Recently, I was explaining the concept of an inciting moment to my five-year-old (he’s a bit young, but one might as well start early, right?), and it got me thinking about how critical the concept is.
Some writers may call it an inciting incident, and others have probably never heard of it, including the idea without any formal title or understanding of how it works, but the inciting moment is what happens to make the world of the story change. One of the many rocks dropped in the story-pond that set off a series of ripples. It’s the spark that jolts the story to life.
I didn’t plan on sharing this but as I was editing some mock-ups I thought it would be nice to share what I am doing.
I am not a professional photographer, and I don’t always have a chance to take professional images. Therefore, I love using free mock-up templates to create professional images of my books. I am learning Photoshop also because if I can master it, I can also start to create my own book covers! (OK, that’s a far way off but a sista can dream).
But, while I am finagling (am I the only one who thinks finagle is a funny word?) around with this, I decided to put together a quick tutorial on what I am doing for those of you who use Photoshop. It’s super easy and if you have Photoshop, you should be able to get started right away.
Note: I’m not a professional “Photoshopper” and have instead found my own way of editing mock-ups because this way is easier for me but there are lots of other ways to do this.
Get Photoshop. You can get Photoshop CC for as low as $10/month. For me it’s worth the money because I use mock-ups often. However, there is a free trial you can use for seven days if my memory serves correctly. http://www.adobe.com/ (There are also plenty of free ways to create 3D images. I use Photoshop because the quality of the images is top notch.)
Once you have Photoshop, find a free mock-up that you like. Be sure the license allows you to use it. Most of them do as long as you don’t try to sell the mock-up as your own. You can find some great ones at http://covervault.com/
Download a mock-up you like. I’m going to use this one.
Click on the zip file and double click on the Photoshop file to open it.
OK so you can pretty much change anything on here to make it your own. Eliminate the background, upload your own images, change colors, etc. But…
I’m just gonna show you how to change the book covers.
Go to the side panel here. Let’s start with the front book cover. Click on the arrow next to Front Book, scroll down to front cover and double click on the space where the front book cover is…right where my arrow is.
It will bring up the mock cover here..
File > Open > Find the cover (or image) you’d like to use on your computer and click on it….and
It will open in Photoshop. When it does, unlock it at the bottom. If you don’t unlock it, you cannot edit it.
Click on your cover and drag it to the mock layer.
This one has lots of special effects I don’t need. If ever you don’t want something in the image you can either delete the layer or hide it. Click on the eye next to the layers to hide them. I want to hide the mock-up text and other things…
If you did it correctly it should leave only your cover and look like this (below)…if you look at the layers next to where my marker is you will see that the eye is closed. This means I am hiding these layers so they don’t show.
As you can see, when you move your cover to the layer (see step seven) it will be too big. On your MAC click command T to highlight it to resize. On PC click ctrl T. Now just resize it to fit the space.
Save your resized cover. File > Save as (save it under a name you will recognize. You will need to remember where you saved it.)
Go back to the panel and right click in the space next to the front cover.
If you did it correctly, it should bring up the box below…where you see replace contents, click on that.
When the box opens, find your saved image from Step Ten and replace the mock image with your own.
And that’s it!
For the back cover follow the exact same steps:
Click on the arrow next to back cover.
Double click on back cover
File > Open > Choose the image for your back cover
If it’s locked, unlock it
Click and drag your cover to the mock layer (you can’t move it if it’s locked)
Hide any layers you don’t need/want
Resize image > Command T (MAC) or Ctrl T (PC)
File > Save as to your PC
Back to the panel, right click in the space next to the back cover > Replace contents
Find saved image > place
The last thing you will do when you have both the front and back cover done is to File > Save as > PNG
This is a guest post from Ben Taylor, a British freelance writer who spent several years living in Portugal and wrote a book about the experience. He now lives back in the UK, where he founded Home Working Club, a site dedicated to helping people explore freelance opportunities – in writing and various other fields.
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It came about by accident, after I started a blog about moving to Portugal from the UK. While I won’t pretend that I didn’t hope people would read and enjoy the blog, I never had particularly big plans for it. I figured that, if nothing else, it was a good way to keep a journal of the experience.
However, after I’d been going for a year or so, the site got rather popular. It…
Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. I missed you all last week! And, I hope you have not been complaining! If you are new to this blog or this segment please check out the first post HEREfor more on what this post is all about.
I love the strategy we’re going to talk about today to stop complaining! I didn’t think I would have had the time to get one in today but since I’ll be virtually MIA next week I thought, why not?
Last month, one of our NWW talked about waiting it out. (Read it Here) about being patient when things go astray instead of anxious and frenzied. Today, we’ll use a similar strategy. Except instead of waiting it out, we will look for solutions. It sounds like common sense right? We complain about things that are not going as planned. It seems obvious that the thing to do is to look for a way to solve the problem! Well, this is life and it’s not always this easy. We can never control what kind of day it is going to be because the moment passes quickly.
One minute we are reading a book and the next there’s a thunderstorm that shuts off the electricity. One minute we are happy-go-lucky and the next the feeling of sadness, anger, and frustration overwhelms us. And so we know the challenge of trying to “figure it out” in the midst of chaos. However, if we take from the image above, it makes sense that complaining never solved a problem. It makes us feel good for sure (hey, you gotta get it out sometimes) but overdoing the venting leads to poverty. It literally comes to nothing.
Today, let’s try looking for solutions to those things we complain about and if we are looking for someone to listen, let’s gather the courage to ask! Hey, we’re human and sometimes we complain because we want someone to listen but what if we just reached out? Today, instead of complaining take action.