How to Create the Perfect Mood Board to Inspire Your Next Novel
What it a Mood Board?
When I first started out writing I had no clue where to begin. I would have a general idea of the plot or the characters, but nothing to keep me inspired, or to look back on while I wrote.
Not until I began speaking with my illustrator did I think of creating a mood board to help not only me, but her see exactly what I was talking about when it came to specific scenes or ideas.
This board whether it be a piece of paper, foam board, or PowerPoint presentation can be crafted to your liking to help get your novel moving in the right direction.
So what is a mood board?
It's simple. A mood board is a place you put pictures, quotes, phrases, or descriptions of places, people, or ideas that revolve around your story.
What's even better is you can make it as detailed or simple as you want! You can add or take away as the story progresses or changes. It's a great tool to keep you motivated and inspired when it comes to completing your novel.
So How Do You Create A Mood Board?
Like I mentioned above you can have your mood board on anything which you can attach photos to.
When I created my first ever mood board I used Microsoft Word since it was something I could easily send over to my illustrator while allowing me to add photos and text. It also permitted me to have designated pages for certain characters or scenes.
Other digital methods include PowerPoint presentation or Canva.com.
Canva.com has tons of stock photos to choose from along with fun fonts and texts. I highly suggest using the site. It's free and simple use.
Go Old School
There is also the old school method including paper, scissors, markers, and glue. This method is more permeant making it harder to change as your story unfolds and evolves. But it still gets your ideas across and helps you stay focused.
What Do You Need?
Pictures -these can be printed off, saved from google, or cut out from a magazine.
Quotes/Phrases- selecting a few inspirational quotes related to the theme of your story, characters, or scenes can set the mood for the entire board.
Descriptions- a few words here and there telling of certain scenes or characteristics/personality traits of the important characters can be fleshed out.
Inspiration-Remember you're only using the above items to help you get inspired to create your own story-not copy others. So remember to think outside the box when it comes to your writing.
A Place to Put Your Board- the most important thing is a place to put your mood board once it is complete. If digital, you can easily access it on your computer, but if you have a physical one I suggest keeping it in a place where you can reference it while you write.
You can arrange your mood board anyway you like that makes sense to you. Remember there is no right or wrong way to create one. But if you are looking for somewhere to begin, I suggest breaking it up with a section dedicated to your characters, another to the most important scenes that move your story forward, colors which you think portray your story, and anything else you think is significantly important.
Below is an example of the mood board I created for my best seller children's book Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss. I like to keep my board simple and straight to the point so I don't get distracted.
You can see I had short descriptions of my characters, I picked out pictures similar to what I was hoping to have portrayed in my book which also included the color green(my main color for the book).
Even though I didn't have a physical mood board for my story my 2021 goal board is a great example of how you can take simple things, such as foam board, to create something just as wonderful and inspiring. Check it out!
Take time to sit down and hash out a mood board. I promise it will help your writing process run so much smoother having the baseline set and ready to go before you even start writing.
Not only does it help you, but others involved in the writing process. My mood board worked great for my illustrator who was able to knock out some killer illustrations for my children's book based on the information I was able to give her.
With this easy and simple project you can write your novel in no time. All you have to do is get started!