Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Old Friend


I have several ideas on the go at the minute. One is far more ambitious than anything I've done before, and is tying me completely in knots.
I'm trying to take babysteps into fiction, you see. I've bitten the bullet and I'm attempting to write my first chapter book- but with pictures that work like a picture book. So, not just an ordinary staggeringly hard task, but a mixture of staggeringly hard tasks. Neither of which I've really done before. Good one, Cass!
Anyway, I've come to a bit of a standstill, and I'm well-aware I've been working the old procrastination rituals over the last couple of days. I think it's time to take an official break, rather than starting to beat myself up about it.
I've decided to re-visit Quentin Fox for a bit instead. You may remember that Quentin proved to be popular with the publishers as a character, but I couldn't find the right story for him to make both me and the publishers happy. I didn't want to sell him short, and a lot of the stuff I came up with was either too old for the publishers or too twee for me.
When I come up with a character I really like, I find it quite hard to confine them to a story. It feels like I'm limiting them somehow. Perhaps because a lot of the time I'm trying to squash them into a story that doesn't quite fit. I'm desperately trying to learn the art to story-writing at the moment, and I think part of it for me, has been to learn patience. You hear about people rustling up a story in their lunch break (one Alex T Smith springs to mind) but I think I have to learn that for me, although ideas come easily, whole stories are blimmin' hard work!
A while ago, I started playing with this cut out technique for background. I was trying to remedy another one of my bad habits- the fact that I tend to overcrowd scenes. I wondered if I was to create a background without drawing whether I'd still have the same trouble, as it really is my pencil that allows me to get carried away. If I worked more purposefully (creating each individual piece) would I still be so free and easy with detail? Whilst I love detail and will go to any lengths to defend it (despite the fact that it's SO out of fashion at the moment), I think this quieter result does make you appreciate the little bits of detail more. Weirdly, since it's so different from my normal stuff it still feels very me too.
I find some images grow over time. I've had this image sat around for a while, and slowly, slowly, slowly it's been growing a story somewhere in the background of my mind. This afternoon I thought I'd find out whether this story is ready to be put down on paper yet. I feel a bit nervous, so wish me luck!

9 comments:

Lynne Chapman said...

Good luck!

I think this new technique looks really interesting and very different, which can also be a very good thing in this difficult days.

You're right about it focussing attention too. Go girl!

cassia said...

thanks, Lynne. It's good to hear from you. Seems like it's been ages since we spoke. How are you?

BTW, appologies to all about the paragraphing on that post. It doesn't seem to be coming out right.

karen said...

good luck, i love this image with the simple background, it works really well, very stylish as well as nicely drawn and cute so ticks all the boxes and Quentin Fox looks like a lovely fellow. x

cassia said...

ta, Karen. How's stuff with you? What's Ollerina getting up to these days? I suspect you've probably had your hands full with another little body though?

Joanna Dover said...

Sounds like Quentin is just the kind of cheeky little fox to take you on all sorts of adventures! I reckon if you follow him - it will lead to all sorts of stories!

I'm sure you have it in you - just have to wait for it to pop out!

Good luck :)

karen said...

Yeh, hands full trying to stop Finn leaping from them, he's a willful one. Unfortunately Ollerina is somewhat bored waiting for me to stop washing up, cooking and performing diy tasks and write her something interesting to do. Can't really blame family life though, it's more the dump of a house we brought last year but am hoping to have a living room to sit down and write in one day soon.Lucky for me Ollie is keeping my hand in with "mummy have you got any more ideas or your story," he's drawing them for me and is chief tech/ cool invention advisor. To which I reply no cause I a haven't had time to think!!!! she'll be back soon though!Glad you asked. x

cassia said...

I hope so, Joanna. His adventures might be still further delayed, mind! Pesky fox!

Hang in there, Karen. Pretty sure Ollerina won't let you go.

Quintin Fox said...

Crossing my fingers for my namesake...

click clack gorilla said...

OH MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU NEVER MENTIONED THIS HUZZAH! So are these sometimes thoughts of fiction still alive and well? I mean, this post is rather old...
Still. Yey. (And yes, I am procrastinating at work. What of it. :) )