I often make a 'mood board' when planning a story. I cut out pictures of characters, settings, unusual homes, clothes, food, etc and stick them all on a board to help me form a picture of my character and the setting of the story. Some of the pictures get discarded along the way, when I decide that they don't really suit the story after all, and get replaced by others. I find it a really helpful exercise. Which is why I love Pinterest. I'm pretty sure that you're all familiar with Pinterest , but just in case you aren't the best way I can explain it as an online collection of pictures. Pinterest members share their pictures, and other members can repin them onto their own boards. I have 14 boards, you can find them at http://www.pinterest.com/kryski/
Here's the front covers of some of them:
This board is titled 'You Don't have To Be Perfect' and I've repinned lots of pictures about this, including the cover of my YA Perfect Summer, which is based on this theme.
This board is titled 'Cornwall'. I lived in Cornwall for several years and it's the setting of the Amy Carter books.
I also have a 'Musings' board for my work-in-progress, a YA called Sapphire Blue. This is my online version of a mood board. I've repinned several photos linked to the theme of the book and find them very inspiring as I write it. Here's the cover.
You can create secret boards so that no one else can see your picture collection, if you prefer. This is especially helpful if your're creating a mood board for a work-in-progress you don't want anyone to know about just yet.
So if you're a 'mood board' user like me, why not give Pinterest a go? It saves cutting out all those pictures from magazines!
Karen King writes all sorts of books. Check out her website at www.karenking.net