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Story Graphics: Theme Collage

Story Graphics: Theme Collage

Story Graphic- Theme CollageContinuing on in my (somewhat infrequent) story graphics series, let’s talk about one of my favorite things to make: Theme collages! These can be a fabulous way to visually brainstorm your project from all angles (character, setting, conflict, you name it). I particularly love to make collages for my fantasy stories, because there are so many pretty pictures to choose from.

For maximum brainstorming effectiveness, I recommend putting on your story playlist (or a playlist of fitting music), getting a cup of tea, and snuggling down to put all this together. The music in particular really helps!

Full…Continue Reading

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How to Make a Killer Character Sheet

How to Make a Killer Character Sheet

HOW TO MAKE A KILLER CHARACTER SHEETI’m very visually oriented, if you haven’t guessed from the graphics series that appears periodically on this blog. I brainstorm and process stories best through tactile exercises. This is one reason my character sheets are a little bit ridiculous, but also very thorough. My friend and partner in crime, Annie, is much the same way — and at any given time you should assume that these blog entries were created by our hive mind because we steal each others’ stuff constantly.

Anyway. Today I’m going to walk you through making…Continue Reading

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Story Graphics: How to Assemble Your Cast

Story Graphics: How to Assemble Your Cast

cast-graphics-2I was recently telling someone I’ve been novel-mentoring about creating graphics, and how it can be a great way to break writer’s block. She was like, “Huh?” And I was like, “Oh, I guess this isn’t the most obvious.”

So, we already talked about visualizing characters with photo collages. Today we’re going to talk about assembling our casts. This used to be something I just did for fun, but it’s become a necessary part of my drafting process. In fact, for Eleventh Trade I had to stop writing and take a day just to pull together my cast.

Making…Continue Reading

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How to Visualize Your Character (With Photoshop)

How to Visualize Your Character (With Photoshop)

Story graphics are one of my favorite parts of productive procrastinating, and one of my favorite types of story graphics is creating character concepts. I got this idea from my sister, Laura Hollingsworth, who uses it sometimes to brainstorm ideas for her webcomic, The Silver Eye.

Though I’ll be using Photoshop for this tutorial, you can really use any photo editing program that lets you adjust layers and occupancy. (GIMP is a good, free alternative to Photoshop!)

How to Make Character Concepts in Photoshop

Step 1: Find a Base Image

Find an image that basically looks like your character. This…Continue Reading

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Creative Writing: Influence Maps

I’ve just published a post over on The Great Novelling Adventure about creating influence maps for your creative writing. I thought I’d take the maps I made for myself and expound on them here, in case anyone is curious.

No story (or writer) is created in a vacuum. Everyone has threads connecting their creation to the wider world. Having other forces influence you doesn’t make you unoriginal–in fact, I think the way we interpret the things that influence us is what makes us unique.

influence map

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