Consider These Writing Opportunities by Steph Beth Nickel

Consider These Writing Opportunities

Today let’s look at five writing opportunities you may not have considered.

Picture Books

Whether or not you ever publish a children’s book, there are many skills to be learned from writing a picture book manuscript—or two or three.

Check out a stack of picture books from your local library. I would suggest at least 1-2 dozen. What do you like about them? What don’t you care for? What do you think the author and/or illustrator could have done better?

Remember picture books aren’t merely illustrated stories. The illustrations are integral to the story. The words may even be secondary.

Now, try your hand at writing a story incorporating the traits you liked about the books you read. Stay within the word count and remember to use age-appropriate vocabulary. Consider what illustrations would enhance the story and draw some concept sketches even if you’re not an artist.

Send your inner editor packing and just have fun!

Graphic Novels

Speaking of books that rely heavily on illustrations …

Have you ever checked out the graphic novel section of your local bookstore? Even smaller shops may have shelves and shelves of them.

While you may want to flip through a number of these comic book type volumes, you will want to do so with discretion. They do not all qualify as family friendly.

On the other hand, it is an interesting style to explore, with its own set of distinctive tropes.

You might be surprised at what can be communicated with such a few words.

Podcast Scripts

Have you ever considered podcasting?

According to the worldometers website, over 5 million new blog posts appear every day. Despite what some people may say, blogging is not a thing of the past. Still, you may want to stretch beyond your blog writing to podcasting.

Unlike vlogging, podcasting does not include video.

People listen to podcasts while driving to and from work, while running errands, while exercising …

Hearing someone’s voice can create a closer connection between the listener and the content … and even the presenter.

If you’re going to give podcasting a try, I would suggest 1) listening to a number of podcasts on various topics to see what appeals to you and what doesn’t and 2) writing out your script beforehand. “Winging it” is rarely the way to go, not if your “stream of consciousness” is anything like mine.

Course Material

Have you ever signed up for an online course? (We won’t talk about the countless courses I have access to that I will likely never get around to completing—or starting.)

Some of these courses are extensive—and costly. Others can be completed in an hour or two.

Online courses often include one or more of the following: written material, video teaching, printable handouts, a list of resources for further study, etc.

If you have knowledge to share and an engaging method of sharing it, you may want to create your own online course.

Bonus Material

What qualifies as bonus material is only limited by your imagination.

Here are a handful of ideas:

  • a free short story for those who sign up for your mailing list.
  • discussion questions for the end of your novel.
  • a workbook to accompany your nonfiction book.
  • fact sheets about your protagonist, antagonist, and a few key secondary characters to include on your website.
  • a series of printable bookmarks with quotes from your book.

Let your imagination out to play. Try something new. After all, that’s what creativity is about.



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