As I wrote the first draft of Tied, in the back of mind, a picture of the cover formed. By the time I was done the first draft, I had been “living” in my story for 8 months and the image of the cover was always there.
My first step was researching ideas, which I talked about in my previous post. When I try to work out cover ideas, I go old-school, back to paper and pencil, to sketch out ideas. Something that seems great in my head can often get squashed when it gets on paper. Plus it’s fast, the very definition of rapid prototyping. I can determine if an idea will work as a composition on the page in just a few minutes.
I love sketching. It’s so freeing, as long as I remember to allow myself to suck, make errors, and start over if things aren’t working. Time disappears when I’m sketching in the moment, much like when I write. Attached is the result. Sure, it’s messy, but that’s the way it should be. It’s a sketch!
Once I have a sketch I like, the hard part is finding the imagery to make it a reality. It all comes down to the mood I want to convey, but I’ll leave that for my next post.