Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cartooning the Journey of Writing with Bitstrips

One of my favorite apps in Facebook has also become one in which I get to poke fun at some of the angst involved in the writing journey: Bitstrips. For those not on Facebook, Bitstrips also has a Website.

Bitstrips allows you to create an avatar of yourself and then place that avatar in comic strips, either alone or with friends. You can decide on the look of your avatar, from hair and smile to clothes and shoes, and you can select from a variety of situations to place your avatar.

Here I am as an avatar.


Initially, most of my strips were about life experiences and events, but then I began to poke fun at my journey as a writer, bringing along my friend and fellow writer, Makasha Dorsey. Most of the strips now focus on "accountability": Makasha checking on me and my writing (or lack thereof) and vice versa.

The strips are meant for fun, and they often receive great comments and notice from fellow writers. For me, the strips keep me writing (in some form), allow me to poke fun at the sometimes not so fun parts of the writing journey, and keep writing in the forefront of my mind.

Check out a few that I've created through the Facebook app; the lovely Makasha joins me in most of the ones below.

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Shonell just found the greatest app ever: Whack-A-Writer.


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Time for Makasha and Shonell to cook.


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Shonell conducts a thorough Web search on the elusive writing mojo.


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Shon Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, and educator. She has published both academically and creatively while also interviewing women writers on her popular blog, ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. She's the author of mysteries, Death at the Double Inkwell and its sequel, Into the Web, the short story "I Wanna Get Off Here" (in the short story collection, The Corner Cafe), and the romantic dramedy novella, Saying No to the Big O. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her Website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment. Currently, Shon is busy pursuing her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University ... and trying to find the time to WRITE.

29 comments :

  1. Cartooning is another way to reach potential readers. As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks.

    The many faces of self-promotion/book promotion never fail to amaze me. I would never have considered it, but after seeing these cartoons, I envision a new tool for my marketing toolbox.

    Great post, Shon. :-)

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  2. These are brilliant, Shon. What a great idea :-)

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  3. This looks like a fun distraction. Now I know how all those cool cartoons are generated!

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  4. You hooked me. I created an Avatar, but now I'm not sure what to do with it. Facebook makes up cartoons for me, but I don't know where they go (nowhere, I hope, because I didn't have anything to do with them.) I like that it's not an 'in your face, buy my book' kind of marketing.

    Terry
    Terry's Place

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  5. Thanks, everyone. :-)

    I've enjoyed playing with these. Always try to do one a day, at least. The fun part for me is looking at all the situations Bitstrips has and then trying to figure out how to make it about writing... because most of them have nothing to do with writing. LOL

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  6. You're right, Linda, it is another way to reach potential readers. It seems like every day, a whole new slew of avenues to pursue are created, and our goal isn't to do them all, but to pick the ones that work well for us and do them well.

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  7. Thanks, Elle and Sara, :-)

    Diana, it is a distraction. I have to laugh because I recently asked writer friends what are some of the things that they do keep from writing, and I chuckled and thought, "Are these Bitstrips one of the things I do?" LOL

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  8. Terry, if you're doing Bitstrips via Facebook, once you go to the Bitstrips app, you'll see tabs like Make a Status Comic, Make a Friend Comic, and Make a Greeting Card. You can click on a tab and scroll through the different strips and click the one you want to use. Then you can customize it: changing the strip's "headline," adding thoughts or dialogue bubbles to the strips, and changing your avatar's expression.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Now, if I only knew how to get it onto my Author Page, because I don't use my profile anymore.

      Terry
      Terry's Place

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    2. Terry, once you create one, you should be able to click it and then there are OPTION, where you can find "download."

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    3. Thanks. I'll try that. I went a very roundabout route, uploading to Twitter instead of Facebook, then downloading the picture and posting to to my author page. Why FB insists on isolating author pages from some of the 'easy-to-do' stuff is beyond me.

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    4. Nope -- the only option once I finish a status comic is "share" and it will only go to my profile on FB, or I can tweet it, but there's no way to save or download the image from bitstrips. Too bad; it was fun.

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  9. These are so much fun! For me, it helps me to be a bit more creative and funny since I'm not a funny person.

    It also reminds me to write something, even if it is just a jab at Shonell.

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    Replies
    1. A jab is write, er right... *winces* LOL

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    2. You sent her into the spider web? You wicked woman! Hahahaha.

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    3. It's what she does. I still love her though. LOL

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  10. Well, Shon, on the surface this looks like my kind of thing ... but, Terry's comment gave me pause ... I can never figure out what the heck is going on in Fazebook under the best of circumstances ... add another layer and I'd be lost.

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    1. C'mon Chris. If I can play with it, you can too.

      Terry
      Terry's Place

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    2. I can definitely understand that, Chris, considering that Facebook is constantly doing SOMETHING and adding more things, but it's not too difficult. :-)

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  11. Hahaha - I'm so glad you posted this, Shon. I love them! I'd also love to find a way to have a weekly cartoon here - have even tried to find a caricaturist to join the team. If anyone knows of such a person, they're on!

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    1. I wish I did. Since I've started playing with these, I've been wanting to do more without the constraints of Bitstrips.

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  12. You crack me up!

    Firstly, I love those heart shaped glasses. Secondly, I too have never found my writing mojo in a spider web. And thirdly, facebook counts if your posts are "oh-so-clever."

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    1. hahahaha... The heart-shaped glasses "make" me. Ha! With the Web, yeah, I went a bit to analytical with that! I TOLD Makasha Facebook counted; she told me it didn't. LOL

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  13. I've been enjoying these posts from you on Facebook, Shon, and was wondering how the heck you were doing it! Thanks for sharing the man behind the curtain, as it were. I don't see how it would help my author brand, necessarily, and I'd fear the time suck, but it's very enjoyable to watch you play with it!!

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn. :-) It's definitely something I do more just for entertainment value for SELF than for author branding.

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  14. Oh, gee, thanks... I think. Now I've cartoonized myself on Bitstrips, too, and it's all YOUR fault! ;)

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    Replies
    1. muhahahaha. Then my work here is done, Holly! LOL

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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