Anything but writing

Worth More Than 1000 Words*

*Unless you’ve managed to dislocate your heroine’s shoulder

I’m a bit late with posting today because I spent a really long day at university, inflicting Shakespeare’s Othello on my students around midday and then grading for the rest of the day. As a consequence this post is going to be rather short — sorry about that!

I’m currently on deadline for my Roman romance (cue blood-curdling scream) (have I already mentioned that I wrote this thing longhand and that I still need to type most of it up?), and I’ve reached that happy stage where I’m convinced that writing the book was a BIG FAT mistake to begin with and that my poor editor will forever hate me for forcing her to read the manuscript (or she will just drop dead from the sheer awfulness of it). So to cheer myself up, I’m experimenting with digital art and developing character portraits. This, I’ve found, is not only a lot of fun, but it also helps me to better visualize my characters.

Thus, I’m always thrilled to pieces when I manage to render a particularly nice portrait of Lia, my heroine. One, in which her skin doesn’t look like plastic, in which her shoulder doesn’t look completely dislocated, and in which she isn’t hovering above the (anachronistic) chaise longue. But sometimes, an image turns out just perfect, which means you can drool over your heroine’s pretty dress. (Anachronistic as well, but who cares? A female character in Spartacus could have totally worn this! she says with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek)

Lia, by Sandra Schwab
But as to the guys? Oh dear, the guys! They all end up with gray skin that would suit a zombie extremely well. Or with red skin that looks like a bad case of sun burn As I write neither zombies nor lobsters, the skin issue is a bit unfortunate.

And in couple pics? If you’re really lucky, both of your figures end up looking … er … odd. As in this one. Guy looks like a lobster, gal looks plastic-ish. Duh. (Also, what’s up with their right hands? The hands seem to have merged and her middle finger now grows out of his middle finger. Gah!) (But hey, at least her hair and her dress are pretty!)

a draft for a new cover of Bewitched by Sandra Schwab
Still, I hope that I’ll eventually be able to use these images as promo images and perhaps even for my covers.

As soon as I’ve figured out how to solve the skin issue (and all the other stuff)!  🙂

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7 years ago

Have you tried using dictation to get your manuscript onto your computer? I’ve read of a few authors doing that. My laptop (a Mac) has inbuilt dictation which works well, or you can buy software which does it. Another advantage is that reading aloud can help you spot word repeats, awkward dialogue, etc..

Sandra Schwab
7 years ago
Reply to  HJ

HJ, yes, I’ve thought about buying Dragon Naturally Speaking, but at the moment I’m still worried that it won’t work for me and that I’ll have wasted all that money. (I have no problem spending money on books, just… most other stuff. 😉 ) I’ll need to check if one of my computers has an inbuilt dictation program where you can switch languages. (Because the default German dictation is not going to be of much help here, obviously.) But even the typing isn’t too bad, really, for it allows me to edit as I go along.

Diane Gaston
7 years ago

I am rather amazed at these images, Sandra. And impressed!

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