Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Blog and Giveaway: Storm Grant ~ Keeping your writing straight, even when it's not

Today Storm Grant is back at my Place for a little guest blogging, sharing one of her "tricks of the trade". I think that rocks. Make sure you stick around afterwards and check out this week's giveaway. It rocks too. Aaaaand now here's me stepping aside, zipping it and turning the Place over to Storm.

Welcome back Storm. :)

Storm Grant ~ Keeping your writing straight – even when it's not

I always thought it would be very difficult to work on several different writing projects simultaneously. But unless you pen a successful series right out of the gate, it’s going to happen to YOU!

As soon as your first book is finished, you begin shopping it around and start on your second. Then while your second is out at beta, you begin your third. But by now your first book need promoting, your second, edits, and your third is approaching a complete first draft. What’s a writer to do?

I sometimes find myself wondering things like: Is Dante in this book or the other one? Who’s got the magic coin? What’s Shadow thinking?

But here’s a neat (and free!) trick that works for me.

I open a Powerpoint document, but indeed, anything that allows side-by-side graphics works. Scissors and tape will do the trick.

First I go to a stock photography site. Why stock photography? Because if I use a fashion site I’ll only get models. On a stock site, you’ll get normal people with genuine expressions. I like, but any of them are fine.  The other reason to use a stock photography site is if you decide you want to purchase the pictures, you can.

I put my search criteria in the search bar and save likely candidates to my “lightbox”. I’m looking for a picture of my protagonist, the love interest, the villain, and usually the main secondary character such as the BFF or the mentor. So four in total.

I then click on the high resolution image and download it. I am not, at this point, paying anything. The image will have a copyright symbol across the chest, but for our purposes, we don’t care.

I lay them out side by side on a piece of paper, and add their names, height and eye colour, since those are the things I always forget. In FIENDS, my character has tribal scarring on her cheeks, so I drew those in with a black marker. I print it out in colour and stick it in a plastic page protector.

Then when I’m working on that book, I put the pictures of my characters where I can see them. It’s amazing how quickly I’m able to shift gears. (And also how often I forget how to spell some characters’ names!)

That’s my technique for working on multiple books. What’s yours?

Where you can find Storm online...

Author Name: Gina Grant w/a Storm Grant
Email address:

This week’s giveaway…
Storm Grant ebook - Choice of Shift Happens, Gym Dandy, or Tart & Soul.

The fine details...
  • This week’s giveaway is for an eBook copy as listed above.
  • To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me you’d like to be entered in the giveaway.
  • All commenters will also be entered in end of tour giveaway of AP 3 prize packages. Details here.
  • All comments will also be entered in the year-end Riptide grand prize giveaway of an ereader; Kindle, Nook or iPad. Each post commented on counts as an entry.
  • Please include a valid email address or we won’t know where to contact you.
  • Backlist bookgiveaways do NOT include booksreleased in the last 3 months.
  • This week's giveaway doesNOT include Riptide releases.
  • Winners will be selected at random using
  • If the chosen winners do not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
  • By entering the contest, you are confirming you are at least 18 yrs old.
  • eBook giveaways open worldwide. 
  • Swag giveaways USA only 


  1. That is a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. would like to be entered into the giveaway, please.

    This was a really interesting post. I like to read about authors' techniques; I find it quite interesting.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  4. It was interesting and original idea,


  5. Interesting to read what works for you!I can only say what I do when I read multiple books. When a book is part of a series, I always want to keep track of all the characters. So for every series I start a new piece of paper on which I write character names, with a line to the person he has a relation with, on that line I write the number of the book they were in, also lines to family members, and if I still have space something that is typical about the character :P And yes, some series I read have 15 books now or something, so those are very full papers :P

    luciatea01 (at)

  6. @Alex: *waves* Hiya :D

    @Booklover: I always do too. When they do this kind of thing... I love to get my hands on those pics and blog them too. It's kind of a "thing" with me. :D

    @Maria: G'morning, thanks for coming by today :D

    @Lucia: Interesting. Looking back on some hugeamous series I've read... I wish I'd have done that too. That would have been helpful...

    Thanks for coming by y'all. Hope you're all having a good week! :D

  7. I like learning about each author's process of writing. Everyone is so different yet so creative. Thanks for the giveaway.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  8. Huh. I posted a while back but my fascinating, brilliant post hasn't appeared. (The ones that disappear into the aether are always the best ones, eh?)

    Thanks, Amara, for the opportunity to talk about my writing process. I'm always fascinated by what works for others. The visual reminder technique described above is actually my personal take on bestselling author Jenny Crusie's collages. They're awesome. She posts pictures here:

  9. OMIGOD! Please forgive me if this sounds rude.. It is SO not meant to be but.. honestly.. I thought I was like the MOST AR person I know.. and yet.... LOL
    I mean this in the most sincere extremely admiring way.. I have filed this for future reference.. I can think of all manner of ways this can be useful..:)
    Fantastic post. I LOVED IT! :)
    Thanks for sharing a bit of your writing process..
    HI Amara! good to see ya! *waves*


  10. I can't even begin to imagine writing A book, let alone 2 or 3 at once! I even hate reading more than 1 book at a time. But I like some of these ideas for reading series, to "refresh" between books! Thanks for the great post, Storm!

    Hope you are enjoying your down-time, Amara!

    seritzko at verizon dot net

  11. Hi joder, thanks for coming by :)

    Hi Storm. Darn blogger anyway. Sorry it ate your earlier comment. It's been hinky all day today. Booooo.

    And it was totally my pleasure m'dear. I love hearing about how you guys make books, lol, it's so cool to me. Thanks for coming to share over here. I hope you'll come back and do it again. :)

    Hi CAS! Good to see you darlin'! :D

    Hiya SusieQ. Lol you sound just like me. I may have to give this a try for the same reason. It'd be a great refresher!

    and thanks darlin', I'm having a great time. Down-time was just what I needed. :D

    Thanks for coming by everyone. Hope you are all having a great week!

    ps: Hey Storm... you wouldn't happen to have any pics laying around of Cary and Pierce by chance would you? lol I'm kinda into that how the author sees their characters thing... :D :D

  12. I keep all my characters, all my scenes and all the plot thread lines in order because I dream about them *grin* The more powerful the dream, the clearer the characters, the better I know the story will be :) If really inspired, I can write a story in a few days...Of course, then the editing process begins. I don't dream about that...I have nightmares!



  13. Wow!... That is an absolutely great Idea! Thanks so much for sharing it! :D

    arella3173_loveless @

  14. Hi Mark, thanks so much for dropping by. :) Wow, a story in a couple of days? That must be just burning up the keyboard! Awesome.

    Hiya Judi :)) Thanks so much for coming by!

  15. Very cool! I'm not a writer but that seems like a great way to keep track of your characters :-)

    smaccall AT

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing! =)

    adara adaraohare com

  18. I'm a day late, but your wish is my (late) command. ;-D

    You asked for pictures of Cary and Pierce. Here they are:


    Thank you, everyone, for posting such kind and supportive things about my story.

  19. LOL I am just grinning like a loon over here.

    You're vamp is hot!

    Thanks for sharin' darlin'. That's full of awesome. :D

  20. Enjoyed the picture of Cary and Pierce. =)



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