Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Mixing Art and Words

As we move into the new year, I am starting out 2022 with a visit to the past as well as to the present and future. For nearly 20 years I have collaborated on various writing books with a writing teacher who has worked with me on various projects as well taught with me on occasion. Sue Viders was already well-known in the writing world when I first met her years ago. Her book on archetypes was already in my book collection so it gives me great pride to feature her latest work today.

Welcome, Sue, how did you get started?

Actually, it was quite by accident because a new book was needed. At that time there were no art marketing books. None.

Many years ago I was a national seminar leader on marketing art and I taught all across the country and internationally. I was working for a well-known printing company that specialized in printing prints for artists and they wanted me to show artists how they could make money from making prints of their paintings. You have to remember this was before we had printers that anyone could use to print an image.

The company sent me to large national art seminars where I critiqued paintings and taught art marketing to emerging artists. Teach enough seminars and one has plenty of material for a book. So I wrote my first book entitled, Producing and Marketing PRINTS. Of course, my company printed the book. First run was 5,000. I never dreamed it would sell all over the world and two more editions were printed.

Fast forward. With the success of this book, many more books, charts and art organizers were created. But by then, computers and home printers were readily available, and artists began printing their own prints and large seminars were no longer needed as now much of the information an artist could possibly need to market their work was up on the internet.

Tell us about your nonfiction work

But the writing bug would not leave me and I went on to start writing marketing books for writers as now I was trying my hand at some fiction stories. My first was the now well-known throughout the world book, The Complete Writer’s Guide to HEROES & HEROINES, Sixteen Master Archetypes. It still sells well today.

Soon I began teaching aspiring writers, both locally at various writers organizations, then on the college and adult education level followed by lecturing to various groups across the country via the internet. In my classes, the students were forever asking questions, especially about how to do this, or what should I add, etc., etc…. until I simply had to write my popular teaching book that I use in all my classes, Writing a Novel. It is a workbook and a do-it-yourself book. 

However, even with this workbook and my eye-ball to eye-ball classes, the beginning writer wanted more examples … so I created a Pick-a-Number series of nine books that cover all the elements of a story with over 500 movie examples in each book.

The last one out, Book 3, is DEVELOP A CHARACTER. The book consists of nine sections:  Characters, Name, Occupation, Appearance, Background, Positive Traits, Negative Traits, Attributes and PersonalityTypes.

In each of these nine sections, there are 16 different components or factors that make up that section, and each has four movie examples. Take the section of Name. The various components that need to be considered when deciding on what to name your characters are:  Age appropriate, Alliteration, Animal, Aptronym, County, Double name, Era, Evil sounding, Genre, Nickname, One word, Personality, Popular, Prefix, Sound, and Weird

Each one of the above has its own four movie examples:

Aptronym, for example, is a name that simply describes the occupation or personality of the person. The name “Draco” in Harry Potter is Latin for a terrifying beast.

Movies examples:

Doctor Who (the name) Doctor Who (the movie)

Time Traveler - Time Machine

Superman - Superman

The Kid - Dick Tracy

I particularly like Sound and Weird in the Name section, as Hannibal Lector sounds evil and Silas Ramsbottom is a wonderful name for that character in Despicable Me.

What are you working on now?

Just off the drawing board are more Pick-a-Number books 1 is IDEAS, 2 is PLOT and book 4 is SETTING. I have just started working on book 9, ENDING.

Also have an idea for a log book for published authors and another workbook for aspiring writers … thinking of calling it Blueprint for One Novel and the subtitle is A New Way to Write a Book, Scene by Scene. 

But as I said, I also love fiction. Becky Martinez and I have just finished our first cozy mystery, Secrets and Swindles, about two middle-aged sisters who just happen to get involved in some interesting problems.

And we are starting on Olivia’s and Josephine’s next adventure, Turns and Twists.

What to you like to write most - fiction or nonfiction?

I love non-fiction, but occasionally it’s fun to write fiction where one can lie a bit, make-up all sorts of interesting characters. In non-fiction, one has to always tell the truth.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

The same advice all authors give, in order to be an author one has to write. Because if you don’t write you have nothing to edit, nothing to show to anyone, nothing but a vague idea roaming around in your head.

Want more writing thoughts, you can always drop us a note at our website, writethatnovel.net.

Thank you Sue, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  To contact or buy her books, here are her links:



Any questions or comments for Sue?

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