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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How to leave an impression on readers

And write like the invisible man. 

You read me right. 

Reading an article by August Birch on Medium.com got me to thinking about all the books and stories I truly enjoy. Want to know what I discovered?

If I want to write a review, I must do it immediately after finishing the book. Because the mechanics of the book fade quickly, but the impression lasts much longer. I remember what books I loved and the ones I hated, but my reactions are personal and vague.

As August points out…

“When we do our best work as writers, the writing disappears in the background.”

To me, that means the mechanics and style of writing fades in the background. August suggest writers should strive for “Invisible Writing.”

Have you ever become so absorbed in a movie, you couldn’t remember the color of the actors dress? Why? Because it was a great movie! Same goes for writing a great story. As the reader sees the story in their brain, it’s as if they are experiencing the story. Explaining too much makes the mental story shut down and off.

To become an invisible writer…

  • Avoid selecting words to sound sophisticated.
  • Don’t over explain or over describe the scene.
  • Too much description reveals a lazy writer.
  • If the words don’t move the story forward, cut them.
  • Don’t make reading your story a chore, don’t make the reader think too hard.
  • Reflect rather than over think as you write.

“When the reader focuses on the writing, she’s not using her subconscious to help engage with the story — you’ve lost her.” August Birch

You really should click on the link and read the article by August Birch in its entirety. He explains in greater detail what it means to be an invisible writer.

Why We Never Want Our Readers to Remember Our Writing by August Birch

PS:

I want to wish everyone a safe and happy Easter holiday. Don’t forget to add a book to that little one’s basket.

Easter basket with books

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