Collage Character Studies

In addition to writing, I love making collages. They are part of what inspired me to write my first middle-grade novel and have become part of my writing process. Collaging my characters helps me understand them better as well as visualize quirky details about their appearance, dress, and the spaces they inhabit. The somewhat weird thing is I like to collage my human characters as animals. Here are some collages that helped me write SERENITY AND THE SOUL IN THE WALL.

My main character Ren is a clever, crafty, curious girl. Her mother can be a bit prickly, and running Nana’s seaside motel while living in tight quarters above the office has her on edge in this scene.
Here’s Ren, whose hobby is crochet, encountering Mister, the soul who lives in the walls of her Nana’s seaside motel.
Ren’s older sister Sofia, a fan of horror novels, haunted houses, and all things paranormal.
My version of the girls’ yoga instructor father doing yoga on the beach at dawn. This asana is somewhere between plow and shoulder stand.
Meet Nana, owner of the Sea Mystic Motel. Ren’s family has moved in for the summer so Nana can go on an extended European vacation with her new beau Fritz.
And finally, the Frick family. Mr. Frick is a wealthy developer who’d love to buy and raze the Sea Mystic Motel. His son M.J. seems like a bit of a stinker at first, but he’s actually quite sweet. M.J.’s stepmom loves to coordinate her and her toddler son’s outfits.