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From Vibe to Paper

Updated: Jan 15

An Introduction to A Storied View

You have the perfect story.

Well, you have half of the perfect story.

Technically, it’s more of a vague idea.

Okay, so you just have a general vibe.

That’s all you have. A vibe.

Would it be nice if it was a full story? Sure.

Would it be more fun if the vibe could manifest into a tangible plot with lovable characters and juicy tension–and little to no effort on your part? Of course.

Sadly, that’s not how that works. How do you turn your epic vibes into a tangible plot?

I’ve written four books, and counting. Each time, all I start with is a vibe. A feeling. A vague aesthetic. Maybe one or two lines of dialogue in my head. That’s all that it takes to start. From there, it’s simply a matter of conceptualizing that vibe and turning it into something worth rambling about at a party.

Well, Renée, that’s easy for you to say. I can’t focus on character development. I can’t sit down and map a solid plot. I don’t have time to research the minute details that can add credible texture. You and me both, my friend. Lucky for both of us, I’ve documented the processes that proved to be effective for me–a scatter-brained, chaotic creator–and with any luck, they’ll work for you too.

Here are the first three steps to go from idle daydreamer to promising novelist:

Get a notebook.

This first step seems too simple. You’ve most likely tried this, and undoubtedly collected an abundance of unused notebooks as a result. Who doesn’t love a good notebook? The primary milestone in this process, however, is picking one of those notebooks and just writing.

It doesn’t matter what you write. You could list character names. You could vaguely describe a room you’re seeing in your head. You could word vomit all of the adjectives that could possibly help you describe this vibe you can’t shake.

That’s it. Just word vomit all over the page. Don’t think about making sense. Don’t edit. Don’t even reread it right away. Just write something.

Make a Pinterest board.

Any basic millennial woman will warn you of the addictive properties within the Pinterest app. Aside from sharing savory recipes and crunchy lifestyle tips, Pinterest is essential in my visualization process. If you don’t have one, make a Pinterest account right now. Start a board and pin. Pin clothing. Pin color schemes. Pin face claims for the characters you know should exist. Anything that lends to the aesthetic–pin it. Sometimes the hardest part of conceptualizing a vibe is turning it into something that can be shared. A Pinterest board is perfect for shoving your ideas lovingly into your friend’s faces.

Make a playlist.

Human beings, as a whole, are heavily influenced by emotions evoked through music. Use this to your advantage. Any song that fits the vibe of your story, add it to a playlist. Maybe it’s the lyrics, maybe it’s the general sound, maybe it’s a song that was featured in a video or film that inspired this loose story idea. Regardless of the reason, if it makes you think of your wonderful tale, it belongs in your playlist.

More important than all three of these steps, however, is the simple mantra one step at a time.

Don’t let this process overwhelm you. Set realistic goals. Make tangible steps, but don’t overthink it. There are so many tools and materials out there to help you get the ball rolling–some of them more costly than others.

Whether you’re just dabbling for now or committed yourself to finishing a project, you’re in the right place. Subscribe for updates on free and affordable resources to help you turn your guilty pleasure vibe into a solid publication!

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