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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    New Story Concepts

    I realized a while back that, while I do enjoy writing fiction stories, I actually enjoy coming up with ideas for fiction stories more. I have more concepts floating around in my brain than I have time left on this mortal Earth to actually write them.

    I find myself in the habit of pondering, while I'm reading someone else's tale, "I could write something like this, but I'd do it this way." I'll scribble a few notes down, set them aside, and keep on going. Every now and then, I'll actually pick one of them and start writing. Three down, roughly fifty-seven more to go....

    In order to keep costs down to basically zero, I've self-published my novels with covers I've designed myself. I'm not a graphic artist (as others here will agree, I'm sure ;-), but I enjoy experimenting with text and images to find something that captures the mental picture I have in mind for the story.

    Here's the latest two that I've come up with. Ignore the Shutterstock watermarks; I'm just using low-res versions of the images for the drafts.



    The first one is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek take on the Cinderella story, in the style of a hard-boiled detective story. I've actually started writing this one, although we'll have to see if this holds my interest to see it through to the end.

    The second one is a modern-day thriller, based on the exciting world of encryption and electronic privacy. This one interests me, since it relates peripherally to the work I do in real life, although I haven't tackled this particular genre before.

    I still owe my other daughter her steampunk horror story ("The Clockwork Horror"), but that one's not coming together cohesively in my head just yet. I'll have to let that percolate a bit more before it sees the light of day.

    Truth be told, I'm just procrastinating at the moment, but I'll get back to work shortly, I promise...
    Last edited by Gilfindel; 02-09-2014 at 03:32 PM.



  2. #2
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    I actually find myself doing that sometimes with concepts and ideas. Frankly, I think more than half the time I could do a better job with story flow than what you see in books and movies. Definitely don't have the time to write them all out though. Haha.

    I'm impressed that you have the patience and skill to do even the simplest of covers. I hate graphics designing, and it hates me. I'm not as crazy about the second cover though. If my title is "Codebreaker", I'm doing something way more mysterious than a guy in the background. Something that by itself doesn't make any sense at all, other than to make the person looking at the cover wonder what it could possibly be about.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    I experimented with a few abstract designs for Codebreaker, but they gave more of a "sci fi" vibe instead of a "thriller" one. Thrillers revolve around the complex interactions of the cast more than the (often far-fetched) details of the plot, so I decided to focus more on the MC (a graduate student who naively develops a means to bypass NSA surveillance protocols, thereby leading to a plethora of interest groups trying to steal his algorithms) than on the science. The illustration is intended to capture both the complex math-y stuff, and convey the sense of him as the target.

  4. #4
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Ah, well with that intent then I think you nailed it. Good work. The cover for your most recent book (can't remember at the moment what the title was), was really great. Loved the design of the woman's outfit.

  5. #5
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    Once Upon a Crime sounds as appealing as its cover looks. I like the way the knight's head is tilted since you are going for the tongue-in-cheek story line. Now that I have a better idea of what Codebreaker is about, it sounds interesting as well. Good Luck with both.

    BTW, I just finished SA and I wasn't disappointed. Naturally my favorite part was Elise charging in to rescue Jen. Given her personality, it seemed logical. LOL.

    I do feel you missed an opportunity to introduce us to Jen's real life sister. Given the circumstances I would think she deserved more than a brief mention even thou I realize the character isn't essential to the plot.

    Regardless, looking forward to SC in the hopes that with all those ideas in your noggin it won't be the last adventure of the dynamic duo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Don't like the knight off-center, he should move left - whole lot of nothing on the left of that cover. I think the title should be just plain black, like ink on the parchment. The parchment should move down a little from the top. You should cut off a little more from the bottom of the knight and move your name up away from the bottom a little more.

    Codebreaker needs to get away from the sides of the cover - condense it. Make your name quite a bit smaller and a different, lighter font and color - it's fighting with the title - and move it up a bit. Don't like the typewriter font for "A Technological Thriller" - it clashes. I think I'd make that code/target thingie even bigger and center it on his eye.

    That's my two cents.

  7. #7
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    Don't like the knight off-center, he should move left - whole lot of nothing on the left of that cover. I think the title should be just plain black, like ink on the parchment. The parchment should move down a little from the top. You should cut off a little more from the bottom of the knight and move your name up away from the bottom a little more.
    Eh, I don't personally think so. The knight would not look as good centered, especially with the head cocked sideways. The background isn't nothing, it's fog and trees. It's an example that sometimes simple is better.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    @Mutt: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Laini (Jen's sister) will figure prominently in SC, so you'll get to meet her finally. I felt including her in SA (other than the passing reference) would bog down the story, since I'd have to explain too much and deal with the baggage between them. I have the general flow of SC in mind, but I still need to sort out where I want to go with Jen and Elise afterwards. I also need a new felony for the fourth book. "Simulated Grand Theft Auto" doesn't really resonate with me, but "Simulated Treason" (if I keep them on Earth) might work, or maybe "Simulated Mutiny" if I can think of an excuse to get them off-planet.

    @John: There's not much I can do with the knight, since he's cut off right there in the original image. Since his head leans in to the center, I was OK with the asymmetry. The background fog/smoke effect is actually a quick scribbled blend to merge the picture with the larger gray background, since the knight was too large to give me any room for the title. I originally had the title in black, but it was too flat and uninteresting, so I added the metallic effect for some pop. I know the words are too close to the edges (I recall your advice along those lines for my Simulated covers), but I got lazy. Since it'll be a few months before either of these see the light of day, I have plenty of time to go back and clean everything up before I design the final covers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Maybe you should make it more generic, like maybe Simulated Betrayal, so you can drop just about anything you like in the story. Whole lotta ways to betray, but treason or mutiny paints a pretty confined picture.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Betrayal isn't a crime, so it doesn't quite fit in with the "simulated crimes" theme. Treason and mutiny are pretty specific, though. Perhaps I should try my hand at fraud or robbery...

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