Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Ghost Writer (Pt.2) - The Ghost of the Failed Writer

Yesterday (or eight inches below this sentence), I showed you the 3 Writer's Ghosts that are going to appear in an upcoming article on Fuel Your Writing. I also did a 'Marley's Ghost' style phantom - a spirit to warn of the impending ghosts - but decided not to use it in the end as it was a) too many pictures for an article that's only 1000 words long, and b) because it's a little despairing for the vibe I was going for in the article. You can see what I mean...

The Ghost of the Failed Writer:
Just as Jacob Marley was chained and held down by money boxes, so the Ghost of the Despairing Writer is tethered to his career and bound by the chains he forged in life: the works he abandoned and never finished, all the books he hoped to publish but never did, all the ideas he left incomplete. He's an unfinished story, wandering through the space between words, haunted by writer's block. Spooky, no?

Facially he's heavily based on our fearful fellow from Munch's 'The Scream', but also has a teensy bit of Doctor Who's Silence thrown in (fun fact: as you may know, the look of The Silence was actually modelled on 'The Scream'). And I wanted him to look like he's wasting away like a struggling and starving 18th century writer. He's meant to be a terrifying, despairing creature because he represents everything a writer fears: Failure

But don't fear him. There's only one way to dispel the Ghost of the Failed Writer, and that's to pick up a pen, start writing, and never, ever stop.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Ghost Writer

It's always nice when two things you love doing reach a confluence: in this case drawing pictures to accompany an article I've written for Fuel Your Writing. As we're standing on the glittery precipice of December I had an idea for a Christmas-themed piece. It's called 'A Writer's Christmas Carol', and discusses the 3 issues, or 'ghosts' that will haunt a writer the most as they go about their hobby/career, and they're presented in the same manner of Charles Dickens' famous Yuletide tale; Past, Present and Future. I'm not going to tell you what the issues are that they represent as that'd spoil the article, but you can see the accompanying ghosts I drew to represent them.

All 3 are done in black biro. I love working in biro. It was one of the first drawing techniques I was taught, and it really lends to the Dickensian 'Phiz' sketches I was trying to caricature. Biro's excellent for shading and representing the shadows of candlelight.

The Ghost of Writing Past:
With hair of ink and a dress made of manuscript pages, the Ghost of Writing Past is meant to be a spritely and playful nymph, tearing out pages from manuscripts and books and throwing them at the writer, either trying to inspire him or to remind him of his failures.

The Ghost of Writing Present:
Based heavily on the image of the spirit of Christmas Present (especially the one in Muppets' Christmas Carol), the Ghost of Writing Present has a crown made of fountain pen nibs, and holds chains, either to help guide the writer in his work, or hinder him by chaining him up. I'm quite pleased with how bright the candle looks in this one.

The Ghost of Writing Future:
Heavily inspired by Mike Mignola's bold use of black and shadow, The Ghost of Writing Future also has a Mignola-esque skull. Writing Future's spirit is meant to be almost one with the shadows beyond the candlelight, blending into the shadows so that it's hard to see where the dark ends and he begins. Like the future itself he's there but obscure and hard to make out.

UPDATE: I'm also doing a Jacob Marley style Ghost, that won't appear on the FYW article, but will be on here tomorrow. I can't leave old Marley out.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. You'll be able to see them with their full (and may I say very readable) article over at Fuel Your Writing in the next week or two.