Storyboarding with the W Method

by @AnnieDaylon

sTORYBOARDING

Curious about how authors create their novels?

Some write freely, discovering the story as they go along. I do that, to a point. Then, with basic plot, key characters, and some scenes in mind, I create an outline.

I have experimented with different ways of outlining, including the use of note cards, step sheets, the Snowflake Method, and software, all of which are detailed by Robbie Blair in Eight Ways to Outline a Novel.  

The method that works best for me is the Storyboard. It is the most tangible, visual, and accessible way of plotting a story. Sometimes I have used a linear model, simply placing chronological plot points on a straight line.

In my Work-In-Progress, a three-act thriller set in Vancouver, BC, the story takes place over ten days. The details are tight. I want certain characters in a certain place at a certain time and I have to keep track of their every move. Enter: the W Storyboard.

Storyboarding by Mary Carroll Moore

Storyboarding by Mary Carroll Moore

My W Storyboard is based on Mary Carroll Moore’s model which lends itself well to the three-act structure common in the thriller.

The first line of the W—top to bottom—gives the story setup.

The first low mark represents the first portal or turning point. Once a character crosses that threshold, she must continue the journey. There’s no turning back. Either she can’t get back or there is nothing to go back to. (To quote fellow writer Brian Rodda, “The village is burned, the villagers are dead.”) 

Each successive point on the W, as shown in Mary Carroll Moore’s Youtube video, is another portal, another change in direction.

Because I usually know the turning points when I start my storyboard, it’s easy to fill in the portals on the W. After that, I have to get the characters to those portals and that means creating step-by-step details.

Using colorful sticky notes, I write plot points and place them along the lines of the W.  Wonderful things, those sticky notes: I frequently make changes and the notes can be pulled off and popped on easily. (Word of warning: if you plan to use sticky notes, buy the good ones; the cheaper versions tend to lose their stickiness and flit around like butterflies.)

My current storyboard has more than just plot. It includes:

  • Dates of Events, displayed on contrasting  sticky notes;

  • Images of actors who represent the visual type I’m trying to portray;

  • Character descriptions, detailing height, weight, hair, skin tone, eye color. (These are mere reference points which help avoid simple mistakes, such as a page 27 green-eyed character becoming brown-eyed on page 215.) 

  • Settings, sometimes written, sometimes images. (One setting in my thriller is a city loft, so I printed out a floor plan that suits my needs and pasted it on the board.)

Mary Carroll Moore states that her W formula is based on a book The Writer’s Time by Kenneth Atchity. The revised version, one which I am about to download, is on Kindle. The new title? Write Time: Guide to the Creative Process, from Vision through Revision-and Beyond

If you are an outliner, do you have any outlining tips? 

If you are a pantser, what are your thoughts about outlining?eNovel-Round-Logo

I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to blog or newsletter or both! The newsletter contains news about books, links to some blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To sign up, simply place the required information in the spaces provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

 

Canadian Author? Save a Few Bucks!

by @AnnieDaylon 

shutterstock_110397353Are you a busy Canadian author looking to save a few dollars? Read on…

Recently, I came across a post about additional sources of income for Canadian Authors.*** It occurred to me that, with the loonie at a thirteen year low, Canadian authors might be not only seeking more revenue but also searching for ways to keep that revenue in their pockets. Here’s one possibility:

My husband, who teaches business strategies at BCIT, informed me that Canada Post has a Solutions for Small Business Program. Upon consulting the Google gods, I discovered that this program was free to join. Without knowing exactly how it could benefit me, I signed up and printed out my paper membership ID card.

The next day I set off for the post office to mail books (ten picture books and five novels) to winners of my two Goodreads Giveaways. I pulled my paper Solutions for Small Business ID from my wallet and asked if it would be of benefit.  Much to my delight, the clerk nodded and smiled.

