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  1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Do you create visual aids?

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by OurJud, Sep 22, 2017.

    This is not something I've done before, and I admit there may be a large element of it being an excuse not to write, but I've taken to doing stuff like this on occasion.

    Here's a couple of visual aids I created for my current sci-fi novel.

    The sign above my antagonist's gaming arcade:

    bluecortex.jpg
    The currency:

    futuremoneysheet.png
     
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  2. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    I've drawn pictures of the characters in my story.
     
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  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Sometimes I'll take pictures of random internet people that look like how I imagine my characters and pin that to their character sheet, but usually I just have a list of character traits and descriptions so I don't mess that up as I keep writing. I frequently draw maps of where my characters go or where scenes take place, including floor plans of houses they're in and if there's a specific item I've made up that's going to be uses a lot, I'll make up a diagram of it and how it works, just so there's better consistency between when people use it. I'm not very good at drawing, though, so I never really do anything too artsy.
     
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  4. FeigningSarcasm

    FeigningSarcasm Active Member

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    I do everything from sketching out floor plans for the main buildings in my WIP to (as the Dapper Hooligan said) finding random pictures on the internet and tagging those on to character sheets. When I was younger and more into original fantasy I would spend hours drawing out maps and designing very basic elements of fake languages.

    I like to tell myself I do it for a reason but it is just an excuse not to write.
     
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  5. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I'm a visual person, so I create a lot of visual aids. I've created reference documents for my fantasy series. For example, I have a city that's inspired by Vatican City called Tumulus. Under Tumulus in my 'Locations' document, I have notes and pictures of Vatican City. I have similar docs for clothing, people etc. I've created a very rough 'world' map. I draw out action scenes in thumbnail format, as if I was doing a storyboard. So, yes I do use a lot of visual aids.
     
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  6. SnapFandango

    SnapFandango Banned

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    Oh Christ, you can get it in the eyes now?
     
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  7. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    I don't create visual aids, but I do occasionally create music playlists for my characters...o_O

    I do use a lot of Google Maps, Google Images and Pinterest for inspiration when I'm trying to describe a setting, though. I agree with @FeigningSarcasm -- for me as well, it is really an excuse not to write. I must have spent over an hour finding Alexei the perfect brownstone apartment when I just could have written the damn thing.
     
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  8. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    That is why I make this part of my pre-1st draft prep tasks. Am a 'blitzkrieg' style writer. Once I start I do like stopping, so, I do a lot of prep work. When I'm writing a short story I knock out the story draft. One of the tasks I do after that is break the story into a scene list. I identify any research or references that I need from the scene list. Then, I put together a reference document containing pictures, notes, etc. My current short story (WC around 4,500, about to begin the 3rd, and hopefully, final draft) is a sci fi story. Alien swamp world, FTL, inter-species communication, etc. Very research intensive. So, when I begin writing, I have this one-stop doc to pull from as I write. If anything new comes up or is something changes, I note it but I keep writing. Then, I flesh those notes and add them to my reference doc before I begin the 2nd draft.
    Godspeed!
     
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  9. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    I'm actually far more interested in how you made those. This is a cool idea and I'd love to try it out, but first I have to get over being jealous of your design skills.
     
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  10. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks, @Laurus :)

    They're just a combination of imagination and GIMP (a very good and free photo editing program).

    The first was just a case of coming up with the name then playing around with different typefaces until I found one I liked.

    The second was a little more complex. I first searched the internet for 'futuristic building' and then 'intricate line patterns'. I cropped the pattern to the rough ratio of a note/bill, then cut out and pasted in the futuristic building, then added the denomination details with a text box and finally coloured each differently.
     
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  11. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I did a mock up of the chef's jackets for Under the Knife. Graphically they were pretty terrible, but it did help with visualizing the competition scenes.
     
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  12. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    Clever! I'm a novice graphic artist, so this kind of stuff gets me excited. Being able to merge it with writing is even better, so I'll be trying my hand at it.
     
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  13. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll What do you mean, 'no more abductions'? :P Contributor

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    It all started with having several drawings of Marckus at least
    a year or two before the story was a thing. Hell he didn't even
    have a name back then. Just some concept art in a Sci-Fi setting.
    Think the move Soldier kinda influenced it a bit.

    Though there is some character art in the Character Art Thread. :p
     
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  14. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    Scene list????? You're speaking a foreign language to me, @Stormburn. o_O

    I'm kidding (sort of). Thank you for sharing that. For my current WIP I did go back and write a synopsis of every scene to see which ones needed more emphasis on the plot, etc., but it's the first time I've ever actually done that.

    For some things, like Alexei's brownstone, I research as I go because my curiosity gets in the way of the creative flow. For others, I scribble a list on a note pad and go back later.

    I find people's various working methods fascinating.

    What other kinds of visual aids do you guys use/create?
     
  15. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    I wish I was skilled enough as an artist. I can draw dragons, but for some reason I can't draw my characters who are dragons.
     
  16. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    My profile picture is a character in a story I wrote. I tend to draw locations and people just to make sure descriptions of them are always consistent.
     
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