The Author Speaks: on the completion of the transcript (for now)

As I write this I have just polished off the last few bits of the current draft of the novel. By the time you are reading I will have already sent the text to be reviewed by a handful of trusted readers for a final assessment. Any alterations that come from the feedback I receive in this round will be the final ones that I do to the text before formatting it for print.

Getting to this point kind of feels like the creative equivalent to that last leg that a marathon runner does before crossing the finish line. It has been an almost torturous run to get here at times but the finish line is in sight. No doubt when I’m done I will need time to recover.

The next step once the text is finished is to complete the illustrations and cover design. This will be a considerably easier task than the writing, though not an “easy” task. I have a tentative list of the scenes I intend to illustrate for the book but once I have the text locked down I will know what I have to do for each chapter. The cover art on the other hand has been frustrating as a lot of the feedback I have had on the mock-ups I have done thus far has been either conflicting or makes me doubt my capacity to be able to create something myself at all. At this stage I have completed an illustration that is the main contender for the front cover (below) but I am having some serious doubts. It’s very hard to predict what the audience will respond to.

Mock-up using the new illustration as the basis for the image.

Designing a cover is an important step and one that can’t be phoned in. It has to capture the essence of the book as well as be eye catching. Nowadays most book covers tend to focus more on interesting fonts than imagery and layout. In all reality, I could easily have a plain white cover with the book title, my name, and a revolver somewhere on the front cover and that would do the trick. I wouldn’t do that, but feasibly I could get away with it. I want this book to be its own beast and the cover should reflect that.

Another mock-up using an illustration I did completely unrelated to this project.

So, from here I will be concentrating mostly on illustrations, followed by layout once the reviews are in. No doubt this will be a much less stressful stage of the process, which is very much welcome by this point.

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