How did the membership help? On the picture books, it did not help at all: they fit snugly into 8 X 10 manila envelopes and slid easily through the two centimetre wide mail slot. However, my ‘fat’ novels did not fit through that mail slot and had to be shipped as parcels. On those, I saved between two and three dollars… per book!

As promised, Canada Post delivered my ‘real’ card a few weeks later. I was surprised to discover that they sent me not just one copy, but five. I assume the reason behind that is that most small businesses have a few employees. (I’m sure I will use all five cards once I rocket to the top of Amazon lists and hire myself some staff. 🙂 )

I don’t know what other gems the Solutions for Small Business Program has in store for me, but it will be fun learning. Right now, I know that this program saves money on the cost of shipping.

A dollar saved is a dollar earned!

*** Additional $ources of Revenue for Canadian Authors  via  Indies Unlimited  written by Martin Crosbie, author of the amazing ” How I Sold 30 000 E-books on Amazon’s Kindle.”

I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to blog or newsletter or both! The newsletter contains news about books, links to some blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To sign up, simply place the required information in the spaces provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to youeNovel-Round-Logo

Annie Signature Light Blue

Adding a Map to a Novel? Here’s an Idea…

by @AnnieDaylon

If you are considering adding a map to the front or back matter of a novel, consider this idea …

My upcoming novel, OF SEA AND SEED, is set on the island of Newfoundland, located on the east coast of Canada.

Canada Map

Newfoundland and Labrador shutterstock.com

Newfoundland and Labrador  shutterstock.com

As an avid reader of books with varied geographic settings, I appreciate authors/publishers who include some kind of map to help anchor the story. In order to provide that visual for my readers, I hunted for the perfect image. None available.

I downloaded a map (right) of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. From there, I considered drawing, labeling, scanning, uploading… a lot of work.

A simpler solution came when I consulted a friend (author/graphic designer Brian Rodda ) who suggested doing it the way that National Geographic does. He did a pencil demo; I loved it.

The dedication for my novel reads simply: for love of Newfoundland. I decided the map could be placed below it.  The map is not greatly detailed; that is not required. The main areas in the story are shown: the community of Argentia and the city of St. John’s on the Avalon Peninsula, the Burin Peninsula (community not specified in novel,) and the tiny French island of St. Pierre

Print

Having just seen the interior proof of my novel, I can report that Brian successfully mapped out a solution to what was for me a dilemma. Maybe it is one that will work for you too.

Or maybe you have other ideas to share???

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Pick of the Twitter: August, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for August, 2015:

  1. 7 Tips to Promote Your Book for FREE  via @111publishing

  2. An Updated Guide to the Marketing in the Big 6 Social Networks  via @socialmedia2day

  3. Book Launch Tips for Traditional and Self-Published Authors  @BookBaby

  4. Overwhelmed As An Author? How To Work With Virtual Assistants  @ChrisDucker via @thecreativepenn

  5. How Long Is A Novel? @MaeveMaddox

  6. How to Write Vivid Descriptions by @ChuckSambuchino via @JamesLeeSchmidt

  7. Protagonist and Main Character— Same Person? The Answer May Transform Your Story! @KMWeiland

  8.  “What Should a Novelist Blog About? Do’s and Don’ts for Author-Bloggers”  by @anneallen via @thecreativepenn

  9. How to Self-Publish Your Book on a Budget by @miralsattar

  10. Have you seen our FREE Author Marketing Checklist? Great guide for authors! @bkmkting

  11. Writing Your First Book: 5 Tasks to Focus on Besides Writing: @thewritelife

  12. Broken, Not Bitter. An Author’s Life with Repetitive Strain Injuries  @thecreativepenn

  1. It Only Gets Harder Once You’re Published  by Chuck Wendig

  2. 8 Tips for Writing a Synopsis:  @ceciliaedits via @elizabethscraig

  3. How to Find an Editor as a Self-Published Author via @janeFriedman

  4. Take Your Writing Outdoors: 9 Tips for Successfully Working Outside @thewritelife

  5. Making Bad Things Happen to Good Characters @aliventures

  6. Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy  @JaneFriedman

  7. Basic Formatting of Your Manuscript (Formatting 101) by @JodieRennerEd

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

A FREE SHORT STORY is yours when you subscribe to my Author Newsletter: simply your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared. 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: July, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for July, 2015:

