How to Make a Story Collage

Finding inspiration and getting over the dreaded writer’s block can be a challenge. Whether writing an essay or crafting original fiction, making a story collage is a powerful tool to find your muse and get creative juices flowing. If you are a visual learner, then the process of collecting images can spark new ideas or innovative ways to look at an existing story. The story collage becomes a blueprint or map, guiding you toward the finished product.

Step 1

Sort through magazines and photographs to find inspiration for your story idea. Cut out images and phrases that move you emotionally, and set them aside. Choose images and words that embody existing an story's themes and characters. If your story is about a shipwreck, for example, then you may choose images of rough seas, stormy skies or dark, swirling colors.

Step 2

Place the images on mounting board or poster board. Pushpins work well to hold images in place on mounting board. If you use poster board, attach images with putty, glue or tape. Allow moments for reflection while you rearrange the images because the collage will shift and grow over time.

Step 3

Augment an image or create an illustration that reflects your story idea by using paints and markers. Add words, quotes and/or poetry related to the story to add feeling and depth to your collage.

Step 4

Place the story collage so that it is in view when you write. Doing so will inspire you and keep you focused on the storyline as you craft your piece.


If other ideas emerge, write them on note cards. Write phrases or draw images you can add as your story collage evolves.

Things You'll Need

  • Magazines
  • Photographs
  • Scissors
  • Mounting board or poster board
  • Pushpins, putty, glue or tape
  • Paints
  • Markers