Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Visual Writing

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using images and boards to visualize your story

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…


Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Many writers are ‘visual,’ which can be very handy in our business. I am not as visual as I would like to be, but I have a few tricks to help me pictorialize my stories.

1 – Character Models: I MUST have a ‘model’ in mind for my main characters,and sometimes for secondary characters. They do not have to be celebrities or someone I know, and they don’t have to look like my character, they just need to personify them in some way. I have a current WIP (Pretentious: Martini Club 4 – The 1940’s) and an upcoming WIP (Evil Eye). Here are the models for my heroine and hero in Pretentious:

Nina Taggart - Jessica De Gouw Sylvester Morello - Raul Bova

I’m not familiar with either one of these actors, but they have the look, the demeanor I’m going for, just in these images.

Evil Eye is not a romance. I mainly needed an image for my protagonist, and I chose these two: (Different people, but the image I’m going for is a combo)


A beautiful police detective woman on the job with a gun

2 – Promo Images/Covers – Even if I don’t yet have an actual cover, I try to find examples of promo images and cover images that I might want for the story. I put something together in the early stages, so I can visualize the cover and the book seems more real. Here are a few for Evil Eye:

Evil Eye MEME

Eye of terrible man

3 – Image Board: I use a board to place images and notes I need to keep in mind as I’m writing. The notes might be about character traits or habits, scenes I’ll want to add but I’m not sure where, so they aren’t necessarily in my outline, and I also post notes about secondary characters I don’t want to forget about.

Here is an image of the Evil Eye board, although it’s not complete yet. I also like to include a few images of setting, which I have not yet done. (My color printer was running out of ink, so the images aren’t great, and the notes might not make sense to you, but they do to me. :))


4 – Pinterest: Lastly, I create Pinterest boards of images, setting, etc. I’m afraid I don’t keep up with these as well as I should. I have not yet created one for Evil Eye, but I am working on becoming more active in the Pinterest arena.

Here is my Pinterest board for my latest release, Devil’s Promenade:


Here is a board created by Kathy L Wheeler for our Martini Club 4 – The 1940’s series:



Visual writing is not only fun, it really helps bring your story to life. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a shot. If you have tried it, please share some of your tips and methods in the comments.

Until next time…Happy Writing!


Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final



*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 



How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here


Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

9 responses to “Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Visual Writing

  1. Diane Burton

    Even though I’m a visual learner, I never used to use images. Since I found Pinterest, I’m more diligent. Unless I’m asked, I don’t “see” movie stars as my characters. Maybe I’ll try. Love the images on Kathy’s board. Those ’40 fashions are so beautiful. Classy.


  2. coryellsusan

    I can usually form a vivid image of my characters in my mind as I write, without an actual visual to refer to. In fact, even as a child, I avoided looking at pictures in the books I was reading as I wanted to visualize my own version of the characters. Pinterest? Not sure it would work for me but glad it does for so many others. Nice post!


  3. I love to use images. I start on Pinterest, then later end up printing the photos to put up in my office. Thanks for your tips. Always helpful!


  4. pamelasthibodeaux

    Wow…I’ve heard of this but never tried it…Might have to after reading this!
    Good luck and God’s blessings


  5. All I’ve got to say is–Stephen Amell=YUM!!!!


  6. You always have the best tips! I do much of the same as far as picture boards and using images. I don’t use sticky notes. I use bulletin boards within Scrivner…sort of. I’m still learning. Love the images you picked for you WIPs!


  7. Alicia I love the idea of creating pinterest boards for your WIPs. For one thing, it’s another creative outlet to keep your mental juices flowing. For another–and this is huge–the board gives you a place to store pics to show your cover artist to let him or her know what you are envisioning!


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