A classic question authors are often asked is where do you get all your ideas?
Non-writers seem to get overwhelmed at the idea of creating plots and characters. A friend of mine suggested the same, wondering how I keep track of it all. He is a headteacher of a big inner city school. I can’t imagine what he has to keep track of in a day. Actually, as a teacher, I can imagine it, but am just grateful I was never the one doing it.
But as far as ideas go …
Once, when visiting my parents in England, I walked past a movie theater and a security van was picking up the cash.
That was all I needed.
In the space of five minutes I had plotted out a comic caper/heist story with a couple of friends and a battered Land Rover muscling in on the private cash security business.
Ideas are not the problem.
Time is the problem.
I’ll never use all the ideas I have, especially when they keep coming – just can’t turn them off.
It’s the same with creating covers.
Sometimes the story comes first, or I develop it while making a cover, as I did with Hart Attack.
Then, once the render was baked, I could start to put it all together.
I start with blocking in the text in a layer, moving it around a little, then thinking about spacing between the text.
I’m still learning, but try to follow a few rules and be inspired by other covers. I’ve got a long way to go, and am often experimenting, but when I lock in on an idea I usually stick with it.
Of course, even with Led Zeppelin banging out of the speakers while working, I’ve got the story playing in my head.
It feels like one of those pre-visualisations they talk about on Star Wars movies – short, rough-cut movies that provide visual cues for the director etc. prior to filming.
I know, kind of grandiose comparing my story thoughts with the pre-viz of mega movies like Star Wars! 🙂
Written stories work like that too, at least they do for me.
So, Led Zeppelin, render baking, blocking text, and scenes in my head. It’s lots of fun, and I’ll choose it any day over running a school, or any other business.