When facing the blank page, many authors resort to prompts to get both the creativity and words to flow. There are dozens of prompt books available such as Fred White’s The Daily Writer and Sexton Burke’s The Writer’s Lab: A place to experiment with fiction. But nothing helps a writer incarnate better than to experience a visual or auditory prompt.
If you have a favorite artist, do a Google image search and scan what comes up. What draws your eye? What story or character does the painting or pot or sculpture bring to mind? When inspired, free write. The point is not to write the next blockbuster, but rather to make writing fun again, to nurture the inner creative.
Continue reading “Visual and Auditory Prompts: Extraordinary Inspiration”
Original by Betsy James with permission.
“Top-heavy, too earnest, too detailed” describes most early drafts, certainly my own. That’s how it should be. In the beginning you have to let ‘er rip, pile it on, explore, make a mess. If you don’t you’ll get self-conscious and inhibit yourself.
Then you cut.
Continue reading “On Cutting for the SF Artist”
At one point I was trying, with difficulty, to understand a group of five characters. Couldn’t get the dynamics right, even after writing too much backstory and doing stuff like assigning each of them a symbol—circle, square, squiggle and so on.
I remembered (finally) what I tell students: “In imagination, incarnate as your characters. Be them in their bodies. It’s how we are in our bodies that makes us who we are.”
So, being in the body of each, pen in hand, I asked, “Okay—how would I draw a cat?”
Continue reading “Writing and Drawing Snacks: Betsy James on Incarnation”
Susan Nicolai: Art for James Gunn’s Ad Astra with permission
Girl Cooties contributor Kathy Kitts interviews Susan Nicolai a digital story artist who explores the transformative power of multi-media storytelling. Susan’s work is a fusion of texture, color, photography, and words.
Continue reading “Inspiration, Creativity and Digital Art with Susan Nicolai”
Artistic Voice: A Conversation with Betsy James
Betsy James is an award-winning author and illustrator of books for adults, YA, and children. Today Girl Cooties asked her about voice and what that means from the prospective of both an illustrator and an author. Continue reading “On Voice with Betsy James”