  1. Spicing Up a Story With Similes & Metaphors @JodyHedlund

  2. 2 Ways to Make the Most of Your Story’s Climactic Setting  @KMWeiland

  3. Omniscient Point of View– Craft at Write on the River  @Bob_Mayer

  4. Verb Mistakes #9: Past Tense forms of Lay and Lie @MaeveMaddox

  5. The Key to Writing Good Action Scenes (Hint: It’s Not Just the Action)  @KMWeiland

  6. Writing Advice from Joyce Carol Oates  @BuzzFeed via @GalleyCat

  7. Advice for Authors from a Bookseller’s Perspective   via @WriterUnboxed

  8.  Authors, confused about promoting your books on Twitter? Go day by day via @Bkmkting

  9.  TWITTER TIPS for AUTHORS  via @IndieAuthorNews

  10. How to Find an Editor for Your Book: 5 Crucial Questions to Ask  via @thewritelife

  11.  50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day via @WritersDigest

  12. Choosing One Brilliant Idea for Your Business Book  @BookBaby

  13. Top 10 Confused Words in English [G-H]  @MaeveMaddox

  14. Ask a Literary Agent: What Do You Look for in a Query Letter? @thewritelife

  15. Question: what constitutes a book series?  @Janet_Reid

  16. Book Publicity: The Top Ten Things Book Publicists Want Authors to Know by Cindy Ratzlaff @BrandYou

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Free Short Story

 

A FREE SHORT STORY! Simply subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared. Thank you.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

From Manuscript to Market: A List of Essentials

by @AnnieDaylon

Manuscript to MarketFinished your manuscript?
Turned it over to your spectacularly brilliant copy-editor/designer wizard?
Breathing a sigh of relief, are you?
Well, suck that breath back in! It’s time to get your pre-publication kit together!

Hopefully, you’ve been filing info as you go: organization makes the final stages easier. Right now, I am in the middle of gathering pre-production information for my novel, OF SEA AND SEED, The Kerrigan Chronicles # 1.
 While I’m at it, I’m sharing it because most of what I need, you will too.

Here is my list:

  • Acknowledgements. It takes a village. Remember to thank every member.

  • Author Bio. Keep the bio short.

  • Author Headshot. Make it professional.

  • Bibliography. This is a maybe,  necessary for me, as my literary suspense series is set in historical Newfoundland.

  • Book Endorsements. You need a blurb or two or three for the cover of your book. So write a few authors and make a request. Ask and ye shall receive, or not. But ask anyway.(One of my favorite quotes comes from Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”)

  • Call to Action. In the back of your book, include some or all of the following: a link to your homepage and social media, a bonus offer if they sign to your mailing list, a chapter of your next book, a letter asking for review.

  • Cover Image. Use a stock image or hire an artist. (The image for my above cover mock-up comes from Shutterstock.) In your book, credit source of image.

  • Dedication. (for Mom? Dad? Dog? Place?)

  • Disclaimer. “A statement that is meant to prevent an incorrect understanding of something (such as a book, a movie, or an advertisement”~ Miriam-Webster Dictionary (This is standard in all fiction. For examples, just check the front pages of any novel.)

  • Epigraph. Short quote for front, if you plan to use one. Caution here: think Public Domain.

  • Flap Copy.  Brief synopsis for back cover, one that will draw reader in.

  • Key Words for SEO. Brainstorm. Check genre. 

  • List of other Publications. All other books written by you.

  • Map ? (Maybe you need a map inside the cover? I plan to use a map of Newfoundland as a frame of reference for readers.)

