Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Having a good core

Tip of the Day: if you are thinking about getting a dog, get prepared. It's much harder to get everything situated after you have the dog.

Being the type of kid who generally got in trouble for doodling in my text books without realizing it or in my notebooks while I should be paying attention in class, it's no wonder I've grown up to be a very visual adult. As such I love to involve pictures in many stages of my book writing process. From making a collage of images representing the book, to finding pictures that represent characters, and more.

But lately, I've taken it a bit further and started making book covers for my books. Before they are even written. Or to inspire ideas.

Not only is it fun, but it helps give me an idea of how it might be pitched and helps me focus the story around an image or a concept.

The cover can change (obviously, since you usually don't get control over the book cover), but it's still a nice exercise in focusing your novel to it's very core and the tone you want it to set. Because having to use one image to sum up an entire story makes you focus your thoughts and have a strong foundation.

And once you have your core, it's much easier to build on. Probably exactly like my husband keeps telling me that if your core muscles are stronger than it's much easier to do any exercise you want and helps everything in your body run smoother (you'd think that would help with wanting to strengthen the core, but alas, it hasn't).

Even making book covers for non-existent books helps generate ideas. Pictures are a huge inspiration to me. I could spend hours at istockphoto.com just searching for random images to spark a book idea.

If I like one, I might put a title on it in Photoshop (though Word would work just as fine) just to see if it fits as a book and as a novel I might want to write. Or if it helps focus an idea I'm working on. And then if I really like it, I might buy the photo to print so I can look at it often.

Just look at some of these images and feel all the ideas that could be sparked. And the fun book covers that could be created.

All images can be purchased on istockphoto.com for relatively cheap if you want to actually do anything with them, besides look at them on your computer.

Anyone like to make book covers for your books?



Kristina Springer said...

Oh cool! Great post. Will you help me find one for Boy Swap? :-)

C. K. Kelly Martin said...

So much fun and, like you pointed out, it can really help you get a grip on how to focus your pitch. I used to make covers for my books all the time and have some of my efforts in the extras section of my website! Recently I had the chance to put some cover images together for my fifth book (to send to my editor and the designer) and could hardly tear myself away to get back to editing! It's addictive.