How to use visual inspiration to tell a story

I’ve made electronic visual boards, but now I’m thinking maybe I need to take it a step further by bringing my board from the computer to my wall.

Oprah often talks of using a Vision Board to reach your life goals.

So how about using a Vision Board for the book you’re writing? A board for your Muse?  A board for your character?

Find pictures from magazines, newspapers, paint color samples, images from Google or Pinterest. Use a cork board, poster board, whiteboard, or chalkboard. Or just tape pictures and notes on the wall above your desk. It can be simple or busy. No rules here.

I love the tips in this article by Jill Hedgecock.

Writing Tips: Using Visual Inspiration For Your Stories

Who knows a vision board may be just what you need to push on to the end.

Vision Boards for Authors

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How to make a book trailer

You don’t need a fancy program either.

Sometimes we forget about the good ole, tried and true programs to achieve a new and dazzling effect.

PowerPoint and Microsoft programs

PowerPoint to the rescue!

D. Wallace Peach has posted a step-by-step process by which you can make a professional book trailer. Click on her link and see how easy it can be to make a trailer for your book.

MAKE A BOOK TRAILER WITH POWERPOINT

Give it a shot and then share with us your end product. Would love to see what you come up with.

Not sure about using PowerPoint? Check out these Top Tips and Tricks.

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Yes you can complete a children’s book

My fourth children’s picture book to the editor so thought I’d share with you a bit about my process.  kid reading a picture book

Writing a children’s picture book isn’t easy, but it doesn’t need to be daunting.

As with all stories, it begins with an idea.

ideas scribbled on paper

Here is how my new idea began. A friend’s grandson gave me the spark of an idea when she shared his reaction to A Reluctant Little Prince. Apparently, he was fascinated with the firefighter page.

flame in handA nugget of an idea began to form in the back of my mind. As the days and weeks passed, I played with several versions of what to do with my flickering flame.

Eventually, the story came together.

Now I must decide whether to attempt the illustrations myself or find an affordable illustrator.

Hope to have the new book released in the fall. Wish me luck.

If you have an idea swirling around in your mind, go for it. Here are some tips that might help.

Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books

Check out the other posts I’ve written in the past about writing picture books.

Do you think writing a picture book is easy?

What you need to know about writing a children’s book?

I love reading your comments, so tell me… 

Have you written a children’s book? Leave a link in the comments section. I’d love to pass on the info.

Are you thinking about writing a children’s picture book?

Are you an illustrator? I hope you’ll reach out to me. I’d like to see your work. 

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How to use powerful emotional writing to engage a reader

I’ve been reading a lot about how to show what my characters are feeling.

Putting emotions on paper, in words that pull in a reader is not as easy as one might think. From lovers, friends, enemies, coworkers, monsters, and strangers all experience emotions and we need to show them to the reader.

“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”—Jack Kerouac

Luckily, there are several good writers who know just what I need to do.

A little food for thought…

  • Fear, anger, doubt, joy is universal emotions. Help your reader remember when they felt those same emotions. This enables the reader to connect with your characters.
  • There are two types of emotions. Primary and Secondary.
    • Primary is the first initial reaction, which is an unthinking, instinctive response. The Primary response often disappears as fast as it appeared, giving way to…
    • Secondary reaction.  Replacement by secondary emotions can complicate the situation, often making it difficult to understand the circumstances. For instance, fear turns to anger back to fear and then to flight.
  • Don’t forget the backstory that formed your character’s emotions. The biological, psychological and social factors led them to feel the way they do.
  • Remember to use inciting incidents and circumstances also shape a character’s emotions.
  • What is going on in the story to reinforce a character’s response?
  • What protective trait does the character have that will bring them to the other side and hopefully a good ending?

If you want to get a few great tips and examples of emotional writing, take a minute and click on these links.

The Connection between Character Emotion and Reader Empathy  in Writing for Life

Primary and Secondary Emotions by Changing Minds.

7 Tips to Crafting Emotionally-Meaty Monsters by Staci Troilo  

The 3-Act Emotional Arc For Showing Shame In Fiction by Lisa Hall-Wilson

Deepening Character Complexity with the Help of Psychology by Writing Coach

 

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