This week’s Artist Hobo’s Tool delivers five different tools and exercises to help find your brand messaging and determine a voice.
Tool One: In creating your Brand Story, it’s always great to see what’s been done, that way you can see good examples. This will allow you to see what has worked, as well as what you can do differently that will separate you in your approach. So what’s better than 20+ brand stories as well as entire website devoted to the very subject. Check out the Brand Stories website here.
Tool Two: We’re going to dive in to Target Markets in depth before you can say “Early Adopters” or “D.I.N.C.” If those terms sounded really vague, then you can check out some very specific demographics and ages of who’s visiting certain sites. Here’s the Data for the Science-Fiction/Fantasy giant, Tor.com on the Quantcast website. Quancast is a service that analyzes target demographics at capacities most people wouldn’t even dare to contemplate, let alone find the means for execution. They give a remarkable amount of data out for free, and offer additional data, if you feel so inclined, at an additional cost. It wouldn’t be the worst idea to choose your favorite websites, agent pages, publishers, etc. and see who’s visiting. Find out if you’re writing to the people visiting the sites that would represent your writing.
Tool Three: Author Voice is a hard thing to determine; as a result the definition of such can be a bit dodgy. So what could be better than looking at different people chiming in on their definition? If you collect all of these answers together, you seem to be able to construct a whole. Read about it on DearAuthor.com here.
Tool Four: In the installment looking at author voice, there was a brief chunk discussing what happens when you step outside of the author voice. It’s the moment when the narrative just takes a swerve that feels unjustified. So here’s a clip from the excellent film, “Silver Linings Playbook,” that was based on a book by author Matthew Quick. Here, Bradley Cooper shows off why he earned his Academy Award Nomination.
Tool Five: A little peace and tranquility. Sometimes you need an atmosphere that directly reflects your author voice. As my first book takes place deep below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, the Monterey Bay Aquarium cameras are absolutely fantastic. This was mainly because going to the actual depth where the story takes place would simple result in watching a pitch-black screen. However, their Open Sea Web Cam was marvelous to see just how easily the fish disappear into shadow. Have a look; surely one of their webcams will deliver the emotion needed as you explore your author voice.
As always, the conversation continues on Twitter @thomasafowler with the hashtag #WritersConquest. You can find the latest and greatest at http://www.ThomasAFowler.com, and please feel free to chime in the comment section below, too. Thanks everyone.