This week, I began designing my work on InDesign.
As I began working on the designing process, I decided to keep the colour palette to a minimal and fairly monochrome as I didn’t want to include bold colours for several reasons.
The first being, I wanted my book to have a similar layout and aesthetic look to other crime novels.
The other reason being, I didn’t want to draw attention away from the dark topic. I felt that it would be inappropriate to have a crime piece have a bright, colourful layout.
I also designed the front cover with this mindset in place.
When I started, I decided to gather inspiration from other novels, including those in the crime genre. I took covers I liked and put them all together to see what I could come up with.
From these covers, I learnt that books with a darker theme had a different colour palette to those that were more ‘coming of ages’ stories. Crime novels mostly had impactful covers that grabbed your attention, they usually used darker colours such as blacks, maroons, navy’s and purples. Most crime novel covers also had a subtle yet hidden message on the cover that the audience would understand after reading the novel. I wanted to incorporate this into my own cover.
The overall tone of the crime novels was a lot darker and fit the topic they were writing about. The covers were also more intricate than the other genres I researched. Front covers are the audiences first impression so you want to put across the feeling and tone that you are writing about. I took all of these thoughts on board.
From that, I began to design.
After talking with two of my tutors, the idea of a flashlight being shone on a crown was created. I loved this idea as it could be interpreted in so many different ways. To me, the first thing that came to mind was the idea that the limelight was always on JonBenet’s crown and pageant achievements, rather than her school work or other achievements a child would be praised for. She was seen as a pageant queen, more than a child.
The cover could also be seen as a spotlight shining on a queen and then after reading the story, they could go back to the cover and see that it is actually a flashlight, the flashlight that plays a big part in the case.
I really love this idea as I feel it stays true to the crime genre whilst also not disrespecting or exploiting the situation.
This week was self-directed study week. As I booked the week off work, I made the most of this time and finished my story.
Although I found it tough to write about this subject, I feel that I wrote respectfully and to a high standard.
I am very happy with the way my story turned out and I learnt a lot, both as a writer and as a teenager.
For this piece, I took a lot of inspiration from books such as Devils Knot- The true story of the West Memphis Three By Mara Leveritt, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine by Brooks Brown and Rob Merritt.
For example, in No Easy Answers, the story is told from the point of view from someone who was actually there. Brooks Brown, former friend of Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, tells the tale from his eyes and what he personally experienced.
I’m alone on a staircase outside Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
This spot is a quiet one, bordered by concrete recesses that merge into a sidewalk
leading up toward the math wing. I’ve stood here many times before; this place was
always secluded enough for me to get in one last quick drag before an administrator
would yell at me to quit smoking on school grounds.
This is the opening to the book and starts off with a description and a personal link. He describes the actions taken place at the location instead of over describing it. I took this writing style into consideration when writing my piece.
When writing, I reread every scene after writing it to make sure I had correctly portrayed what I had aimed to do. When I felt that I had lost a scene, I left it and began writing another until I found inspiration for the former scene.
I feel that throughout this writing process, my skills regarding syntax have improved. I now look at a sentence and identify the nouns, verbs etc and debate if there are alternate synonyms or sentence structures that could be better suited.
Overall, I am very proud of my work and I feel that I understand the true crime genre a lot better now.