East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Outlines and Images

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English: A line art drawing of a warrior woman...

I’m doing something I never did before – I’m going through the outline/index of my next book (a roleplaying game supplement) noting the number and kind of images that might be needed for each chapter/section.

This is a first for me, because I normally write fiction – and then there’s only the problem of the cover* – or academical papers – where all the images needed are part of my job: field shots, microscopic photographs, graphs and maps.

I can handle the illustration of my academical work, and I can handle covers (sometimes) – but trying to imagine what images will be needed to illustrate a roleplaying game book… ah, that’s something else altogether!

And it’s interesting.
It forces me to focus on some aspects of my text which I never took into account before.
It forces me to imagine the finished product as an object, not as a text.
And it requires some serious thinking about costs.

Considering the nature of the project, which has some historical and pseudo-historical elements, I’m looking for open source, copyleft or public domain period pictures – and there’s a lot of promising stuff.
But I’m no art director and designer – the finished product will have to stay in budget, but also to conform to the design of the whole line.
Complicated, quite complicated.

It helps somewhat that I’m in the habit of using visual, photographic references for my writing.
But it’s weird – this work has already caused me to go and revise/rewrite parts of my text.

It’s all part of the learning process, I guess.

* And quite a problem it can be

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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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