First off, what do you think of this cover for Sisterhood (Tales of the Coven #1--and only)? The story focuses on Sylvia Joubert, the redheaded witch from the first 5 Scarlet Knight books so I put "redhead witch" into Fotolia and this picture came up. I think it looks kind of YA-y, though I'm not sure how witchy she looks.
I'm not sure about the font type and color; my options on PowerPoint were somewhat limited. Before I run out and buy images, I like to consult with you people first so I don't waste my hard-earned dough.
Now for the rest of the bonus post!
Early on in my Wordpress blog, back in 2010, I demonstrated how I went from notes on a story to an outline and then eventually into the actual story itself. I've pretty much stopped formal outlining since then, just relying on notes and the seat of my pants for the most part. Anyway, to sort of rehash it, here's some notes I wrote up for a possible story to give you a glimpse into Grumpy Bulldog's creative process. Your process will no doubt differ and also is terrible compared to mine for I am a genius. (note sarcasm)
Here’s my epic mash-up of “Darkman” and “The Invisible Man” series that used to be on Syfy. (Mission statement)
OK, so we have a guy we’ll call Vince (because I think that was the first name of the actor in the Invisible Man show but I may be wrong about that). He’s an expert con man, who’s been quite successful at it for a long time, though not so much financially successful in recent times. Then he cons the wrong people, some mob dudes, and ends up with some MacGuffin that he shouldn’t have. The mob guys find him, beat the crap out of him, and leave him for dead in a building they set on fire. Vince is badly burned but manages to escape. Though he doesn’t get far before he passes out.
He wakes up some time later in a secret government hospital. He should be in agonizing pain since he has 3rd-degree burns over like 75% of his body, but he’s not. This is because he’s a government guinea pig for this wonderful new drug called Repressitol—or something less stupid. The drug suppresses the pain in his nerves and has the awesome side effect of giving him Captain America-type strength and speed because adrenaline is flowing unchecked. Vince promptly uses this to try to escape, but doesn’t get far because he’s like a mile underground or something.
Eventually a hot doctor chick shows up and explains about the drug. The downside is the drug only works for 24 hours, which necessitates a shot every morning. Otherwise he’ll be in excruciating pain. Then some dude from the CIA or NSA or whatever shows up to drop the other shoe.
Basically the government wants to utilize Vince’s unique skill set. They’ve obtained an artificial skin formula from a dead scientist (name omitted) and with that and the help of a make up whiz, they can make Vince look like just about anyone. From there it’ll be up to him to use his con man skills to fool anyone.
The drawback is the skin only holds together for two hours before it falls apart. Which means whatever Vince does, he has to do it quick; no long cons will be allowed.
Vince is reluctant to sign up for this crazy scheme, but it’s explained to him that either he does it or they cut him off the drug and let him spend the rest of his life in agonizing pain or in a morphine coma. So he decides to agree.
His first assignment is pretty easy, just something for a warm-up. It goes largely without a hitch. Before they can collect him, Vince sneaks off to find whatever chick he was banging before he got busted. She of course doesn’t recognize him and it’s not long before his face starts to melt, so he has to run off until he finally gets caught.
The CIA/NSA guy chews him out and introduces a handler who will be keeping a close eye on Vince during his missions. Vince is pretty bummed about his situation. The hot doctor tries to cheer him up, but does not welcome any advances. (Because who wants to fuck a gross mummy?)
Then a bigger assignment comes up. It just so happens to involve the jerks who fucked up Vince’s life! They’re going to use the MacGuffin to do something with some nasty people. Vince has to infiltrate the crew to find out what’s going on.
Things seem to go OK at first, but eventually it starts to fall apart just like Vince’s face. The head mob guy gets away with the MacGuffin to complete his nefarious work.
Vince’s handler is pissed and they’re ready to shut down the whole program. But Vince convinces them to give him one last shot. He plans to get close to the mob guy and then impersonate him to recover the MacGuffin and get the goods on the scheme.
To do this, he gets skin made of himself. He goes to the mob guy to act as if he’s trying to shake the guy down for some hush money. He gets the guy to tell him where the MacGuffin is and then knocks him out to steal his identity.
He goes to the meet, but things fall apart when it’s revealed the CIA/NSA guy is a traitor! He reveals Vince’s identity and is going to kill him. But Vince has one last card to play, like the MacGuffin is a fake that’s actually a bomb or some shit like that. Then with the help of his handler, Vince takes the bad guys down. He’d like to kill the traitor, but turns him over instead.
The mission is deemed a success and so the government decides to keep the program going. As a reward the hot doctor gives Vince some extra copies of his own face for whenever he feels like looking human for a couple of hours. They maybe kiss, but nothing more than that.
On to the sequel!
As you can see, at this early point it's a lot like a Mad Lib. There are a bunch of holes to fill in like names, locations, and plot specifics. The point though is to get the overall shape of the story and then start to worry about filling in those holes. As I fill in the holes I might come up with some other ideas for the plot or for characters or whatever, which would probably necessitate a rewrite of the notes in part if not on the whole. Better that than to rewrite the story later, I suppose. And then I'll probably come up with some things as I'm writing the story (if I ever do) that will completely fuck up most of my notes, which will require new notes. Will this idea ever make it to a finished product? I have no idea.
But now's the time to weigh in if you think this is the stupidest idea ever.