny's preferred nightcap and much of his character growth in the book from the "No more Mr Nice Guy!" quip. This collage worked great for this book.
I guess the most important thing is to take your inspiration wherever you can find it. If it doesn't work for you then get the thing out of your sight!
Anything else you'd like to know, ask away. Though if its the answer to life, the universe and everything I'm afraid Douglas Adams got there first!