Mutterings and utterings of a budding novelist

Archive for March, 2011

Means to an end

In the past few days I have made this remark in deliberate reference to my job. I have also said a few times I wish I could pause time itself in order to blast out as much of my own work as possible.

Now I should probably be cautious when discussing my place of employment on my blog; you never know who’s watching or snooping. Speaking your mind on certain sites or social networks tends not to go down too well with superiors. Especially when you belittle them. Ha! But then again I’m a big believer in fate, so if any of my bosses read this and are offended, well I guess I’m sorry, and I’ll expect my P45 pronto. Futhermore, this isn’t work time, nor am I naming individuals, or businesses. It’s merely a record of my opinion at this moment in time.

Over the years my employers have shrunk our department repeatedly, which in turn puts added pressure on us that remain as we struggle to cope with the added workload. Now, in the past two months they’ve reduced us again – from five to two. Our department boss was one of the unfortunates to get the cull. So of course all the responsibilities he had have been passed to us, ramping up the workload to the extreme. Having already given up my breaks, I’ve now had to start splitting my lunch in half, and sometimes I go without any lunch at all and work straight through. All the time I’m sure our bosses feel we’re not working hard enough.

I guess it’s not the lessened breaks that bother me, it’s the fact that I used my lunchtime to work exclusively on my novel, and was a valuable window in which to hammer out some important illustrating and writing. Not that has basically gone, I’m finding the road towards fame and fortune is growing ever longer. I can’t believe I even felt guilty about working on it for twenty minutes today during lunch whilst customers endlessely griped where their advert was through email and telephone.

So what I’ve been debating about on the way home is wondering how much I can take of this Draconian regime. How much should I give up of my own life for a company who gives nothing in return. I’ve even debated with myself about taking more work home in order to lessen the burden during the daytime.

At what point do we stop following the dream and give in to a life of mundane, drab and bland obscurity. Currently I’ve been working on this novel for seven years now, with plenty of previous projects before it. I’m reaching thirty now and I’m pinning all my hopes on making this book a success and breaking free from the chains that demand so much of me and my collegues.

I see my dad, now in his late fifties, finally waking up to following his dreams and looking to escape his workplace that have held him for over twenty years. I envy him haha!

I make a vow to myself that I will never lose that passion, and I hope to look back on this in a few years and be proud that I never gave up.

Everyone I know who has a dream, I constantly tell them to never stop following it. If by some chance we really do only have one life, then I’m determined to make the most of it. And I hope everyone else does too 🙂

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Time Eclipse & Tapestry of Fates

When I was sixteen, during a brief moment of inspiration I had ideas for a few stories. These were ‘The Phoenix Sorcerer’, ‘Last Battle’, and ‘Time Eclipse’. I spent the most time on ‘The Phoenix Sorcerer’ during my late teens, producing artwork after artwork. After that I concentrated on ‘Last Battle’, trying to write a full screenplay on it (it’s currently in its third draft) during my uni years and shortly thereafter.

At some point during university I decided to base my final Animation piece around ‘Time Eclipse’ – a story involving fast alien ships (inspired by games such as Thunderforce IV) and time travelling robots. After my higher education had finished I decided to attempt to pen a full novel based on the same story. However I wanted to base the story five thousand years later, since let’s face it, it does bear a slight resemblance to a popular Arnie movie, so I felt it would be more original if I brought the tale to a point where the primary story had become a mere legend.

This tale became Tapestry of Fates.

I based many of the key characters around my friends which served well in giving them their personality. It easier to think ‘what would my friend say in this situation’, rather than just write what I saw fit. This has its drawbacks though as I could not write about any of these characters in a derogatory light. Not that I would want to anyway, it simply became a little more restricted. Also I soon realised that writing about the relationships between some of these characters had to be approached a little more delicately than usual. For instance, two of my main characters were in a relationship back in 2004 when I began the story. Since then they have split and one of them has actually married. This was probably just short sightedness on my part as I should have seen every probable outcome, and constructed the novel accordingly. Maybe I just didn’t think I would actually try to make something of this tale, or take it as seriously as I do now. Fortunately, both parties are happy to allow me use their names in the story, and trust me in which ever way it goes.

As it stands, Book 1 is finished in its entirety. All illustrations have been completed and the text is currently at the proof reader. Book 2 is completely finished in its first draft and I’m starting the front cover. Book 3 is half through its first draft.

Ultimately I hope it this novel that will allow me to become a full time novelist.

I will detail a bit more of the storyline in the coming posts. 🙂

This is protagonist Ella Bland (based on my friend Ella Cookson (maiden name – Bland).


Edinburgh

Normally my weekends consist of a quick tidy about the flat, a few brews, a quick chat with my mum and sis, and maybe a cheap night out.

Also, because Wendy works Saturdays I’m usually doing overtime or working towards the novelist career.

This weekend however me and Wendy went to Edinburgh, and although I’ve been numerous times, my better half has never been – despite her being Scottish herself. Now although I adore the city; especially it’s gothic look, Wendy said the place felt really sad. I do agree on this, Edinburgh has had a horrific, bloody past (probably why I love it so much!) and seems to emanate a lot of pain and and melancholy – especially around the old town. She dis say she liked it though, but wouldn’t live there.

Shame as I always said it would be one of the places I would like to eventually relocate to. Oh well, that only leaves Miami 😀

Edinburgh Castle

Me and Wendy at Edinburgh Castle


Finding Time

Ok since I’ve started this I better had post something!

When I get a chance this weekend I’ll write up a bit more about what I hope to gain from this blog. I guess should also put a little bit about myself. If you haven’t guessed, my name’s Ken. The username kennydreadful came from a friend of mine who after suggesting we try collaborate on a book of Victorian style horror stories (Penny Dreadfuls) my submissions should be called Kenny Dreadfuls.

I was born in Leeds, moved to Lytham St. Annes at 11, studied Graphic Design, Art, and Animation at college and uni, and then went on to work as a graphic designer at an advertising company where I still work today.

At some point during my further education I decided I would rather write for a living, be it through screenplays or novels, rather than be an animator. The study of art helped to illustrate what ever I was writing and even though I’m not the most gifted artist, illustrating your own novel, rather than get somebody else to do it, is a double whammy of pride.

This is the offending item taking over my life at the moment.

Needs editing though 🙂