When in the midst of creating a new narrative, inspiration boards, whether physical or digital, can help immerse us in a particular time period, allow us to ‘see’ our characters, and are a great aid to making the story come alive. This board will evolve over time as ideas, images, quotes, magazine and newspaper clippings, photos, found objects, handwritten quotes, font samples, buttons and badges etc. influence our writing.
There are options for an inspiration board:
A full wall
A large poster
A digital folder of images
A Pinterest board
Find an option that works best for you and that can be arranged and rearranged easily. As you delve into the narrative new characters may form or there is a twist in the plot that takes the story somewhere unexpected – change the board accordingly. Physically moving papers, photos, objects, and ephemera triggers different parts of our brains than moving digital information…and that can help us create new connections and come up with even more fresh ideas.
There are options for the type of board you create but all of them should allow change as the story develops.
Book Cover Board – what images appeal?
Character Board – what do they look like?
World Board – where are they?
History Board – what events have taken place?
Problem Board – what is the protagonist’s problem?
Quote Board – which evoke the story?
As I am writing a steampunk novel currently, my boards are filled with physical and digital images. There is a plethora of images available so that has made it easy to some extent but also difficult as too much input can detract from my focus. Here are some examples.
What does your current inspiration board look like?
As many of you know, I commit to a blog schedule at the end of each year for the coming year. My blog has in the past morphed into a writer’s blog as opposed to a reader’s blog and so I want 2020 to be different by still continuing to support my writing community as advocate but also to engage my reader’s more. To this end my twice weekly posts will be divided between writing topics and delving into my books and writing life for my readers.
I hope you will find the content interesting, enlightening and fun. I will post every Tuesday and Thursday each week as follows:
Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday
Stories behind my published books and also from works in progress.
Update on events I will be attending.
A glimpse at my current writing project.
Sharing short stories or poem’s I have written from prompts or workshops.
My book reviews
Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday
Segments from my interview with Online for Authors
Special Interviews with authors from Creative Edge & First Pages
Author Website links
I am also starting a newsletterso please sign up when prompted. I hope we can develop a great relationship with this new venture – Sneek Peeks & Glimpses. Thank you in anticipation.
Firstly, apologies for not getting a post up sooner – as you can imagine with full time work and writing my NaNo novel it’s been a bit hectic along with the usual life stuff.
Having said that I am, as of Thursday 14th November only a couple thousand off my target of 50,000 words so a celebration is imminent. I was late to NaNo this year as I only just completed publishing the sequel to The Rython Kingdom. After numerous reader requests for a sequel I used last year’s NaNo to write one and as we all know that is only the start of the journey to getting a book published. Rython Legacy has been favorably received – whew!
I did dither about actually participating in NaNo this year, I have two manuscripts lying in wait from other year’s and couldn’t decide whether to tackle them or create a whole new story. Then there was the problem of what story to write. As with most writers there is a lot to choose from – part stories, pages of story ideas and everything left on the back burner. As it happened a new story formed out of no where and that’s what I have been busily typing. It is a love story of sorts set in a university. This gave me my first problem I have never been to university so research has been a huge part of this challenge. However, my daughter and future daughter-in-law have been so I have utilized their experiences into the narrative.
Of course any NaNo novel is the first draft and the manuscript will go through many changes, revisions and editing before it is ready for publication. For now I am fully immersed in my characters, their setting and where the story is going.
Good luck to my fellow NaNoWriMo writers – word power is our thing.
I’m retired now, but my first career was as an elementary school teacher.
One year I had a boy placed in my class who didn’t like me and unfortunately, the feeling was mutual.
Believing the boy would be much happier with a different teacher, I suggested to administration that they place him in a different class. The Assistant Principal informed me that I’d be good for the boy and left him in my class.
As the year progressed, we grew to like each other very much.
In June, when all the other kids had left for summer holidays, the boy stayed at his desk and he said point blank, “I didn’t like you at the beginning of the year”.
(Don’t you love how kids get right to the point? I love their honesty.)
I thought a moment and decided to be honest with him too. I shared that he wasn’t my favorite student at the beginning of the year, either.
We both accepted the idea that we could change our minds. We had a newfound mutual respect and appreciation.
Over the years, I never forgot that boy. I decided I needed to write a story about a woman who didn’t want a particular child. I wanted to show the love, understanding and self-confidence that grew in both characters as they got to know and love each other.
How did you come up with the title?
The title for the trilogy is Bringing Jamie Home. I got this idea when the ten-year-old boy gets lost in Jamie’s Choice, the first book in the trilogy. The hero tells the heroine that they will find the child and bring him home. There! I had it—the title for the book.
At this time, I didn’t know that the one book would lead into a trilogy.
