Sunday, February 26, 2012

Exploring Things Firsthand For Ideas

I know, I have been inactive lately on my blog, but taking a vacation from "work" can be beneficial. I have been able to edit The Impenetrable Spy: Future Dreamer (part of it), work on a short story, experience a car convention for some ideas, and write a little bit of Agent J. This is the focus of my post: experiencing things firsthand for ideas--and I already have a post similar to this one.

Today I went to a car show and experienced a few hundred new models from the generic brands like Ford and Chevy, and some from Audi and Porsche. I am still coming up with ideas, and figuring out where my story, Agent J will lead me. In The Impenetrable Spy 1, Zack receives a Shelby Gt500 that has been tricked out and outfitted for missiles, autopilot driving, Gatling Guns, etc. While a Gt500 is no Porsche, or Audi for that matter, it has a cool design, but a little conspicuous. I plan for him to keep his car for the entirety of the series, because a lot of work went into designing it, and coming up with all of the gadgets and concepts, including a remote that allowed Zack to control the car's weapons while laying flat in his seat (it reclines all the way down). Agent J starts off with a Lincoln Town Car, but I have been trying to find a car that would suit him once he joins the CIA. I found a few cars today, including a few BMW and Subaru models. I know, enough with the cars, get to the post!

Experiencing conventions, museums, or any place that has objects/material for your books will be beneficial coming up with ideas, but understanding how something actually looks, and not just an image from Google. I was able to sit firsthand in some car models that I noted that "Agent J" might possibly drive. But, they would definitely be tricked out, like Zack's car. People get ideas from the internet, TV, and the radio all the time. The best ideas (in my opinion) come when you actually are able to experience something. This is what I'm trying to get at: if you see something, a convention, a museum, or a festival that would benefit your book, movie, band, or anything you're doing, take the chance and experience it firsthand!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Communication

You can communicate your ideas through websites or blogs, guest speaking, podcasts, video blogging, etc. You have to pick the one that works for you. I have tried video blogging, but a low resolution camera and not enough editing time resulted in a bad video that I would never send out to the web. I have participated in a podcast, but I felt as if I were rushing, and quite honestly, a bit nervous. Podcasts aren't my thing. I have successfully guest spoken, and find that I enjoy it a lot. My two biggest forms of communication for my writing ideas are guest speaking, and blogging. If you count Facebook and Twitter, than they can also be added on. Pick how you will communicate your ideas, and experiment with different ones until you find the one/s that suits you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Getting the Point Across

Almost all books have a big reveal scene, especially Mysteries. In those scenes, the writer has to carefully pick what they are going to say, and how they say it is important. They are not going to come out and directly say who the murderer is, they will build suspense and make your heart race. Either that, or they will slowly wither away at more and more information to deliver to you, making the scene more suspenseful and shocking as it goes on. Getting your point across isn't easy. In those reveal scenes, you have to really sit and carefully write what you will say. My second novel has a murder reveal scene, and I chose the second option--withering away at information. I had to choose what I wanted to say carefully, because how you say it affects the reader's reaction. Getting the point across is hard, but when you sit down and think, it becomes more and more simple.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Effective Book Covers

   There's always that book cover that you go crazy over, and end up buying the book, right off the shelves. Book covers are as effective as the cover of a movie or a video game. I don't know much about book covers, so I will give you what attracts me to one and what not to do with one.

1.) Keep it simple. I hate book covers that are all messy and abstract. Book covers should be simple and to the point.

2.) Use complimentary colors. If you have a book cover that is a collage of colors, like teal on yellow and random combinations, it won't look good. Try to use colors that play off of each other.

3.) I think a good book cover should display the mood of the story. For a picture book about a silly girl, the cover should be vibrant and lively. For a book about a murderer in a crazed town, the book cover should display the mood of that, and most likely portray dark colors.

4.) Don't use unreadable fonts. Some book covers use backwards letters and confusing fonts that turn me away. If I can't read the title, there's a problem.

These are the basics for a good book cover. In the future I will probably do another post, examining a specific book cover, but for now, these are the basics. If you can follow these simple rules, you should have a great book cover.