I love NaNo and Camp NaNo. I get excited each time it rolls around, tomorrow is no exception. The clock starts at midnight!
Thankfully, I’ve been able to finish every time… this will be my… fifth? Very cool. Hopefully I can keep the trend up with my next project.
Here’s a sneak peak and a draft cover I made:
There’s a diner at the intersection of two remote highways that also correspond to the crossroads of the afterlife. After having a cup of coffee, maybe flirting with Carla, Ghosts can pick a direction and start walking down the lonely roads. No one knows if one road leads to a pleasant place, or the fiery one, or something in between, or whether direction even matters because no ghost has ever come back.
Until one does.
Also deserving an honorable mention here is the cover I made for a friend who I cajoled into participating. It’s the least I could do, right? Turned out pretty sweet if you ask me.
Woohoo, Camp NaNo started! I’m on track with my word count so far, not that that’s saying much. Just like last time I’ve decided to post the story to Wattpad as I’m writing it so interested readers and writers can follow along. As an experiment it hasn’t yielded much in the way of results but it amuses me.
I put up the first couple chapters yesterday.
(Yes, I messed with the cover. Again.)
The Apocalypse Gazette
How does the world end? Plague, calamity, aliens, solar flares? Maybe a combination of all the above? One morning Wally Mason woke up to find he was the last surviving person in his small town, maybe the last man on Earth. There’s plenty of food and water, he doesn’t lack for anything except entertainment. No social media, no TV, no internet, no Twitter. After a few months with only the company of his cat Spalding, Wally might just be going crazy. But just because he can’t blog or tweet anymore doesn’t mean he can’t write. In fact, why not document his apocalypse experiences in style? Why not write the one and only Apocalypse Gazette?
This morning I asked for some feedback about a cover I’d been playing with. I had some time today so I made up a second one. I’m not sure if I like it better or not. Huh. So, I figured I’d put them up side by side and see if anyone has a preference, or different ideas I could try.
I think the reason I’m having trouble with these is that it’s like the camera is zoomed back too far, there’s too much to look at, not enough focus. They’ll be even worse when shrunk down to thumbnail size. Probably the simplest thing to do would just have the cover be the front page of the paper but that almost seems like a cop out. So, feedback or ideas would be awesome.
Something simple that sizes down well would probably be better. Something like this, that is far less interesting -or complex.
Even more choices.
Those of you that have been reading for a bit know how much fun I have coming up with covers. Yesterday, I spent about eight hours coming up with something for my next project (I’m thinking ahead to Camp NaNo in July). I had a lot of fun but I’m not satisfied with the result. I showed it to a friend and she liked it a lot but there’s something off about it. I think it might be too busy, not focused enough, but I’m not sure if that’s what’s bugging me.
A quick plot summary: A young man survives a myriad of apocalyptic situations and finds himself the sole survivor in a remote small town. He soon starts going a little crazy and decides to write an Onion-style, end of the world newspaper call The Apocalypse Gazette. It will hopefully be a funny story.
It’s a fairly simple premise that shouldn’t be too difficult to get across. My idea for the above image was a guy selling papers in an empty, post-apocalyptic town… but if you don’t already know that’s what the story’s about, I don’t think that’s obvious from the image. I like it, I wouldn’t have spent eight hours on it otherwise, but I’m not sure if it works. Maybe it doesn’t need to change, maybe it’s amusing enough to make people curious and click… or maybe I need to start over again. I’m not sure.
So, I’m putting it to all of you. What do you think? Is it good enough as is (for now anyway)? If not, should I start over or is there something that could be done to improve it? Any feedback would be appreciated.
One of the things that I like to do that probably seems strange to other writers is early on in the process of writing a story I like to make a cover.
The first reason is that I like all the arts, sketching characters or scenes from my stories is just as natural as writing about them in the first place. It’s fun, it’s creative, it keeps all the juices flowing. I’m a decent cartoonist-style artist and an amateur with graphics programs but it’s fun to see what I can come up with.
The second reason is something that other writers might consider, a cover is good motivation. It’s a symbol of the end-goal of writing. I’m not just playing around, writing something for a lark, this is going to be a book. It makes me visualize the completed project which helps keep me motivated to finish it. Out of all the stories that I’ve started or worked on over the last year, I’ve completed the first draft of 80% that I made a cover for (Sadie’s story is still in work).
Whether or not the covers actually get used for the books doesn’t matter, I’ve had fun and they’ve helped keep me going. That’s something that other writers should maybe consider doing themselves. Why leave it to the end when there are benefits to doing it in earlier? Something to think about.
Here are a couple of the ones I’ve done over the last year, newest to oldest.