Categories
Reviews

5 YA Fantasy Cover Comparisons

Deseretgear and I recently did a YouTube video, 5 YA Fantasy Cover Comparisons, about book covers we like and don’t like as well as why. Check out the article below to see highlights or go head and click image below to hop on over to YouTube and watch the full video.

cover comparisons

Reason 1: What is the Genre?

There’s nothing I hate more than when I pick up a book and I have no idea what genre I’ll be reading. Especially since there are some genres that I don’t like. Some book covers don’t give off any indication at all. I’m more likely to never pick the book up in the first place rather than flip it over and read the blurb. In making things as generic and mass-appealing as possible, the cover loses could-be readers. Specificity may lose the crowd, but it brings in the ones who will cling to content to the bitter end.

covers on the shelf

Reason 2: The Design is Cluttered

There’s too much going on, or the things that are added don’t add to understanding the story inside. This has to do with purposeful design. If it seems like things were thrown together or if they don’t really have a purpose, then the cover feels bland. The best example of this that we discussed in our video were the covers for the book Shiver. Both covers we looked at were similar and both contained elements pertinent to the story. However, one of them was certainly a tighter and more thoughtful design. Purposeful covers are a testament to the thought that went into the creation process.

covers with purpose

Wrapping Things Up

We haven’t judged these books by their covers but we have judged their covers by their covers. Both Des and I know that traditionally published authors have little to no say in the design of their book’s covers and in no way does our review intend to reflect poorly on these books. These are fantastic books that either we’ve read personally or heard good things about. However, doesn’t that make this all the more lamentable? Doesn’t it make it even sadder when a good book deters readers who would love and enjoy the story inside because of industry choices outside the writer’s control?

So, if you’d like to see the full review, check out our YouTube video and subscribe for updates. Also, tell us in the comments below what you think. When have you been disappointed by the cover of a book you know and love?

cover blank
Categories
writing

A Bad Scene, Better Than None

Oh, you’re past the inciting incident and you haven’t reached the end just yet. You have a few thousand words to go through before you get there. And by a few I mean about 30,000? I’m low balling, by a lot. Anyhow, when you get to the flabby middle section of your book the most important thing is to keep moving.

writer's block

Fresh out of Ideas. What to Write?

Out of Ideas? 😦 What should you do if you’re in the middle and you find yourself out of ideas? This is where leading a meeting or running a RPG comes in handy because nothing says pull something out of the air right now like having a table full of expectant faces. Yikes. Literal nightmares. But, after a long while, after a very very long while, you get used to it. And you find that, yes, you can pull things out of the air. You’ve studied them so much that they spill out.

But wait, maybe you’re not to that point yet! So, what do you do? Well, I look up plot hook ideas because, surprise, the plot doesn’t happen at the beginning and the end of the story alone. A whole lot of it happens in the middle too. These guys can give your characters enough juicy action to keep kicking through the slump of your book.

So, here’s a pair of useful places to look:

  1. D&D Quest Ideas
  2. Subplot Ideas

I also recommend Save the Cat, Writes a Novel. It has some excellent plotting advice which should help you string your story quite nicely.

writer's block

Why a Bad Scene Is Better Than None

A bad scene can be rewritten. Half of the battle is getting through the middle of the book. If you can make it to the end you can re-hash, re-smash, and honestly re-write a lot of things. A bad scene is good because you know it’s bad. A bad scene can be tossed or re-written. So, write a scene you hate. Write a scene that sucks. If you write it, you’ll reach the end, and you’ll know how to change it when you go back.

In fact, Brandon Sanderson openly admitted in his lectures that he makes revision notes as he writes his first draft. This is perfect. If you really don’t like a scene, you can make a note about how you’ll do it better next time around. And thus, you’ll reach the end of your book.

writer's block

Keep Writing

Never give up. Even if you can’t make it this time, keep trying. Don’t give up and try to keep writing even through the terrible bits. You’ve got this. Feel free to comment below. Do you disagree?