Query Critique on OA Today

If you'd like your query critiqued by Yours Truly, head on over to Operation Awesome by June 30 and enter the Rafflecopter. One name will be randomly chosen to have their query critiqued on the OA site!

Pruning Prose

We have a home orchard (only twelve trees) and last weekend was time for the bittersweet task of thinning the fruit. Bittersweet because every immature fruit is a future mouthwatering delight, but if there are too many on the tree then they stay small.

It takes a certain kind of ruthlessness to snip off a perfectly good young fruit to make room for its neighbor to grow and develop properly.

The same is true in writing (you knew there was a writing analogy coming, didn't you?), when we hit the revision stage where we decide which pages, paragraphs, sentences, words, punctuation, stay and which go.

But truthfully, when we remove extraneous prose, we're letting what remains grow and develop. To come into its own, in a natural evolution (survival of the fittest, you know) that lets their plumage shine.

So let "cut and paste" stand in for your pruners, and see what ripens on your page.

Cover Design Mockup for Crow's Rest

Even though I know I won't have much control over a book cover (unless I self-publish) for my work-in-progress, Crow's Rest, I've been having some fun designing how I would like to see my book represented.

I started with what I didn't want (caveat: I've actually seen these done so well, but they're just not right for my book):

*Girl in a fancy dress (although Avery could totally work a fancy dress, it's not what she would choose)

*Closeups of boy and girl faces (I specifically like to leave how a character looks up to the reader)

*Abstract paint splatters (I'm always, "what does that have to do with the story?" with these)

*Kickass girl in an anatomically impossible pose

So, that means I could either use a photo of the real-life castle that inspired the book, like this one (click on it to view it bigger):

I'd put the title scrawled across the ceiling like graffiti. Or, I could create something different altogether, using some artwork that still includes elements of the book without specific faces. So I came up with this:

I'm not entirely happy with the font, and will probably end up designing my own Celtic-inspired font, with dragon/bat wings coming off the C in Crow's Rest. Bonuses: this looks good in grayscale (like on an e-ink screen) and has a visual pun too (can you find it?).

And this is a really old one that I did

What do y'all think? Do you ever play around with artwork as another interpretation of your story?