Camp NaNo Update Day #28

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Just as writers have their own style and/or voice, while writing there is generally a routine that falls into play.

Struggling with the opening line and first page. This is pretty much standard. It’s not uncommon for the first page/chapter to go through the greatest number of rewrites.

Building the connection—or lack of—between the protagonist/antagonist or Hero/heroine. It may not be at the very beginning, but still a must.

Introducing supporting characters. This is where it gets dicey for me. I have family members and friends, coworkers and pass-through characters, each serving a purpose in a scene or chapter.

But characters I do not know begin to appear. I’ve gotten used to it. I used to wonder how I could do so much planning and layout scenes and not know this person.

Now I just go with it. They get to stay at least until the first draft is done, then we’ll see.

I validated my project on July 20th and completed the story a week later. However, I’m still writing, making tweaks here and there, altering dialogue and sequence, and making notes for the first rewrite… sometime in the future.

So imagine my surprise when TWO senior citizens show up adding to the story, and the woman is downright rude and obnoxious.

Back it up, grandma! I’ve fallen and can’t get up is a real thing.

But, even though she’s annoying, and I wanted to send her to a home for mean, old biddies, grandma threw a plot twist spanning sixty years on the table and I couldn’t breathe.

Simply brilliant!

So, now I have to go back and do a bit of foreshadowing… and let grandma stay.

Gramps? I have no clue. He’s just sitting over on the sidelines, nodding and smiling.

Not sure I even want to hear what he has to say.


Day 28 word count – 48, 710


©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Camp NaNo Update Day #27

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Though still weeks away from even beginning the first draft, book promotion has begun.

Crazy, huh?

I agree, but it can take just as much time deciding on book covers, images, and graphics as it does to write the book.

However, by getting a head start, I could be setting myself up for an epic fail… if my finished manuscript is not relative to the cover and graphics I’ve chosen. I would have to go through the entire process again, thus delaying the book’s publication.

Trust me, I don’t need any help delaying publication.

So I’ve chosen several cover ‘concepts,” four to be exact.

I prefer one over the other three but am not sure it conveys the tone of the book. After a recent critique of one of my Amazon sales pages, I’m giving the tone of the cover and more attention. Not if it’s just aesthetically pleasing or eye-catching. Not if the colors pop or if the overall package will entice a potential reader to take a closer look.

But, if they take that closer look, does the cover convey the overall tone of the story inside?

Time for an experiment!

I took out the last twenty-five books I’ve read and rated them on the relationship between cover and content.

Incredibly, I only found nine to truly convey the tone of the story I’d read.

Four I considered generic genre covers and another four could have been on any book, without regard to genre.

The eight remaining books? I had issues with them long before I thought about writing this post.

  1. Cover models bared no resemblance to key characters… none.
  2. The cover depicted a scene which either didn’t appear in the story or wasn’t adequately described.
  3. Stock cover photo used without enhancements which has appeared on dozens of other books… without enhancements. I took it a step further and found one of the covers on five other books on my Kindle. I don’t even want to think about how many other covers it graces in my cloud reader.
  4. The tone of the cover and content were not in sync.

I’m not knocking stock covers. Book covers can be pricey and combined with editing, the costs can easily approach the two-thousand-dollar range.

While this completely unscientific, wholly biased experiment is relative to me and what I like or look for in a cover, it does make me wonder what other authors consider when choosing covers and what exactly readers [as a whole] are looking for or expecting.

To some, the cover is simply the attraction—I’ve got your attention now check out my amazing new book—I get that. But when the cover and content are in sync the reader gets a memorable experience which could lead them to recommend your books to others.

For me, a good example is J.F. Kirwan’s Nadia Laksheva Spy Thriller Series. It has spies,  international intrigue, espionage, counter-espionage, suspense, locations all over the world, conspiracies, life and death situations… just an all-around fantastic five-star series.

The cover artist (whom I do not know) captured story tone, story locations and even scenes in each of the covers. When I look at the covers, the story… and all the danger and suspense come back clear as a bell.  To me, covers like this make a story shine.

I have no clue where my story will take me after the first draft but if I can match the finished manuscript with a cover as awesome as these, I’ll be a happy camper.


Day 27 word count – 47,140


©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved