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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
Overused
33%
 33% [ 1 ]
Underused
67%
 67% [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 3
Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Book Covers

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What do you like to see on a cover?
images depicting the book's characters
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
images depicting the book's setting
33%
 33% [ 1 ]
understated images that set a mood or tone
33%
 33% [ 1 ]
doesn't matter at all
33%
 33% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 3
 

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HYdraMStar


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PostSubject: Book Covers   April 5th 2009, 5:51 pm

I just finished up reading "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire and liked it well enough to purchase the second book in the series, "Son of a Witch". His books all have cover art that depict the main and other characters. Now here is the problem with "Son of a Witch". The main character Liir, who appears in "Wicked" is described from childhood to near adulthood as being fat but on the cover of "Son of a Witch" the image of him is of a very trim young man. This wasn't a big enough turn off for me not to purchase, but it got me to thinking about all the other books I've read that had pictures of the characters on the cover which didn't line up with the way the writer described them and how counterproductive it can be.

One of the jobs of the writer is to, with words, pain the imagery of the story so well that the reading can see the world and the people in their mind's eye. So, isn't a book cover with a painting/photo depicting the main character(s) at best cheating? And if said image doesn't depict them accurately where does that leave things?

And naturally this applies as well to covers that depict the book's setting.

So, what's best? What do you look for in a cover? What makes a good cover? Does it matter?
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PostSubject: Re: Book Covers   April 7th 2009, 2:07 pm

A book cover isn't THAT important for me as it might be for others, but if there is something shown on it, it has to be the same in the story. It can't be that there's a big person on the cover, but gets described as a thin one in the book. That would totally ruin the picture of the whole story.

Although, if a book has a cover with mysterious things on it, or maybe just a weapon used by the killer in the book, that sure helps me purchasing the book.

So it does not really matter for me how the cover looks like, but it has to fit with the story written!

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PostSubject: Re: Book Covers   April 7th 2009, 7:48 pm

I suppose I equate a book cover to a pretty smile, it needs to catch my attention and hold it long enough for me to care what it is linked to.
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PostSubject: Reply   April 7th 2009, 10:48 pm

Book covers are nice, but experience has shown them to have little effectiveness in selling books. Of course, Boris made his reputation when he painted the covers to the "John Carter of Mars" series of Burroughs. Those books usually sell pretty well, but suddenly the books came off the shelves when Boris did the covers. Now, if you READ the books, you find that John Carter looks NOTHING like the way Boris painted him, but gee those pictures sold books.

There is also the picture on one of Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books where a character that does not use a weapon is shown with a weapon. No one cared. Those of us that discussed it were considered nerds.

I consider the cover of my second book, "Loss of a Name," to be a lovely cover. That stupid blue cover on my first book, "Heroes of Watussin," actually sells better. While the cover on my third book, "Gaining of Larruth," is MY artwork (professional artist I am not), I find that it gets the better reviews.

In the end, covers are simply there to hold the pages together and protect them. Most covers are lost. With hard backs the covers are paper wraps that get misplaced or ruined. With soft backs, they get worn, torn, and rubbed away. Covers can help make a sell, but the text determines the quality of a book.

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