Girls Write Out
Tuesday, October 17, 2006


No matter how much you enjoy what you do, there are days when you muddle through your work. Writing is no different.

One of my favorite things to combat the writers' blahs is the storyboard. I got the idea from Deb Raney and this is my first storyboard--for Surrender Bay coming out in Oct. '07. It has photos of my characters, the setting (Nantucket), anything that makes me feel like I'm "there", inside the story, inside the lives of my characters. It's a little beat up--my boys shot it up with nerf darts at one point, which didn't make me too happy (my characters weren't crazy about being target practice either).

Whenever I feel stuck, I look at my storyboard. Whenever I need a good metaphor or simile, I look at my storyboard. Whenever I start craving chocolate--well, okay it has its limitations, but it's still very helpful in the inspiration department. So, writer or not, what inspires you?
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:43 AM  
  Comments (17)
Delicious Delicious
At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it rains during sunset.
Just when the sun dips below the dark clouds and is reflected in every drop if rain.

At 1:10 AM, Blogger Kara said...

I do two things. I run alog the waterfront. There is nothing that inspires me more than listening to my feet hit the pavement and just letting my mind wonder.

The second thing (only in summer) is I go and pick up a takeout and go and find a bench somewhere and just people watch for awhile.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger allen said...

painting in my studio inspires me...thunderstorms inspire me a lot too. My wife actually bought me a CD with thunderstorm sounds to inspire me (and keep me from getting down...for some odd reason, too much sunshine depresses me...if it weren't for my family all living in the area, I'd probably move to Seattle).

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

when I'm working on a new book and I'm in need of inspiration, I do some research on my setting or on my people. That helps put me in the book like I'm right there. I've been meaning to try that storyboard thing. Thanks for the tip, D!

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I'm writing, I make myself up a "soundtrack"-I mix together a CD with music that works for whatever happening in the story or reminds me of a character, or good action music, etc. Then I listen to it over and over wile I'm good when I'm re-reading it too!


At 8:44 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

I use a storyboard sometimes, but mostly I use a notebook that I can lug with me to the coffee shop. Both the storyboard and notebook are inspiring. My three-ring binder has pictures of the characters and setting as well, just placed within protector sheets.

I've used the storyboard too, but since I go to the coffee shop, the notebook seems to work better for me. I might scare the workers if I they had to open the double doors to let me in. *g*

Mostly, I am inspired by CHRISTMAS lights and music!!! (Colleen will most likely get her knife out again for that comment.)

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

I live in Istanbul (old Byzantium/ Constantinople). When I'm feeling really discouraged or "flat"--and I have the time--I get on a ferry boat so that I can see the city from the water. From the boat deck I get fresh air and the "bigger perspective." I love being able to see the old city walls, Hagia Sophia (a magnificent church from the 500's), Topkapi Palace, and the many minarets piercing the skyline. I feel inspired (and awed) to be surrounded by 1700+ years of history. One short ferry ride, but I feel like I've been on a vacation!

P.S. I like the storyboard idea. Thanks for the tip.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Oooh, good ideas everyone! Music inspires me too, but I listen to it before I write, not during. I need quiet to write.

I love thunderstorms, too!

I've been toying with the idea of setting my characters photos out in real picture frames on my desk. Then everyone will really think I'm nutty. Hey, they're real people to me.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Tina said...

I need music, but would like to try the story board too.

When Denise said thunderstorms it got me to thinking that maybe getting those mood CDs would be a good idea. hmmm.

:) Nice board Denise. Mine would be a mess. You are so neat!

At 10:05 AM, Blogger allen said...

One other thing I do is create a soundtrack of songs as if the book were a movie. At the first book signing I had when I self-oublished I burned copies of the music and sold CD's. Several people told me then that they listened to the CD while reading.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

I drink coffee. Barrels of it. I go put on flannel pj bottoms and a baggy sweatshirt. I curl up in my chair and drink to my heart's content. Then, I close my mind and put myself in the main character's shoes and live out the scene in my mind like a movie, complete with conversation. Too bad the computer can't take my thoughts and put them on paper. It'd be so much easier than having to type them.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Heather said...

First, have to totally ROFL at the boys shooting darts at it. . .such a boy thing to do.

Inspiration . . . the photo thing does it for me too. Plus a workroom full of things I love.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Living in the Bay Area because I'm around inspirational people ALL the time. Right now, in my church's coffee shop listening to stuff going on around me and editing my book. I just love the buzz of good coffee and people around me. : )

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Lots of things inspire me. I'm so eclectic. I have a matted 5 x 7 color photo of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' typewriter near me. I have two framed pictures on another shelf--one of Rhett and Scarlett in their classic kissing headshot pose and one of Milton and me IN THE SAME POSE as a bride and groom.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Inspire... rhymes with tire... ah, yes, the amazing power of sleep...

At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have only just started to take my writing seriously, and am still searching for what inspires me. I am a visual person so I think a storyboard is perfect for me. I have heard of it before, but I pictured a Sunday school fannel board or a Disney hand-drawn cartoon display covering every square inch of my walls. Thanks for showing me a far more realistic way of storyboarding! I also like the idea of keeping pictures in a binder.

Like Pam, I am also inspired by the beauty and history around me. I live in a farming village on the German-Luxemburg border, and everytime I so much as look out the window I can't help but wonder about the people who lived here over the past thousands of years. I love walking the tiny cobblestoned streets in ancient cities, seeing the old structures and traditions. I feel honored to have been able to experience all I have in the past few years.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

When I was trying to finish up my last book (set in Ireland) I played all sorts of Irish type music, burned a candle and drank tea to get me going--and it worked! In less than 2 weeks I cranked out over 44k words (and a billion and one trips to the loo). Now I'm working on a book set in the south of France--I been to Ireland but I've never been to France. I am struggling along and beating myself up about it. I think I'll try the storyboard and see if looking at my H/H's faces will help. Thanks Denise!

Abundant blessings,
Jenny Cary


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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