The Factory

Placing our thoughts in order and putting them into practice is the hardest challenge of all.

Month: April, 2014

Research, Pitch and Work.

With only 8 weeks left to get some solid ground covered and make a good start on the pitch for my novel, I am feeling a sense of optimism towards the central themes, characters and settings – all chosen from a ferocious study session reminiscent of my uni days.

The book takes a look at the battle between a person’s morals and actions to survive, while providing for their family when pressed under the usual strains of tough social and economical times, with the added nightmare of being forced into war – having an idea of where you want your dreams to take you, but having no control over the situations that threaten to completely annihilate all ambition.

I have decided to set the story during the late 17th century and early 18th century, during the smuggling years on the English south coast. The reason behind the decision for this time and place setting is the similarities between the struggles that the average person faced back then, compared with the troubles faced by many during the recession of the previous years. As a person who has struggled in the job market since graduating from university – four years ago – as well as growing up on a fine diet of punk rock – these social issues have always driven my lifestyle choices and personality. However, this is certainly no opportunity to bitch about the establishment – the much-hated ‘man’ – another reason for my choosing to place some colour into the book by using the smuggling-era as a setting.

My interests also lie in the interaction between the classes. The huge taxes set by the king at the time isolates the working classes while the middle classes, or the law enforces, the judges etc are rich enough and harbour enough power to employ the fisherman and sailors from the coastal settlements to line their own pockets, with both parties benefiting greatly, while the smugglers, even if caught, were often spared the gallows in return for their loyalty. And the decades of smuggling, often freely under the noses of the revenue men, gave the king no choice but to relent the massive taxes, slashing them greatly.

Deadlines.

With the last days of March drawing to a close, I was somewhat surprised that April had come around, yet again and just like last year, so quickly. I took a look at my workload, my aims for the year and my inbox, only to discover I had achieved very little since the beginning of 2014. I found myself in a similar situation last year, April 2013 had come into play and I had written nothing, not a single word, letter, or title page. I was stuck fast in the rapid quicksand that is writer’s block. In fact, I had completely stashed away all pens and note pads; the block was that bad, I didn’t have anything to say.

This year that is not the case. This year I have too much to say, a deepening workload and deadlines running at me from all directions. I needed, and still have to, place my thoughts into some kind of order. To do this I have decided to start a blog, something I have always been sceptical of doing, mostly because social networking and blogging about every boring aspect of a person’s life is the done thing theses days, and I do try to avoid modern trends.

However, after reading Jay Malinowski’s blog – Jay is the lead singer and guitarist of Bedouin Soundclash, as well as being a writer and an artist. Jay uses his blog to update his followers on the progress of his side project with the Deadcoast, and their debut album Martel, a concept album that has a companion book, called Skull and Bones.

I will be using my blog for similar reasons, but mainly to keep myself in-check and up-to-speed with my deadlines – having a poetry commission to complete by May, three to five chapters of a novel complete and ready to submit (which I haven’t started writing yet) by the end of May, as well as three other poetry projects that need to be completed and sent off for illustrating; my aim was to have these ready for publication by August/September time, we’ll see!!!