I am saying this up front, I am BAD at setting. I will do a quick description like living room, and move on because I like action and dialogue. When I go back to edit, I’ll realize how skimpy it is and fill it in. I love to picture places and designs, especially for magical places where you don’t necessarily have to follow the laws of physics, but when I’m trying to make up places, I can’t always think of good things to decorate them, or I tend to repeat types of design for different places. I have certain tastes but my characters are supposed to have their own tastes.
So what do you do when you’re trying to decorate for your characters’ tastes?
Can you say, do you go Google? 😀
A new friend just introduced me to Pinterest. I never really checked it out before because I thought it was a place where people posted recipes and outfits and that was it. Turns out it is that, but it’s also a ton of other pictures, including designs! Pages upon pages of designs. Architecture, landscape, furniture, clothes, decorations, lighting. You name it, they have it.
I’ve joined Pinterest, and am digging around for pictures that I can use for my characters in the Law and Magic series. Cassandra’s down to earth and likes very functional things in her space, but likes nice clothes and re-purposed more funky decorations. Tyler’s a little rich girl with a flair for fashion and has everything from the front yard to the tiles in the bathroom planned out and designed to create a flavor for every space, usually with sumptuous overtones. Millie grew up working class poor but is discovering her champagne tastes and figuring out what kind of decorations goes where.
So now whenever I’m wasting time combing the internet and I see something that seems like one of my characters or a place, I’m going to pin it, keeping them in different categories for my characters and places, to help me piece together a full view of my worlds.
If you’re looking for inspiration, or just want to keep your ideas for settings straight, start making a portfolio for your characters and your places from pictures you see.
I have magical alternate worlds in two of three of my series’ and I have to design them, not all at once, but consistently. The Gods’ dimension in the Law and Magic series and Parata in The Order of the Sphinx both are unique worlds made of magic and designed by thousands of different beings from all over the world, who have different ideas of beauty and aesthetics. To capture this, sometimes you have to get outside your own head, see the world through different cultural eyes.
Which is one of the many, many reasons the internet is a beautiful thing.
Now, back to Nano 😉