45 thoughts on “How to Make a Character Collage by author Tera Lynn Childs”

  1. Thanks Tera! This is an awesome video. I think this would really help me out with one of the female characters in my current WIP. I have had a hard time keeping her voice consistent, but maybe spending some time exploring her character through visuals will get me over that hump. Thanks!!!

  2. I loved this. I tend to have a similar process, but I use a website called Polyvore. It’s nice to know that someone successful can write great books without writing up a FBI Profile on their characters. Thanks!!

  3. I’ve tried versions of this with no success, but I got some tips here that I think will help next time!

  4. Tara’s collages are gorgeous–I’ve been lucky enough to see her artwork in person! Hey, Tara! Love your hair! Great job!

  5. Thanks for the advice, etc. I usually use photoshop for mine, so it was refreshing to see it done with paper.

  6. Great tip, and that was smart advice about using Lucky mag so you can pick out individual snippets. I hadn’t thought about that, but very good advice! Thanks for sharing with us!! (It’s always fun to kind of see how other writers work, isn’t it?)

  7. I would never have thought of doing that and it is such a great idea. Thank you so much for sharing. I definitely will be trying that technique.

  8. I think Tera was trying to hide a smile when she held up that People magazine. ;)

    Really cool idea! Now if I could just find that “Villains Weekly” I bought the other day …

  9. What a fantastic/fun way to get to know your characters – and get into your story. Also thinking it would be an awesom activity to do with kids at workshops. Meaningful and engaging. Thanks for sharing! (Off to check out the stills on your website. :) )

  10. Than you for taking time out of your day to join us here at WriteOnCon. What a fun way to learn about one of your characters

  11. This is a great idea! I end up poking around for pictures of my characters, but I’ve never made a collage of them. I am so trying this with my WIP! Thanks so much Tera Lynn!!

  12. I’ve never tried a character collage but think it’s a neat idea. I’m a visual person too and whenever I want to see what my characters look like I go to Louai’s CandybarDollMaker3 and make a doll. I like this site because you can make both males and females and the site gives you a wide range of backgrounds, clothing, hairstyles etc to choose from. So far I have made 15 different dolls from 5 different manuscripts. I cut and paste the finished doll into the folder that deals with their manuscripts

  13. Love that idea! Somehow staring into space or a computer screen just begging my brain to come up with a character, just doesnt work real well. I will definitely try out your idea. Thank you!

  14. Don’t know why I never considered this before. Especially liked the examples. W/o knowing a thing about your characters i could get a quick and easy understanding in just a look. Great technique. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  15. Wow – what a great idea! Not being a visual person, I never would have thought of doing this. What I like best about the technique is that it doesn’t require any actual artistic talent (of which I have none)- lol!

  16. I’ve used mags. to cut out a pic. of a character’s head, but it never occurred to me to make a whole collage involving objects, such as things they’d use or wish they could buy. Great idea and eye-catching examples!

  17. Thanks for your great suggestion Tera. I struggle with characters and maybe making a collage like you would help. I could so see the different sisters. Thanks.

  18. I actually made character collages for my main characters before I started writing my current novel, it was a great way to really define who my characters were and what they liked before I started writing. Great to see I’m not the only one who does it!

  19. I’m adding this to the steps in my planning process. I’m a really visual person as well and I quite like the physicality of cutting & pasting – creativity inducing in itself! Thanks so much. It was awesome to instantly see how different your 3 characters were.

  20. That was so cute! “…and I just wanna go shopping.” I laughed there. This is a fabulous idea. Your collages look amazing. I think I should probably do this before I dive into revisions, just to sharpen my characters. Thanks for this, it’s so creative and a wonderful way of getting to know your character.

  21. I do something really similar and it’s so helpful, particularly when I’m stuck with character motivation or dialogue. And since I’m revising now, I keep my character boards nearby so I can remind myself to keep all the actions, dialogue, and movements true to the characters. Great advice!

  22. I just LOVE your collages, Tera. I’ve collected images online but haven’t done one with clippings. I’m definitely going to try this for my MCs and put them up on my quark board. <333

  23. I am actually a audio/visual person so what I do is go find youtube videos that relate to my characters in some way. Or music that matches my characters or story —- like a soundtrack.

    That really helps me.

    I also look for pics as well. And sometimes I even have celebrities in mind that could play my characters if it were a movie or tv show. That helps my characters come alive too.

  24. Thank you for this idea! An author friend sent me here because I said I was having trouble with character revisions. Your collage idea will really help. There are other great ideas in the comments as well.

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