How To Make Aesthetic Boards For Your Novel - And Why You Should!

If you follow me on social media, you know that within the last two weeks, I've gotten addicted to making aesthetic boards for my novel. 

How did I fall down this rabbit hole?

Recently, with the help of my CP, I decided to start working on an earlier manuscript that I'd started last year. I revised the outline and took the plot in a new direction that I was excited about, but I was having trouble writing a scene that ends Act One and thrusts my MC into a new reality of sorts. So I decided to get creative. I went on Pinterest (link down below) and created a board for this new novel and that got me pretty excited. Then, the very next evening, when I was strolling through Twitter I saw Jessica James post an aesthetic for her novel with the hashtag #ThursdayAesthetic and I thought it was so beautiful! 

So, naturally, I started making my own and I've never looked back. You can see some of the aesthetics I've made for this novel down below. 

*Note: All images were taken from my saved board on Pinterest. I don't own rights to any of the images used below and have used Instagram Layout to arrange them.

The aesthetic for My MC's husband, Eric.

The aesthetic for My MC's husband, Eric.

The aesthetic for an unfinished wip

The aesthetic for an unfinished wip

The aesthetic for My MC's best friend, Whit.

The aesthetic for My MC's best friend, Whit.

How do You Make an Aesthetic for Your Novel?

-Step One: Get a clear idea of the aesthetic you want to make. Will this be for your protagonist, your antagonist, a sidekick, a love interest, or the novel as a whole? What ideas or feelings do you want to convey with your aesthetic? What style of clothes will your characters wear? What is their ethnicity? What's the general setting of your novel?

-Step Two: Search for images. The most popular site to use to search for images is Pinterest. However, some people advise against this because the images on Pinterest are not your own. I usually put up a disclaimer with each post, but if you don't want to do that, you can always find free stock images on Pexels and Unsplash. Try to look for pictures with a similar theme or color to tie everything together. When you have a couple of pictures you think are perfect, save them to your computer or phone.

-Step Three: Create the college or aesthetic using a photo collage app. I like using the Layout app by Instagram but you can also use Pixlr or Canva. (For a tutorial on how to create your aesthetic using Canva click here.) Play with layouts, sizes, and positions until your aesthetic starts to look and feel right. 

-Step Four: Save and Share! Save your aesthetic to your phone or computer and then share on your blog or on your social media pages. Some great hashtags to use are #aesthetic #ThursdayAesthetic, #WhosYourCharacter, and #CharacterDesign.

*Note: Jessica James runs #ThursdayAesthetic and there are always weekly themes that challenge me and keep things interesting. Be sure to check out her Twitter, to catch that week's theme. She also has a master list of past themes on her blog if you want to catch-up.

Why Should You Consider Making an Aesthetic Board for Your Novel?

It's fun! I'm an auditory-visual learner. So when I can see the essence of my novel or a particular character, it helps me connect with them on a deeper level. When I'm writing, by looking at my aesthetic boards beforehand, I'm inspired and can easily get "in the zone." Also, when I'm plotting, I can literally see my character develop before my eyes and discover new ideas for them that I hadn't thought of before. Now understand, this isn't going to be for everyone. However, if you're in a writing slump, I recommend trying this before you sit down to write again. Not only is it a proactive and creative way to get inspired, but you just might find that you enjoy it!

Have you created aesthetic boards for your novels or characters? What do you think about the aesthetic board craze? Do you have any questions, or additional tips you would like to share? Be sure to leave a comment down below!

Happy Writing!