Adventures in Writing - Glyphs

Putting together a fantasy/adventure book series as an indie author is no small feat. Aside from the time-consuming aspects of character development and storyline, an indie author is also tasked with the process of turning their literary work into the physical art form of a book. This latter half of book creation is when an indie author shifts from writer to creative director to ensure the vision of their literary work comes to life.

This week I've been working on glyphs for book three, Windhollow and the Axe Breaker. Glyphs are the icons that often go along with chapter title and provide the reader a glimpse of what is to come. To many, glyphs might not seem like a big deal, but to the creative director they are an important aspect to the overall design.

I chose the use of glyphs because I feel they provide artistic expression that links our mind’s imaginative world to our visual eye. But I also chose to use them since, when I was a young reader, I thought they were cool.

The process of making glyphs has been straightforward, especially since I worked directly with Scott Soeder, a wonderful professional artist I’ve been using for key artwork. He read through each book and looked for a key element in each chapter that stood out. I did the same. For example, in Air of Vengeance we found the DARC, a canister from the DARC, silhouettes of main characters and creatures, and over a dozen special items and places. Each one provides a special meaning to each chapter.  

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Since the creative process can be fluid, you may find yourself changing your mind on a few like I did. After a round of modifications on a handful of glyphs, each chapter was paired with an associated glyph. The overall time invested was relatively low.

Do you need glyphs in your middle grade book series? Of course not. But it’s a question you should ask yourself as the creative director and author of your literary work. If you can’t afford illustrators to create illustrations for each chapter, I would suggest going with lower-cost glyphs. They’re a less expensive art asset and provide some visual interest to your work. You can even get creative and utilize them elsewhere.

--Trayner Bane

Windhollows is available on Amazon print or Kindle.

Air of Vengeance (Windhollows, Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973288265

Darkness Falls (Windhollows, Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973288257

Learn more about Scott here.