I’ve been writing for years, and I’ve been pursing publishing for years now too. I’ve been at this long enough to see fads come and go, and pillars in the writing community topple. I can tell stories of what writing was like when dinosaurs and not AI roamed the internet. Back in those day, writers would create and share “novel aesthetics” to celebrate their stories, WIPs, and milestones. Pictures were gathered on Pinterest. Apps like Pic College were used to mash them all together. I found such an aesthetic for Clever, Cursed, & Storied tonight. Be warned this was the first novel aesthetic I ever made, and you might see why they feel out of favor. Pictures of male dancers look bewilderingly erotic next to portraits of little lambs. And why on earth is that young woman holding a peacock? Still, I look at this aesthetic and smile… And wish I’d kept that Pinterest Board I’d made so many years ago.
Now however… AI can generate images for anybody about anything. Here’s the image it gave me when I attempted to describe the crumbling palace by the lake shore that is the venue of so many clandestine balls in my stories. Not quite what I was envisioning… Maybe if I try to prime the AI mind with references to the Hudson river school… Not quite… I’m sure there is an art to engineering the prompts for AI, but it did a pretty good job of creating an Image of my heroine, Kate.
Or did it?
That is one enormous peacock behind her…
Once upon a time, an ARC reader lamented the fact that there was no fan art for Smoke, Steel, & Ivy. So I tried my hand at generating some of my favorite characters from this novel too. Can AI do steampunk?
Where are their safety goggles? Pen would never be so reckless, however, I wouldn’t put forgetting to wear eye protection past a love sick Tim.
Ivy sporting the Green Monster at her father’s opera? Maybe? And is that Collin behind her? Could be? To be honest I’m not sure. What do you think? Have you played around at all with AI image creation, fan art, or novel aesthetics? Do authors have any business playing with visual mediums, or should they stick to words?