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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's All Coming Together

While I was without a computer this morning, I still accomplished a lot. Did some work on the cover for "Seer, Tyro, Fiend" which is going to be a bit tricky. I need to construct a picture to be seen through a window, similar to the "Dabblers" cover. It would be great if I could find just the right picture to use, but I try to be extra careful to work only with downloaded images that indicate they care free for any use other than resale as is. So I played with a likely candidate, although I might wind up searching for something that requires less fiddling with.

From an old printed proofreading copy of "Dabblers," I retrieved my description of the layout of the Greenleaf Emporium since a lot of the action in "Seer" takes place in the loft above the store. What's in the draft of "Seer" may need to be tweaked slightly so that everything is positioned correctly. For this, I did a sketch of the layout on paper. Certain features of the space need to be in certain places or else the scene I have in mind would face physical impossibilities. For example, the stairs that go up to Stefanie's studio are just inside the main entrance to the shop below. From the first book, I noted where I had indicated the main entrance is, and I had to be sure to put the stairs upward in a place that made sense in relation to where they end in the loft. Since artists like northerly light, I had to make sure there was a window on the north face of the loft, and that will require a couple of corrections to a scene where Stefanie adjusts some blinds before she starts to work.

I may need to do a "storyboard" for the big scene. It's not much; just the basic layout with circles to represent people and arrows to show how they move from place to place. Now that I have the layout of the loft, I am figuring out who is where and how they get there. I often wind up doing sketches for these action-filled confrontations so I don't create those physical impossibilities. Then the trick is to describe everything either in earlier chapters so the reader has a good vision of the layout or in quick strokes during the scene. Those quick strokes can be tricky: they have a way of slowing the pace and also sometimes seem contrived, lacking only a voice-over to indicate the author forgot to explain all this earlier. For me, nothing ruins the excitement of a scene in a story quite like having to page back to an earlier chapter to figure out what's what.

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