If you want to get those creative juices flowing, one of the best things you can do is make a writer mood board. This is basically a collage of images, words, and anything else that inspires you and gets you in the mood to write. Not sure how to make one? No worries – I’ve got you covered. Read on for tips on creating a writer mood board that will get you motivated to write. 

How to Create a Book Mood Board

Why do writers need a mood board?

Writers create mood boards to capture the visual energy, inspiration and tone they want to bring into their works. Whether you are a screenwriter or a novelist, a writer's mood board is like a writer's inner eyes and ears, letting them connect with the colors, places and characters in their fictional world. 

Here’s a video example of how a writer might create the world and feeling of a story in a mood board to help them with their writing. 

Story Writing  •  Book Mood Board Tutorial

Creating a writer's mood board can be an effective way to get more creative ideas flowing, enabling writers to unlock hidden possibilities for their story. 

They can include images, quotes and music that inspire them or evoke particular feelings. Anything to help writers think of evocative details that pull readers in. Plus it gives them an easy reference guide so they don't lose sight of why they wrote their story in the first place.

Making a Book Mood Board

How to create a writer mood board

Creating a mood board is a great way to organize visual inspiration and set the tone for your next story. The steps are relatively straightforward — gather visuals, categorize and refine, edit for final look. 

To create a successful mood board, start by deciding what aspects of your writing you want to evoke — from theme, setting, tone and feeling. These are important things to know before out next step. 

Next, go online or get creative offline by collecting images and artifacts that will help you accurately capture the look and feel of your project. These images and materials can be collected through photography, mood board examples, films, anywhere you find inspiration.

How to Make a Writer Mood Board Wes Anderson Writer Mood Board Example

Wes Anderson Writer Mood Board Example

Some writer mood boards might include book covers and graphic art to evoke the tone present in the story. Or perhaps quotes from well-known works or personal musings which could reference character motivations and story arcs. 

Additionally, items like magazine cutouts, photographs of people or locations, fabric swatches, anything that can be cut out of a book or magazine can help spark new story elements that might not have been thought up otherwise. 

With these helpful visual aids, it's easier for writers to create interesting stories with memorable characters. Think about all the aspects that might go into the character design of some of your favorite characters.

What would be on their segment of a writer mood board?

How to Make a Writer Mood Board Writer Mood Board Inspiration Example

Writer Mood Board Inspiration Example

Next categorize the visuals into groups, like Character Inspiration or Setting Elements, so that they're easier to piece together. How you categorize each element will depend on what you are writing.

We used StudioBinder’s mood board app to create our own writer mood board example. To check out how a writer mood board looks, check out our writer mood board example below. You can see how images alone get you thinking about the story behind them.

Writer Mood Board Example

Finally, narrow down the choices even more as you refine your mood board — this is key to creating a concise visual narrative. Creating a mood board for your writing projects is an essential yet often overlooked step in any writer's creative process. With this visual roadmap of thought at hand you'll be ready to embark on your ultimate storytelling journey.

Book Mood Board Guide

How to use your mood board

Once you have completed your mood board, it's time to make the most of it. You can start by exploring new ideas and getting inspired by looking at the colors, textures, objects and images you have included. 

The images may trigger ideas related to the direction of your project that you might not have thought of at first, so use your board as a prompt. A great way to get the ball rolling is to print out the board or show it on a larger screen.

This allows you to look at it from different angles and add details if needed. 

How to Make a Writer Mood Board Character mood board example

Character mood board example

Any writer will tell you a story will always evolve, sometimes in a direction you did not anticipate. Because of this, do not be afraid to change your mood board. A writer mood board is a tool. Use it however will best serve you and your writing process. 

Up Next

How to Make a Film Mood Board?

If the medium you are writing for is film, you might want to check out our next article. We take a deep dive into how to create a mood board specifically for film and how to use it during the filmmaking process. 

Up Next: Make a Film Mood Board → 
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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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