Thursday, October 2, 2014

Opinions Needed: Which Cover Works Best?

Version No. 1
       I composed this picture a long time ago and I decided it made a great cover for v.6 of the Ki'shto'ba series.  Now you're going to say, the four versions are all the same, but if you look closely, they are not.  (It becomes one of those "Find six differences in these pictures" puzzle!) My main problem is getting the sea to look halfway decent.  For The Wood Where the Two Moon Shines, I needed a twilight sea with a lot of foam and golden highlights, since the sun was setting.  A plain darkish blue worked fine for the sea.  Here it's broad daylight and the sea needs texture.  It's really tough to get that with the Word drawing program . 
       I've left the waves in the lower part on all the versions, but the last three versions have a darker blue sea, so I changed the color of the waves to grayish-white.  Kind of like making a negative instead of a positive.
Version No. 2
       Then I used broadly dashed lines in the upper part to try to make the sea look less static.  You can see I made them either a different shade of blue or they are grayish white.  In the 3rd and 4th versions, I removed them entirely.  Now I can't make up my mind whether it looks better with or without those squiggles.  I really want some opinions and if you're not comfortable commenting on a Blogger blog, leave a message for me on Twitter @TermiteWriter or post on my Facebook timeline or page or on Google+.
       One other thing that differs:  I used a different typeface on Version No. 4.  I've pretty much settled on that one, for the cover and the title page and headers, etc.
       It works best if you click on the pictures and get a bigger version where the detail is easier to see.

       The scene depicts the Point of the Monster (Dan'ki'no'dai).  Remember the story of Perseus and Andromeda?  Here is what is said about it in the book:

       As we sailed into the deep bay where Li’hwai’chet was located, we had to pass the impressive headland that thrust out along its west side. “Dan’ki’no’dai,” said Mo’wiv. “Can you Moon-Wings see the monster upon it?"
        We craned our necks and could indeed make out the shape of an enormous head at the top of the point and twisted rocks that descended in great coils.
        Mo’wiv was continuing, “It is said that the ancient hero Wak’a’lo’a possessed the head of a magical She-Monster that it had killed in lands beyond the north wind. The palps on this head would turn anything they touched to stone. Wak’a’lo’a used it to destroy the fierce sea-worm whose petrified remains you see here and thus saved a female nymph from being carried off by Guoi’me’uh’hma’no’tze … [i.e., the Sea King]”

Version No. 3
     At that point I exclaimed, “Oh!  The Northern Nasutes told that tale, only they substituted Ju’mu for Wak’a’lo’a.  So this is the place where that myth originated!”  And Ra’fa’kat’wei and I gawked with even greater curiosity.
       And we sailed on, through the shadow of the Point of the Monster, which loomed above us like a warning not to overstep ourselves – a reminder that, even though one of us had earned the surname “Monster-Slayer,” we did not live in the same age as ancient heroes.

Version No. 4