Showing posts with label pictures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pictures. Show all posts

Vision Boards

I haven't come up with a title to book 2 of the Meridienne Drake series, but I am in it about 15K words, and that's almost a quarter into it. Being a cheerleader coach, I have less time to write. I usually get to write around the clock starting in March, so I think I'm on top of things for the time being.
Yesterday, another author posted in her blog about having pictures to help see what you want to write. This technique really does work. Let's  face it, we all need to be visual at times! So I finally put together my Vision Board to inspire me to write more when I'm at my computer in hopes to stop any and all distractions. A vision board is a collaboration of pretty much anything. If you have a goal, you would like to achieve such as traveling. You would put pictures of all the places you want to go so that everyday it is a constant reminder of what you are working towards.
My vision board is for the Meridienne Drake Series. Back during Book 1, I collaborated from all over the internet pictures of people, places, and things that inspire my book. The trouble is having to pull up pictures for one takes time and second pulls you away from the screen where you are writing. Yeah, yeah. I know with Windows 7 you can split your screen. But I like a full screen with my writing program open. Even my task bar goes into hiding. I was definitely the kid that saw pretty buttons and wanted to push them. So, having my vision board is wonderful because now I just need to slightly turn my head and can see every picture. :o) It helped me so much yesterday that I sat down and wrote almost 4k words. No lie! That's right I was at 11K words before yesterday.
So, how do you make a Vision Board?

  • You can use anything as your actual board: Cardboard, cork board, metal sheet (Because I know we all have that lying around the house), fabric board, canvas, even a wall will work. Mine is a fabric board with Ribbons stapled at every intersection and a button glued over it. It used to be in the kitchen to hold Christmas cards and lists, invitations, etc. If you look closely at the pic below, you'll see two buttons missing. :o)
  • After you find your pictures, print them out. Your pictures can be about absolutely anything. I have clothing styles, rooms, landscape, different people to use features I like about some to make up one complete person, houses, cars. Anything.
  • Then, you just use push pins, magnets, tape or whatever you need to hold the pics. I used tape to help hold in some places that I didn't think the ribbon would suffice.
  • I also left room to grow as the book progresses. I'm thinking when the series ends though. I may have many more or possibly an entire room.
And, Voila! You made a vision board and can start your path of focus. Simple, right!
Lots of <3,
Jess

P.S. Get more on how seeing the picture can help bring your characters to life by visiting "This Writer's Life..."

How I Made My Book Trailer and View It

This is my first attempt to create a Book Trailer. To those who do this regularly, I know I am an amateur, but nevertheless I’m proud of what I’ve done. I have to say, it was fun most of the time. At other times, it was tedious to get it just right. In case you have never done one, below are the steps that I’ve taken. If you do video editing regularly and can give advice, I would love some.

Step 1:

First things first, you have to do research. This is what I do best except I get lost for hours sometimes when one thing leads me researching something that leads to the next. So, if you have better focus than I do, this process will be much quicker. I watched many book trailers on YouTube to see what I liked and what I definitely didn’t. All you have to do is search for “Book Trailers” (easy peasy, but make sure you have the quotes), then I filtered for highest ratings. This sparked my Greek Muse.

I narrowed down that I didn’t like and couldn’t afford to make a mini movie of it. I will let Hollywood do that when they buy the rights(hehe). What I didn’t like about these is that they looked like amateur video, which does great on YouTube. This is probably a huge mistake if trying to get that audience, but I am very picky about movie quality and wanted something more professional. So I chose to go the route of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, which I had actually read a few months ago(the very first book I ever checked out from the library on my NookColor) and applaud them for the marketing they have been receiving as of late. I thought this was a look and goal that I could achieve.

Step 2:

I had read somewhere to write out a script first. I can see the advantages of this, but for me, it wasn’t the best route. If I had written a script first, I would have limited myself and that would have driven me crazy. So, instead, I put my focus disorder in play and went searching the internet.

  • Side Note About Story: My story takes place near Portland, Oregon. I had been there on a trip with the Ambassadors for UNO, and the place has always stuck with me. Mostly because I got to see where the Goonies was filmed. But, the shoreline from Portland up into Washington is quite unique. My imagination taking over made for a great place to hide dragons. *SPOILER alert: Yes, there are dragons in the book. I mean my maiden name is Dragon after all.* I have tried to think of every way possible to hide dragons in New Orleans, and it would not be possible without making them some version of “Swamp Thing.”(BTW, I am fully expecting “Swamp Thing” to be a major motion picture any day because every cartoon I used to watch is.) In the end, I chose for the dragons to be Beauty over Beast, and the Oregon-Washington coast was perfect for this.

I found many pictures on flickr using the Creative Commons license, which was fabulous. So the scenery is truly places I went while on the West Coast and pictured when writing the book. The other pictures I had to buy the royalty free license from Dreamstime. However, in one of my focus stumbles, I came across an animated eye on iStockPhoto. Well, I just thought that was the coolest thing since sliced bread, and it made me think of the last scene in Chapter 3, which you can read HERE. So I found the moving colors same as what was happening to Meridienne when she went into the library and TA DA the trailer wrote itself. I threw in a few other things that you will read about later on in the book too, but I’m not going there.

  • Side Note about Copyrights: Make sure you abide by copyright laws when making the video or all that work will be for nothing and could lead to much worse.

Step 3:

I had started trying to edit the video on MovieMaker, which I know is what most people use, but I am not most people. It restricted me. I am a quick learner and will tell everyone that if you read the instructions you learn things much faster. I wanted a better editor that could do more even if it was more difficult to use. Accidentally, I came across VideoPad Editor. I downloaded the free trial watched the tutorials and put my video into sequence adding the transitions and effects along the way.

Step 4:

My hubby and I argued about steps 3 and 4 a little, while working on it. He kept demanding that I do the music first and make the story fit to the music. Because he is one of the smartest people I know(ego inflation when he reads this… u, honey), I considered it. To quote myself from above, I am not most people. Instead, I made the music fit the story. I had found the music from 300 Monks on one of my sidetracks while looking for pictures. The song is over five minutes. I debated on having a trailer last 1:44 and was not about to keep you there for five minutes. With the awesomeness of VideoPad, I was able to cut the music, fade it, and squeeze it together so that you have what you have. Again, reading instructions or watching tutorials cuts out mistakes. I would have liked to have the blurry pictures waving to the guitar screeching in the song, but my skills were not advanced enough for that, so I had to let bygones be bygones for that.

This is where the tedious part comes in. Certain things in the video overlap each other. To make it perfect such as the explosion in the end. Four elements had to work simultaneously, which means they all had to happen at the precise second and milisecond. VideoPad didn’t have an easier way to do this, or I would have found it. All in all, I was pleased with the way it turned out considering I was new at all of it.

Step 5:

Save frequently throughout your project, but at the end make multiple final saves in several locations (i.e. I have it on 2 computers and a jump drive). Then VideoPad makes it easy to upload to facebook, youtube, or any place you want to publish it. It also has stereographic 3d, but not quite sure how it works, so I didn’t go there just yet.

I hope I didn’t bore you too badly, but if you are reading this, then I guess it’s a good sign. Here is my final book trailer. It technically only took me about five hours to make, but I spent a day fine tweaking and getting the pictures, videos, and audio.

If you have any comments or advice, I would love to hear them. :o)