When I finished book one, I knew that one character appeared to be a “piece of work”, as one reviewer called him. I had to figure out why the character was so cynical. This lead to a mystery that had to be solved in the second and third books. All three books work with the idea of “Bringing Jamie Home”.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
As I mentioned above, I wanted to show the love, understanding and self-confidence that grew in both characters as they got to know and love each other.
How much of the book is realistic?
When I describe the mountains and the snow storm in Jamie’s Choice, I’ve actually been on slippery roads and in snow storms in the mountains. I know how quickly the weather can change.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
I don’t have a blog, but I’d love people to visit me at my website: SherileReilly.com
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
The Bringing Jamie Home books are a trilogy. After them, I wrote a Victorian Paranormal Romance called The Curse of the Lord of Darkness. It’s a stand-alone book. I’m now working on a series which will also be Victorian Paranormal Romances. My books are currently available in print and as eBooks from Amazon.com.
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
My favorite characters are always in the story I’m working on. I’m deeply involved with the characters—just like when I’m reading a book.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I write Clean, Contemporary Romance and Victorian, Paranormal Romance.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I love planning my stories. I get ideas and I jot them down on paper. At this point I’m just gathering ideas. I have lots of pieces of info about the characters and the plot.
Next, I think about the order of the scenes. I like to see the story laid out in front of me, so I put the ideas on cards or post-it-notes and arrange them on a two by five foot board. From here, I’m able to see what the general layout of my story will be. Of course there are many changes to this outline, but I really like knowing where the story is going and if the characters are changing and growing.
What is your best marketing tip?
I don’t know about a marketing tip, but I think authors always have to keep learning the craft–listen to podcasts, read blogs and educate yourself. Join a writing group if there is one in your area. Write the best book that you can and then get it edited by a professional.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
Social media is a very big topic and I’m learning what might work best for me.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love planning and putting in lots of conflict. Creating characters is exciting. In my Victorian stories I’m always learning more about that time in history. My Victorian stories are set in the United States and it’s interesting to learn about the social restrictions on women in that era.
What genre are you currently reading?
I read across a wide variety of genres. I recently finished a detective novel. Before that I read a Victorian mystery/romance. I can’t keep up with all the books I’d like to read.
Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
I read for both.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
I’ve had tremendous support from my husband who drives me to locations so I get a feeling for the setting.
When she was alive, I also had tremendous support from my mother. She’d have been so pleased with the publication of the Bringing Jamie Home Trilogy.
My sister patiently listens to all my new ideas and offers suggestions.
My friends have helped me so much with my technology problems, blurbs, plots and many other facets of the whole writing process. I also belong to two writing groups that offer excellent workshops.
Best of all, my writer friends are fun and great to hang around with!
Where is your favorite writing space?
Lots of people think they’d like to write on a balcony with a beautiful view of the ocean and the sound of the waves. Rather than encouraging me to write, I’d find this a huge distraction. I’d want to be walking along the beach or visiting the local tourist sights.
I’m quite happy being in a room in the basement, surrounded by books and other writing materials that I need.
Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I belong to the Alberta Romance Writers’ Association and also the Calgary Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. The groups are called ARWA and CaRWA. Both are terrific for teaching people about writing and industry. Of course, there’s a fantastic group of fellow writers.
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
I love living right where I am. I love the four seasons and the wonderful changes that each brings.
Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
When I’m writing, I don’t nibble. If I brought food into the computer room, I’d constantly keep eating and get nothing done. However, I do nibble while I watch TV!
Author, artist, and retired teacher, Sherile Reilly has jet boated in New Zealand, climbed the Temple of a Thousand Columns at Chichen Itza, ballooned over the table lands of Northern Australia, and poised for a photographer among the columns of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
As a teacher, she read to children and as a world traveler, she collected stories and soon began to create her own, first for her students, and then for adults.
Not tied to any one genre, Sherile writes Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction and Paranormal Romance. Most recently, she published a trilogy, Bringing Jamie Home, and The Curse of the Lord of Darkness.
This week’s question: Do you incorporate politics and/or religion into your stories? What is the reason?
I have used a matriarchal society in my novel, Life in Slake Patch as the background to a young man’s life in that regime. It was interesting to write about the influences and attitudes of a different society. In contrast my novel, The Twesome Loop, which covers two time periods, shows the patriarchal suppression in the 1800’s.
Last week’s question: How did you find your particular writing style? A creative writing class, a teacher, a format or something else? Do you write differently for different genres?
Well, your recent research is certainly more unique and interesting than mine. I think my writing style, whatever that may be,remains the same no matter what I write. However, my “voice” changes with each work, depending on the era, location, and age of my characters. The personality of my twenty-something Italian protagonist in my WW2 novel is a far cry from the thirty-something American artist in my current WIP.
I have researched medieval physician’s healing techniques, the circumstances of how a body can dry out and become a husk, natural substances that prevent pregnancy or induce sterility.