3 versions of my Great Grandfather Curling & some thoughts on my novel(s)

3 versions of my Great Grandfather Curling & some thoughts on my novel(s)

Today I will ramble on about two things. The first is the restoration and colouring of an old photo. The second is my current thoughts on my writings (novels, novellas, short stories).

The old photo

As some of you may remember I started work on restoring and colouring a pre-1890 photo of my great grandfather William Clark Curling (of Hernhill, Kent).  Here is the original photo:

tnWilliam-Curling

So I played around a bit on Photoshop and got this:

tnWC2

And I quite liked that. But then I played some more, because this felt a bit rough and I wanted a more photo-quality feel to it.

tn2William-Curling

But this was too bright.

tn3William-Curling

I cannot say which I like the most. The first version has an almost painted feel to it that I do like. The second’s face glows in a way that I quite like, but the third has a darkness I like. I know that some of you will think that they are much of a muchness, and not even that good at being colourised… but still I ponder.

My writings

Please be patient with me, I’ve mused over this before and am doing so again. I am trying to get it figured out in my mind and writing it down helps.

I now have about 160k worth of words written. The words describe interconnected events in the lives of a rather large number of characters. Each character has a distinct storyline that just happens to have impact on the storylines of others.

I feel that when lumped together in one novel the storylines become confusing and muddled. I can easily imagine each of these storylines as an individual novel or novella. If I do that then there will be greater cohesion within the storylines. The thing is, readers will have to buy each novel/novella to understand the over-all picture and unless they do so some events will seem like unlikely coincidences or else Deus ex machine. Nevertheless I feel that this is the way to go.

If I do this, then the bit entitled “Tempting in Shade” (the name of the original overall book) will then end up as the fourth novel/novella.

Deconstructing the bigger novel into these components and then adding some bits to give continuity will be required. So probably another year of writing.

*** sigh ***

I also keep returning in my head to the concept of style. What is my style? What is my voice? My writing to date has been fairly typical of the fantasy genre. But is that me? Should I be brave and try to be me in my writing?

Not sure.

Greg

9 Comments


    1. Many thanks :) I love Photoshop. Nicole was right in getting me the subscription for my birthday. I am having so much fun learning it. :)


    1. Good question :) My main problem is that I love playing with words, making up words and also enjoy using a wide range of words. A number of people I know consider this to be pretentious, whereas for me its fun (I also adore puns, alliteration and assonance in my daily speech). So I am worried that if I write my in the way that comes naturally I will be considered a self-important hack writer with a tendency to the purple prose.


  1. I love the work you’ve been doing coloring the photo. It’s looking great. As for the novel, that’s a tough choice. There’s a lot to be said for simply paring a story down to it’s core. It’s painful, but sometimes it makes a strong novel. Feel free to explain the unlikely circumstance, or let it be — let the characters reflect on it. Sometimes unlikely circumstances do seem to happen when we don’t know the whole picture On the other hand a set of interconnected works could be interesting as well as long as each of them is interesting in its own right.


    1. Thanks David. :) I really appreciate the advice from someone like you who has experience. I’m beginning to realise that there is not a single core to pare back to. As I constructed the tale I gave each character their own motivations and this let loose a number of cores, all of which interest me (have to see whether test readers agree). But some little ideas are creeping into my skull :) I shall keep you informed :) Thanks again :) Greg


  2. You should feel sorry for all of us out here whom, no matter how we try can’t hold a candle to the simply magic work you’ve done with your GG’s photograph.
    No to the novel, you are faced with difficult choices. In my view, if the work does not exceed 300 normal paperback novel size, then leave it as one interlinked work. However, if you turn it into a series, then you can expand each volume so that they can stand alone. Unfortunately, you are then exposing your work to the whims of the readership, if they don’t fancy the first, then they don’t bother with the rest.

    What a nice problem to have though.


    1. Many thanks for those kind words. :) One day I hope to improve on the photo more, but I will let it be for now :) As for the novel, my head is so full of ideas. I totally love the world that I have created and it feels more like novelising history than writing pure fantasy fiction. I guess in these days of digital publishing I have little to lose as my goal is to get stories out there rather than become wealthy (but I admit I would love to live off being a writer). Thanks again :)


  3. Awesome work on the photoshop – but may I make one observation. You removed his hair that we see to our right, and that ends up with a flat line on that side of his head. To me it is the only imperfection.
    An idea on the novel vs. novellas thing. Would it work as a book of short stories, that just happen to be deliciously interconnected?

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