For me I use Pinterest. I actually haven’t been on in a while but it allows me to create boards based on characters in my WIP so that I have visual representations of what they look like. It is also a great characterization exercise to be able to put a face to your characters or exact place to your settings. I know some writers make collages, well for me my Pinterest boards are my online collages.
In addition to Pinterest, I use plain old research. When I was writing BLOOD OF ISIS, I had tons of Egyptian mythology and ancient history books with pictures of the gods and original myths. Therefore I could reference not only to the stories and facts but to the pictures so when I was describing the God Seth for instance I knew what he was usually portrayed as.
On a side not I am in love with and well versed in Egyptian mythology and ancient as well as modern history of Egypt which was crucial to me. I’ve never been to Egypt or any of the places in BLOOD OF ISIS, except for Boston but I do know a lot of the Egyptians, I have images in my head of my private school, the public school I went to, what my characters look like, and what the gods and goddesses are portrayed as. This all helps to keep me going, to motivate me to not only create an engaging story but a highly accurate one as well. Yes, BLOOD OF ISIS, is fictional but you’d be surprised how much in it is real or relates to something physical, names, places, history, and especially the myths which are 100% accurate minus the addition of my characters (& a few minor elaborations).
As for my current WIP, CONFESSIONS OF A PRE-TEEN WITCH, I’m not to making Pinterest boards yet for the characters hwoever as I am writing I do visualize what middle school looked like for me, the hallways, classrooms etc…And I spent a whole evening looking through yearbooks combining people’s characteristics to make classmates, friends, and teachers as well as getting an idea and conjuring up more smells, images, and emotions from my middle school days.
What do you do to visualize people, places, and things in your WIPs? Or anything else related?