  • Pricing Strategy. Check others in your genre.

  • Questions for Reading Clubs. Compile a list and put it in the back.

Am I forgetting anything?  Please share any info you have!!

Free Short Story
A Free Short Story will be yours when you subscribe to my author newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured that your email address will be held in the highest confidence and will not be shared or distributed for any purpose.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: June, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

 

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for June, 2015:

  1. Query Question: maps, illustrations and other visuals in novels  @JanetReid

  2. 3 Steps to Driving More Traffic & Selling More Books or Products via LinkedIn @WriteToDone

  3. How Authors Can Evaluate Hybrid Publishers @JaneFriedman

  4. Why Small Business Owners Should Seriously Consider Blogging @socialmedia2day

  5. The Complete List of Creative Distractions and Defenses Against Them @WriterUnboxed

  6. Want to Build an Email List? 7 Newsletter Platforms to Choose From @thewritelife

  7. Writing About Guns: 10 Errors to Avoid in Your Novel via @JaneFriedman (TY. Am writing thriller. Vital to know facts!)

  8. How to take a break from writer’s block by James Chartrand @menwithpens

  9. Writing a Book? How to Know When to Stop Editing and Move On @thewritelife

  10. Q&A On Writing, Self Publishing And Book Marketing @thecreativepenn

  11. Split Narratives: Dividing Your Story Between Two or More Narrators  @aliventures

  12. What Every Writer Ought to Know About the Omniscient POV @KMWeiland

  13. Writing When It’s Difficult to Write @elizabethscraig

  14. The Great Big List of Twitter Lists, Ideas, and Tools @socialmedia2day

  15.  A HUGE list of free ebook sites for authors to promote their free ebooks!  @bkmkting

  16. The difference between editing and proofreading: @LeahMcClellan

  17.  Where’s the white space? How writers can show, not tell, through dialog and narrative @CSLakin

  18.  “Long Term Book Marketing” @bkmkting

  19. The Only Thing You Need to Know About Writing Strong Female Characters @KMWeiland

  20.  Email Newsletters for Authors: Get Started Guide  @JaneFriedman

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

 

Free Short Story

 

A FREE SHORT STORY will be yours when you subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. 

 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

Writers’ Associations: Of Value to You??

by @AnnieDaylon 

Writers Associations Value


I am a member of three writing associations– the Federation of British Columbia Writers, the Houston Writers Guild, and the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador–all of which have proved valuable. How? Here are three examples: 

 

 1) At a recent meet up of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, I met up with a very talented artist, Loreena M. Lee who is now preparing illustrations for my upcoming picture book, THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE.

2) I entered my novel, CASTLES IN THE SAND, into a contest at the Houston Writers Guild, won the contest, and have since received the B.R.A.G. medallion for excellence in independent writing for that novel.

3) For most recent manuscript, OF SEA AND SEED, which is set in Newfoundland, I wanted an evaluation by an author/editor who wrote historical fiction in the same setting.  I have worked with editors across Canada and in the United States and am fully aware of the range of cost factors. I found exactly what I needed at a price I could afford through my membership in the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of WANL are entitled to receive a manuscript evaluation at 50% off the actual cost; the Writers Alliance pays the rest. The fees for this service are based on the number of pages in the manuscript. My manuscript is 306 pages long; the total cost, tax included, came in at about six hundred dollars. The cost to me? $300. (My membership costs me twenty-five dollars per year.)
The WANL contract promised a turnaround time of three weeks. It was actually two weeks from the day I agreed to the contract that my evaluation arrived. I received not only a fifteen page, single-spaced anecdotal evaluation but also a full version of the manuscript with Track Changes applied.

The take-away for you? Spend a little time checking out your local or national writing associations. Maybe you are a member of one or two, yet don’t know all of their offerings. You too could benefit from a meet up, a contest, or a professional critique.

