This is topic Visual inspiration in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by TaoArtGuy (Member # 8857) on :
Hi folks, I was reading an article on how to keep yourself fired up for a project. It mentioned the importance of visual cues. Having something that your eyes can key on to help keep a goal uppermost in your mind.

So I designed a book cover for the novel that I'm working on. I set it as my computer wallpaper. Now every time I sit down I get a nice boost as I see what I am striving towards. Plus, a reminder not to do all the other time wasting things I can do on the computer.

I think an extension of this would be designing your own book jacket that you could slide over an existing book. Then you get something you can see, hold and smell.

You can see what I did here.

Posted by NoTimeToThink (Member # 5174) on :
Clever idea! I'd do it myself, but I'd probably spend an inordinate amount of time creating the book cover. Hope it works for you!
Posted by Crank (Member # 7354) on :

Nice job...and, although I agree with NoTime in theory, I'd want to consider the benefits before I concern myself with the time spent on creating it. Some of us spend insane amounts of time with character creation or world building (guilty!), yet we all defend these expenditures because they are valuable and worthy investments towards the story we wish to tell. With the way I practice the craft of writing, I've often turned to a specific character sketch or some aspect of the race that's involved in the story to get an additional jolt of enthusiasm, especially when I think of all the cool things I have planned for that character or that species. So, if turning to a self-created book cover yields the same exact benefits, then it's well worth the investment of time spent in creating it.



Posted by geronl (Member # 9156) on :
Interesting idea. Unfortunately I am not, um, "gifted" in that direction. It would definitely be a cool idea though.
Posted by chalkdustfairy (Member # 9175) on :
That cover is VERY cool! I wish I had that talent. I agree with you about the value of the visual reminder- there's a gigantic bulletin board next to my desk that's filled with anything that reminds me of my story. I go to it when I'm in a writing slump and need some inspiration. What I like about your book cover is that it makes you focus on achieving THAT result. It's a great idea. Also makes me want to read your book!
Posted by geronl (Member # 9156) on :
That is a very good book cover.
Posted by TrishaH24 (Member # 8673) on :
I've had photoshop for years. My husband uses it for all sorts of things. I was struggling with what I wanted out of a story and needed a break, but I wasn't ready to put it aside altogether. So I fiddled around with google image search and photoshop and learned the value of the visual cue you get from creating a cover like that. Now when I get stuck somewhere, I make a cover to give myself some thinking space (the subconscious can do amazing things when you let it) and in the process create something that is a fun reminder of what I'm working on.

Just curious. How did you get it to look like a BOOK? Mine are only cover pictures.

Posted by TaoArtGuy (Member # 8857) on :
Hey all,
This was kind of easy for me because I've been a graphic designer for over 20 years. I even worked for a book publisher, but they did mostly textbooks and all I did was direct mail pieces for them.

I made it look like a book by finding an actual book and then using Photoshop's distort tool to warp my design to fit the angled perspective of the book. (BTW, the girl on the cover is a blowup of a gaming miniature from Reaper minis.)

Since this is only for my own personal use I used Google image search to find a cool parts which I then assembled in Photoshop. There are some online image editing tools like that you can use to make your own covers if you are so inclined. I'd be happy to help any one who is trying to do that if you get stuck - just email me.


Posted by Pyre Dynasty (Member # 1947) on :
Nice, I've done this once so I could hide my book in a movie shot. I glued my cover to a dictionary.

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