Guest & Contest: Sofie Couch

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
by Sofie Couch © 2012

I love story telling. I love hearing stories and telling stories, but stories don’t always get delivered through words, especially in this day and age. Words can paint a picture, literally. Yes, I said “literally” and I meant it, in the literal sense. If you watch the book trailer, associated with ANGELS UNAWARES, the first book in my Angels Series, and if you look really closely, you might notice that all of the pictures are made up. . . of words. It began as just a fun drawing exercise, but it has morphed into a book trailer, a plotting device, and a way to step away from the story and see it from different perspectives. It helped me to identify theme and motif. Yes, a picture paints a thousand words, but sometimes, a picture is painted USING a thousand words. And here’s how you can too.

1) Take an image.
2) Divide the image into a grid. (meticulous measurement is really important here.)
3) Divide your drawing paper into a grid of equal proportions, (but larger than the original is really fun.)
4) Transfer a pencil sketch of the image onto the paper.
5) Lightly pencil in the areas of tone. (For example, I use a code, blank – for white, 1 – for very light gray, 2 – for a medium gray, 3 – for dark gray, 4 – for black, like a children’s paint-by-numbers.)
6) Then have fun penning in your words, one layer of words for light gray areas, two overlapping layers of words for the medium gray, etc., etc.

At first, it’s a little tedious, but once you get into it, it’s positively zen. AND it qualifies as brainstorming. As I’m writing the words to re-create the images, I’m writing what’s going through my head, so if you look close – VERY close – you may see book spoilers, my rant of the moment, my thoughts on light and shadow as they mirror the characters, and quite possibly the recipe for what was being prepared for supper that night.
It’s not as important, HOW the story is told. What’s important is that your story is told. Share your story!

And while you enjoy this little exercise, the photos here are some close-ups of the images in the trailer. As well, watch for the release of my next book trailer for, book 2 in the Angel Series, MOONSHINE. (Book 2 is already out. It’s the trailers that take on a life and story of their own.)

* * * * *

Sofie Couch is “raising a para normal young adults… and writing in the same genre.” The writing cave in Central Virginia, U.S.A. is where she is most often found, but she can always be coaxed out of the hidey-hole with the lure of coffee or the promise of brilliant conversation. Her favorite subjects include:

Chicken Wrangling
Writing and Other Storytelling Formats
Right-Brain Thinking/Processing

A graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in rhetoric, (her B.A. in b.s.,) Sofie considers herself a child of the mountains as well as the swamps of Virginia. Although she grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, her family spent most of their weekends in beautiful Gloucester, Virginia on a tidal river, the setting of her three book series: Angels Unawares, Moonshine, and Star Crossed.

So you want to become a writer and no one is able to talk you out of it? Okay, here is Sofie’s straightforward “how-to be a writer” tutorial:
1) Get the heck out of school and go directly to bodyguard training school, (all the while, reading whatever you can lay your hands on.)
2) Go to Scotland and work in a grocery store for a year, but write at night,
3) Come back to the states and find the most repulsive string of jobs you can,
4) Find a better job, but with crappy pay,
5) Go to college,
6) Get the heck out of college and pick-up writing where you left off in Scotland,
7) Write, write, write, (still reading whatever you can lay your hands on.)
(Disclaimer: you may just want to skip steps 2-6, but definitely go to bodyguard training school so you have something to tell your grandkids.)

For more expert writing advice like the strategic plan mentioned above, you can visit Sofie at or contact her at for more insightful writerly advice.

Contest details:

  • We have a copy of Moonshine and Angels Unaware to give away.  We’ll have two winners (one for each book) and the winner can choose their choice of format — print or ebook.
  • The contest is open to everyone over the age of 13.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Friday, April 20.