Thank you to all of the above writing associations for the services they offer. A special thanks to Alison Dyer, Executive Director of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to author/editor Paul Butler for his prompt, detailed, and professional evaluation of my work.

Free Short StoryA Free Short Story will be yours when you subscribe to my author newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured that your email address will be held in the highest confidence and will not be shared or distributed for any purpose.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: May, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for May, 2015:

  1. Recently, I watched, then tweeted about SHOWRUNNERS: THE ART OF RUNNING A TV SHOW  (Don’t usually include my own tweets here, but I was blown away by the amount of work these writers do! This show is available on Netflix and is well worth the watch!)

  2.  Wondering how to use Pinterest for author website? Check it out! via @BublishMe

  3.  Writing Different Genres? This is one of many Reasons to Use a Pen Name  by Danielle Hanna

  4. How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd by Kathleen Boucher via @shareholic @bkmkting

  5. 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic] by @chrisrobley via @bookbaby

  6. Chilliwack used book store parody video goes viral – Chilliwack Times  via @BlackPressMedia  @MargaretAtwood

  7. Book Marketing: How to Sign a Book  by Debbie Young @IndieAuthorALLI

  8. Steve Jobs: Do What You Love Motivational Video via @111publishing

  9. Pros And Cons Of Being An Indie Author by Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

  10. Aspiring writers: Before worrying too much about networking/promo, FINISH WRITING YOUR BOOK by Debbie Ridpath Ohi @inkyelbows

  11. No, Not Anyone Can Write a Good Book  (Patricia Park on Becoming a Writer After Life in the Publishing Biz) via @GalleyCat

  12. James Patterson Gives Tips on How to Kill Off a Character  @GalleyCat

  13. 10 Book Marketing Tips from 2 authors, one traditionally & one indie published. @bkmkting

  14. 4 tips for writing children’s books by Alexa Elheart @bookbaby

  15. Spring Cleaning Your Blog in Ten Easy Steps by Allyn Lewis @allyn_lewis

  16. Want an Unforgettable Protagonist? Your Minor Characters Are the Secret  by @KMWeiland

 Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Free Short Story
A FREE SHORT STORY! Simply subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. Thank you.

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

The Rule of Three in Writing

by @AnnieDaylon

The Rule of Three in WritingHave you noticed the prevalence of threes in writing?

I was reminded of it last week during a beginning course in photography when the instructor explained the rule of thirds in the composition of a picture. Instantly, I thought of creating a blog post about the rule of three in writing (defined by Wikipedia as a principle that suggests that threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying or more effective than other numbers of things.)

When a smattering of research on my part revealed an abundance of readily-available info, I chose to share rather than reinvent. What follows are posts (three, of course) related to the rule of three in the writing of speeches, blogs, and stories.

 

1. How to Use the “Rule of Three” to Create Engaging Content by Brian Clark
“…Think in terms of three when crafting your content, and you’ll likely end up with a more engaging outcome. If at first you don’t succeed, remember—the third time’s the charm…” Read More

2. How to Use the Rule of Three in Your Speeches by Andrew Dlugan 
“The rule of three is powerful speech-writing technique that you should learn, practice, and master.
Using the Rule of Three allows you to express concepts more completely, emphasize your points, and increase the memorability of your message.
That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.What is the rule of three? What are some famous examples? How do you use it in speeches?”  Read More

 3. Omne Trium Perfectum by L.G. Smith
“Omne trium perfectum! No, it’s not an incantation lifted from Harry Potter, but it could be considered a magic spell for crafting effective stories. Literally it means everything that comes in threes is perfect. In writing it is referred to as the Rule of Three.” Read More

Many thanks to bloggers Brian Clark, Andrew Dlugan, and L.G Smith.shutterstock_48236599

My favorite post from above?
As a lover of Latin, I have to tell the the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The third one’s a charm. 🙂

Latin Textbook Series, Grade 7-11

Amo, amas, amat… From my past: three Latin textbooks that have been in my library for more than three decades.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue