photographs

NaNoWriMo Tips: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

So the saying goes. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you have no excuses for writing those thousand words during NaNoWriMo.

Before or during NaNoWriMo, look for pictures to represent your character, places, scenes, things, or events and add them to your research collection. When you run out of steam, turn to them for inspiration.

Look for what is in the picture to inspire you, but also look outside the frame. What is the person wearing? Why? What does that outfit do for them? Is it a uniform? Does it work with their recreational activity, or possibly work for their best-dressed work uniform in a corporate office?

Where are they? Do their clothes match the environment they are in? Why are they there?

If it is a place, go inside the picture to see what it beyond the bushes or trees, through the doors, around the edges in your mind so you see the whole picture.

Visual inspiration may come from a variety of forms. A picture in a magazine might trigger memories or concepts while having nothing directly to do with them. Add those to your collection to stimulate your imagination.

Also take advantage of Image Search on Google and other search engines. Type in a word or phrase and switch to the image view and scroll to find an image that catches your imagination. View the image alone and print it to add it to your collection if necessary.

You can find more writing tips, NaNoWriMo prompts, and writing tips for NaNoWriMo on our Writers in the Grove site.

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Scrivener: The Research Binder

In this ongoing series on Scrivener, the powerful writing software tool, so far I’ve given you a basic overview introduction, including a collection of two Scrivener bootcamp videos to help you get started and see the possibilities in the writing program, and talked about the organizational benefits of Scrivener. Continuing with this Scrivener tutorial series, we are going to work on the blank Scrivener project you created in the previous tutorial, and in this tutorial, I want to share with you tips for using the Research section of the Binder and introduce you to the Inspector. In the next in this series, I’ll show you how to use your research with the Split Screen Feature of Scrivener.

As a reminder, Scrivener by Literature and Latte is available as a free trial version and is a deal at the current sale price of USD $40 for Windows and Mac. Compared to Microsoft Office, this is seriously inexpensive and a very powerful writing and editing tool.

Along the left side of Scrivener’s interface is the Binder, your index listing all of the documents, files, notes, writings, etc., within your Scrivener project. Remember, in Scrivener, don’t think of what is in it as a single document like you would with MS Word. Think of it as the binder or file cabinet for your entire writing project(s). Inside of it you will have the draft of the manuscript, your research notes, files, photographs, maps, whatever you need to help you write.

Scrivener - Draft and Research Sections of Binder - Lorelle VanFossen

In the most basic installation of Scrivener using a blank template project, you will have two key sections: Draft and Research. We’ve covered the very basics of creating folders and text files in the Draft section. Let’s explore the Research section. (more…)