Now I’m working on the 4th draft of chapter 18. It’s pretty short and it revisits a book one location, but with a twist. Did I do that already? I can’t remember.
Here’s the poem that describes it:
An invitation from a girl that’s been ignored.
A trip to a pristine house, quite adored.
Once-rivals meet while a question’s unspoken:
Is it fair to keep my world, while allowing yours to be broken?
I’m still having trouble finding people to illustrate my next book cover. I’d also like pictures of my characters for the bios section on this site. My friend Matt told me about AI illustrations that are generated on websites. And I can even use them for free! Could my problems be solved!?
The site I found is called ‘Stable Diffusion.’ It has a space to type positive prompts, for the stuff you want; and a place to type negative prompts, for the stuff you do not want.
So let us begin with Officer Mackaba! He’s the early antagonist that chases Mean around the abandoned Hardpan City. I’ll put the positive prompts in italics for your viewing pleasure, followed by the resulting picture.
Arrogant police officer in tan uniform and white gloves with wavy, slicked back auburn hair. background is an empty city.
Wow, cool. I didn’t realize AI could make a picture this quickly! That was less than a minute, I think. I forgot to add his yellow sash in the prompt though.
Arrogant police officer in tan uniform and white gloves with wavy, slicked back auburn hair. he also wears a yellow sash across his chest. background is an empty city.
Uh, that’s a batman utility belt. Do I have to spell it out for you, AI?
Arrogant police officer in tan uniform and white gloves with wavy, slicked back auburn hair. he also wears a yellow sash across his chest that starts at the left shoulder, crosses the sternum, and ends at his right hip. background is an empty city.
Close enough. Although now his gloves are black for some reason? Let’s try to make his vehicle next. The one that Mean and Dark escape from in chapter two.
A fruit harvester refitted as a police vehicle. There is a crane with a spotlight on top of the roof. It also has monster truck wheels.
Yeah that looks about right. This AI would actually help me if I found another artist to draw the next book cover. I could whip these up and say: ‘hey, a bit like this! Just add the Jesian flag to the side since I can’t tell the AI what a Jesian flag is.’ Or CAN I?
I’ll try that another time. Let me try Trisk next.
Tall asian martial arts woman with long black hair, jeans, and a mandala print sweater. Background is empty gym.
Whoa, that’s not too bad! It even has the sweater as a cut-off, which occurs later in the book! How did it know? Not sure why she’s wearing ONE black sock, but whatever. Let’s not ruin a good thing with more prompts. I’ll try someone without facial features next. How about Dark?
person in sleek, black sci-fi armor. The helmet has a featureless visor. Background is alien world.
Cool. Where’s the alien world I asked for? That’s just a grey wall. Not up to the task, AI? Let me provide something specific for you:
person in sleek, black sci-fi armor. The helmet has a featureless visor. Background is exploding gas station.
Ha,ha where did I ask for a motorcycle!? I guess I could ask the AI to NOT include a motorcycle. But why would I want to do that? This picture speaks to me. Dark will now ride a motorcycle in future books. Now let’s try a harder one. Tyle Dhaston, the cyborg!
buisness man with dimpled chin. His left leg is a prosthetic that has a mechanical ball instead of a foot. Background is vaulted garage.
Oh dear, what sort of frightful thing has been created? Nothing about his left leg is cybernetic. It somehow knew that his right arm was a prosthetic limb even though I didn’t mention it. And the face looks like a swollen clown!? Gracious, how can I get what I want?
buisness man with dimpled chin. His left leg is a robotic ball. Background is a high-tech garage.
Well, the garage looks better. WHAT is that stance? Do all business men stand that way? Ah, there’s the problem. I spelled ‘business man’ wrong! Let me fix it.
business man with dimpled chin. His left leg is a robotic ball prosthetic. Background is a high-tech garage.
NO! NO! That’s not robotic! Or a ball! Stupid AI! Okay, NO ‘business.’ Just ‘a man.’
A man. His left leg is a robotic ball prosthetic. Background is a high-tech garage.
WHY!? Why do they all stand like that!? And BOTH legs are mechanical now!? The face is still too goofy. Why is this character such a problem!? I’m going insane. Let’s move on to an easier character. Mean! Let’s do Mean!
A woman that can control gravity. Her hair and skin is sandy-brown. She wears fingerless gloves, a shirt, and shorts. Background is the sky.
Zounds! It seems I forgot to add a minor detail. She’s short. I forgot to say she’s short. And she also shouldn’t be having a stroke. Let me put that in the list of no-no’s.
A petite woman that can control gravity. Her hair and skin is sandy-brown. She wears fingerless gloves, a shirt, and shorts. Background is the sky.
Ugh. I like this pose but the AI keeps adding weird extra fingers and silly faces. Hm, there are examples of things to type in on the website, below the space where the picture is displayed. ‘3d, photorealistic.’ Okay, let’s try adding that.
Ha,ha,ha… ‘Like, golly, Trisk, where’d we park the hex door?’ I’ll give up on her for now. Let’s try something more abstract, since this AI likes creating bizarre nonsense. It’s time for HELLZOO!
Eldrich horror that appears as a glowing crimson circle with hundreds of warped chains radiating out from the circumference. Background is nightmares.
Okay, here we go. It has an organic quality to it, while still appearing unearthly. Where are the chains radiating outward? Ah, well. As long as it’s freaky. Great job, AI! Now let’s try Darrow. That should be simple.
Pudgy guy with a flower-print shirt and a monobrow. He wears a crown made of pumice stone. He’s resting on a patio chair in the middle of an alien forest while drinking from a frothy mug.
I just found my next book cover.
Okay, let’s try Parlay. Remember him? The main antagonist?
Arrogant man with blond hair. He wears black slacks, a billowing white shirt, and a tight vest. He has yellow eyes. Background is an alien museum.
How classy. Ah, his hair is supposed to be feathered, though. Forgot about that. He also needs amulets instead of a necktie.
Arrogant man with feathered blond hair. He wears black slacks, a billowing white shirt, a tight vest, and many gold amulets. He has yellow eyes. Background is an alien museum.
Excuse me, did I ask for SUPER SAIYAN 3 GOKU!? I must have to specify ‘short’ again for his hair. And is ‘amulets’ too complicated? Will ‘necklaces’ work?
Arrogant man with short feathered blond hair. He wears black slacks, a billowing white shirt, a tight vest, and many gold necklaces. He has yellow eyes. Background is an alien museum.
The heck is this?! Did Draco Malfoy just catch the snitch!? And wow. ONE necklace. Finally. Bravo, AI. Okay, time for the most difficult character of all. The man-monster VORNIS!
A genetically engineered monstrosity. He appears as a large man with plated scales covering his chest and hips. There are two large blades protruding from each side of his stomach. Two smaller spines protrude from his neck in a ‘V’ shape. His hair is wispy and white. He has claws and fangs. Background is a dark mansion.
Wrong again, AI. This picture is actually what DARROW will look like by book four.
As I was working on this post, my friend Matt heard about my AI adventures and tried to create Vornis on his own. Here’s what he came up with:
I guess that’s a bit more fabulous than mine. 😑
Okay. Enough fun for now. Maybe I’ll add some of these pictures to the character bios. Gotta be better than stealing other peoples’ art, right?
See you next time! 😅