Perspectives in Art and in my Novel Writing

My art classes with Ruth have been a wonderful opportunity to work under the guidance of a friend who is an artist I admire and such a good teacher. We are a small group and although I missed 8 months by being in the UK I was welcomed back in. The previous post shows two of my attempts at reflections. I find myself so absorbed and mindful while trying to draw or paint. And so much is about light and shade with different tones. I find it useful for my writing too as contrasts and perspective are needed. We went to Alajar in the photos below to attempt some perspective with great views.

So where have I got to with the novel I keep hinting about and have shown some of Ruth’s illustrations in poems from last years blog. Well, the problem has been perspective. I wrote an animal story with a journey narrative which imagined some animals common in this area, the Sierra Aracena having to go on an extraordinary quest to find new ways to adapt and survive. I wanted this to be very true to the nature of wild animals and reflect on the amazing biodiversity around us. But I did not want talking animals and this story was not for younger children. I thought 9 to 99 would be the readership. Well, that was a big mistake with publishers these days. It’s now focused on being Young Adult/Crossover.

My next big mistake was perspective. I went for 3rd person Omniscient as I suppose I am a reader of novels from long ago. With some editorial input I began to change the perspective to be from the point of view of each of the animals on the journey. Not easy as there are four; a rather timid weasel and a determined black kite journey together. They must find the strikingly handsome bee-eater who has no mate so decides to fly north with the rather regal buff tailed bumble bee who is struggling with the rising temperatures in the wild valley of a southern European Sierra.

The novel follows their experiences, the variety of animals they meet and the dangers they face. But there was a suggestion I also bring in a human story and so there is another perspective now. A young woman in her late teens who also has many challenges to face. However she regains her strength from the knowledge of nature she learnt from her grandmother.

The next hurdle I hit as a writer was this emphasis on SHOW do not TELL. The idea is to be filmic and show like a camera each scene and the emotions. I was able to do this more in the animal narrative as I tended to be descriptive but I found it harder with the human character. However, the point is this technique is supposed to be better at involving the reader and creating empathy with the characters. My main aim is to create feelings of empathy for wild nature.

I am encouraged by some experts in the publishing arena; one who said she would follow Comadrito, the tiny weasel. So here is a short excerpt from the opening…….

A shadow crossed over the rock. Comadrito’s tail twitched and he was alerted to being fully in the present. The warmth of the rock soothed his paws. This was where he was supposed to wait. Ears heard birds but then all went quiet. He should move, but he felt safe with his paws stuck to the old rock.

Comadrito’s whiskers sensed dangerous movements in the air. His instincts told him to withdraw into the abandoned rabbit burrow. Another shadow passed over the old hollow tree. His camouflage on the rock was of deep brown on green and grey. Within a whisker tingling it was too late. Great claws gripped around his slender body. The firmness of the boulder under his paws became the emptiness of air.

Comadrito’s eyes could not take in his sudden change of view. He was being lifted high into the spaces of the sky where the birds flew. His point of view was changing and his eyes struggled to focus—the world below him grew smaller until the great trees looked like small bushes. He was used to close contact with the undergrowth. He was used to the glossy, smooth leaves of low-growing trees and bushes that would brush against his coat, and the madroño tree with its strawberry red berries and white flowers on overhanging branches, glinting and dazzling his eyes against the brightness of a deep blue sky.

Madrono flowers and fruit

A BIG thank you for reading and any thoughts on this and the process of writing a novel are welcome. This has been taking up so much of my writing time but there is now the possibility of an Independent publishing house so I am hoping my nature saga or odyssey might finally take flight!

Inspiration from

Opher’s World and in particular his book Ebola in the Garden of Eden

Annika Perry and all her writing advice and her wonderful short stories

Smorgasbord for all the work they do supporting writers

Dverse Poets for helping my poetic instincts

And all you other bloggers who keep following me closely. It inspires me to write and share so much and I love to read all your different journeys.

25 thoughts on “Perspectives in Art and in my Novel Writing”

  1. I love the excerpt and feel sure I would enjoy the finished book. You are certainly putting a great deal of thought and effort into getting it right and seem to be approaching it very professionally. I hope it continues to progress well. The art classes are a great way to relax!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Loved your descriptive writing Georgina, and the theme behind it. I would agree and have found, particularly with books having color illustrations and photos, independent publishers can give you a better product, the way you want it to look rather than follow the standard version of mass production. It is always a long journey first time round, but once you publish your first you know what to expect. I was only able to get mine exactly the way I envisaged this way, after much time wasting and stressing with large publishers. My books have now become one of the best selling self published here at present because of their unique nature and colorful presentation, when others told me it could not be done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is very helpful and I think is how this independent publisher will work with me. At present I do not have the confidence to self publish as I the marketing would be more difficult. I am glad to hear you have done well with this and was thinking of trying to get hold of these.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for sharing information about your process and the excerpt. Have you read Brian Doyle’s novels? He does what I think you are striving for. “Martin Marten” would be a good one to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So interesting. Although writing is important to me, I’ve never felt drawn to write a novel – or indeed any fiction. Looking at all the issues you are reflecting on as you consider your writing perhaps explains why! But the time you are taking will result in a considered and more polished end result.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I enjoyed your story excerpt. It’s very exciting and I found myself identifying with the animal. I understand your problems with publication. I’ve thought about all the options too and have decided to self publish my novel as an ebook. At least that way I’ll hopefully get a handful of readersshich is better than never finding a publisher and having no readers. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad you identified with Comadrito. Quite a few readers do so it gives me some hope I am on the right track. Publishing is the nightmare and I am hoping this Independent Press will help but it is slow to publish and I feel the time is right now. So I may go down the Amazon route even though have reservations about the impact of this global company!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Georgina, congratulations on getting so far on your novel. It’s such a treat to read some here and wow, I LOVE your writing and the story so far … want to read more NOW! Reckon I’ll just have to be patient! As you were describing it at the start of your post I thought you are very ambitious and it takes skill to write a novel in this vein but you’ve nailed it! Beautiful writing, wonderful atmosphere and details yet such personable characteristics I’m immediately drawn in. Reminds me of Jack London!

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the painting and could pick it up after your long stay in the UK!

    Bless, thank you so much for the lovely mention – it’s made my day! I’ve been on an unplanned blogging break and just catching up with posts.

    Good luck with your book. Any title ideas yet? Here’s to your ‘nature saga or odyssey might finally take flight’! xx

    Liked by 2 people

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