How I Train My Inspiration — Fiction Writing By Covers

Fiction Writing By Covers - Training Your Inspiration
Fiction Writing By Covers - Training Your Inspiration

How I Train My Inspiration — Fiction Writing By Covers

ref:

(What follows are some notes from where these references above left off — And to understand this process better, check out this recent podcast: https://livesensical.com/podcast/living-sensical-elsewhere/writing-fiction-creator-creation-conversation/)

I’m a visual type of guy, so one of my methods for working up inspiration for new books is to get the cover created first. Cover includes title, even though it might/will change.

Put everything into Calibre, creating an empty book and importing the cover into that. Writing the marketing hook starts the description. Calibre generally starts with a default text file. Opening that, adding the title and pen-name, the copy/paste the marketing hook in there so there’s a guide. (Yes, the marketing hook can change, but it’s a guide to start with.)

The first chapter then starts with the story hook. And goes right along from there — the characters start telling your story and you just ask the right questions to keep them talking to you. (Marketing hook is for browsers to get them to preview. Story hook is to get your previewers to read the rest.)

How Covers Bring You Story

For me, I like to look up images on Pixabay.com — they are all public domain, and you can find a lot of great images there. Of course you should “buy coffees” and give attaboys, plus leave links to your books where you used their art. Things like that.

Yesterday, I got onto a search for these. The more I looked, the more I found. And as I found them, I asked my characters for obvious titles, and got snippets of the stories when I did. Situations, characters, wants, etc. Here’s what I came up with, sorted by authors:

C. C. Brower

Moon Bride - by C. C. Brower
Moon Bride - by C. C. Brower
The Royalty selects a young girl for marriage on the basis of her genetic material.
Moon Rebels by C. C. Brower
Moon Rebels by C. C. Brower
A story of insurrection on the moon colony, despite the risks…
Moon Rebels by C. C. Brower
Moon Rebels by C. C. Brower
Lazurai cross-over where an elemental ‘ports to the moon colony…
Moon Cleaner by C. C. Brower
Moon Cleaner by C. C. Brower
She’s getting tired of cleaning up the Moon Royalty’s messes — bodies and such.
Message From a Meteor by C. C. Brower
Message From a Meteor by C. C. Brower
Meteor sent from the moon has a message for the discoverer. They need help…
Lunar Dreams by C. C. Brower
Lunar Dreams by C. C. Brower
A young woman learns to talk with beings on the moon through her dreams.
Moon Queen by C. C. Brower
Moon Queen by C. C. Brower
Character from below book attains ultimate, ruthless power…
Blood Moon by C. C. Brower
Blood Moon by C. C. Brower
Evil lurks in the royalty who govern a moon colony.
Totem by C. C. Brower
Totem by C. C. Brower
A sentient mama grizzly shelters a telepathic, lost child.
To Touch the Sky by C. C. Brower
To Touch the Sky by C. C. Brower
A young woman finds people to talk to — who live on the moon.
Moon Phase by C. C. Brower
Moon Phase by C. C. Brower
Form-shifting sentient wolves find they can phase to the moon.
Snow Gift 2 by C. C. Brower
Snow Gift 2 by C. C. Brower
Further stories of spiritual-paranormal adventures in deep snow…

S. H. Marpel

Case of the Sunken Spirit by S. H. Marpel
Case of the Sunken Spirit by S. H. Marpel
Atlantis left at least one ghost in the bottom of the ocean, seeking release.
Mystic - by S. H. Marpel
Mystic - by S. H. Marpel
When a mystic realizes she is both initiate and master…
The Training: Tess - by S. H. Marpel
The Training: Tess - by S. H. Marpel
A young woman masters Tesseracts — and bends space-time to find love…
Sister Mine by S. H. Marpel
Sister Mine by S. H. Marpel
Harpy has a twin sister who was her polar opposite — until…
Harpy Redux by S. H. Marpel
Harpy Redux by S. H. Marpel
Where Harpy seeks to atone for her shady past.
WItch Mystery: Ruby - by S. H. Marpel
WItch Mystery: Ruby - by S. H. Marpel
An Irish-descendant young witch who only wants a normal life…
She Walks By Night by S. H. Marpel
She Walks By Night by S. H. Marpel
Ghost who walks the night with a lantern looking for an honest lover?

J. R. Kruze

The Soul Sublime by J. R. Kruze
The Soul Sublime by J. R. Kruze
Finding peace of mind — or is our frantic dispersal the anomaly?
When Forever Calls by J. R. Kruze
When Forever Calls by J. R. Kruze
Your imagination lives forever — or was it someone else’s first?
The Dream That Wrote - by J. R. Kruze
The Dream That Wrote - by J. R. Kruze
Dreams write themselves to life, regardless of your waking...
Eliza by J. R. Kruze
Eliza by J. R. Kruze
A genius young girl faces challenges in a steampunk world.

NaNoWriMo 2018 Entry from Midwest Journal Press

Lifemind by Midwest Journal Press
Lifemind by Midwest Journal Press
Anthology of idea-pieces written during November 2018

Now, there are a lot of great stories waiting. I left some of those ideas in the photo captions above.

C. C. Brower — except for a single story, this is all about the Hooman Saga — which takes place or deals with a Moon colony — and might be enough stories there to wrap up Book Two, Part 2. If not, I’ll just fill in anything that’s missing. But this is going to be an anthology of sorts, I’ll probably work these up in some sort of chronological order and write them that way. Or not. But it would be easier editing if I did them that way. The exception (Snow Gift 2) actually takes off from where two individual/unrelated stories have started out — both in the snow, both incomplete. Those now become the first two chapters. Then the other chapters proceed with alternating viewpoints — but that’s all I’ve got right now.

S. H. Marpel — has all Ghost Hunter mysteries, or are related to that universe somehow. (Even though the Lazurai stories have been crossing up these universes recently.)

J. R. Kruze — The first three cover metaphysical ideas and writing about them. That last one, “Eliza” is about growing up a mechanical genius (mainly because the artwork was just too engaging to waste, even though the artist didn’t leave enough white space for a title.)

NaNoWriMo — will be an anthology of its own, themed from the short stories written that month — and probably will include all of these authors, though Kruze and Marpel seem to be more appropriate. The trick with an anthology like that is to get the intro’s/transitions right… (Who says it’s only for straight-ahead first-draft novels — I’ve recently compiled a 67K word, 229 page anthology that tells the whole story arc as a collection of short stories, arranged chronologically — the Bradbury/O. Henry/Jack London model...)


Count Those Covers — But Don’t Expect 22 or so Books

Some still won’t make it. Not all inspirations come through. On the other hand, you may have seen how one story (“The Lazurai”) is now an 8-story compilation (“Tales of the Lazurai”) which involved four pen-names in building its anthology, and became a universe of its own.

The thought here is really, “Don’t expect all these books to be born on time, on schedule, or like they are now. Expect these books all to be seeds you plant, and then produce far more new books than you expect.”

Your mind is a fertile garden. Plant your seeds, let them grow. Pick the story to write that week by the loudest voice, the prettiest flower, the heaviest fruit. Eventually, you’ll get around to all of them. But they have a say in when they are ripe. So go ahead, cherry-pick the ones that appeal to you most.


And there you have it. A non-how-to How-to.

My whole little system of coming up with inspiration — what I’ve trained mine to do.

If you want the rest of the background on this, they’re linked above.

Luck to all of us.


Originally published at Living Sensical.