Master of Composition

Ivan Kulikov,  1904, Oil on canvas, Gemäldegalerie der Stadt Murom

I am plagued by an unusual curse in life that to a large extent has limited my efficiency of output in my journey of story. During each occasion that I apply processes and habits that are tantamount to purposeful action and positive results I am bombarded with imagery and memories from my formerly successful past – my dreams morph into the passion of my youth. It isn’t until my eyes creep open that I must self-inflict a painful reminder that my former dream is now dead and the passion I once had is a crop that can only grow but never produce. This cycle is debilitating, anguishing, and demoralizing. The common solution to this problem is to engage in behaviors that will distract the mind – behaviors that do not hammer a single nail in the foundation of success.

But tonight I stumbled on a realization.

The successful behaviors I employ today run along the same wires that propelled me to perpetual improvement during my youth. It seems that running current through the “success” channels of my brain may be what is prompting the vivid memories that I’ve spent so much effort to contain to the past.

Successful behaviors will produce the desirable result across different fields of application.

Our tendency to produce work that passes our highest degree of scrutiny will dictate the quality of our artwork. The determination to shape each plot point to its proper timeline, each character change to its newfound obstacle, each word to its speaker, and each action to its motivator will all work in tandem to deliver a story that resonates with the viewer. The same characteristics of tedious effort carry over to music, to painting, to family, and to life.

Now what if in God’s hands we are no different than one of our works? What if our ability to shape our thoughts and actions toward unrelenting focus on a singular goal is what enables Him to make us that artist we seek to become? Perhaps by undertaking the same processes, disciplines, and habits we know are required to deliver masterful compositions we are enabling ourselves to be shaped into a master of compositions.

I’m sure these connections may be obvious to most, and to others unconnected, and to still others uninspired by any deity, but to me this has been a light-bulb revelation.

I find it ironic that my previous post was making a mockery of the need for an exemplary script prior to moving toward production. I have spent the past 2 days ceaselessly sharpening my story to the point that it will puncture the mind of the viewer. Despite the likelihood it will not achieve any great recognition even when it has been completed, that is not going to stop me from trying.

The composing of art to the highest level of personal achievement is both fulfilling and self-developmental. Any artist on the bottom is not creating to be heard, recognized, or profitable. We are creating because every object of creation competes with every other object of creation. Each individual has the right to compose their piece with a masterful stroke of brilliance should they reach high enough to grab it. The ability to acquire these skills is a God-given right, and for me that is a most tremendous blessing.

Cover Art

I’ve been researching successful indie authors the past few days to get an idea of how I can maximize book sales. One point that gets hammered is the importance of having a good cover design. Word on the street is find books in the genre you are writing in, see what cover designs sell the most books, then get a cover similar to them. If it were up to me, this painting I made would be my cover for Way of the World – Michael’s Story:

Kingsley's island on fire

And I feel it would be complement the cover to Way of the World – Adam’s Story:

Upscale Saloon

Unfortunately, one truth I have learned about people is they’re much more likely to purchase a product that seems familiar to them, rather then branching out to try a product that seems unique and different. Here are my top three cover selections from the genre of Christian Fantasy:

a draw of kings resistance cover - depositphotos the gift of light - j. and g. publishing

Each of these covers was designed by a different cover artist. G. and J. publishing, Lookout Design Inc., and “Resistance” credited four various contributors.

Perhaps I’m dreaming big, because I have no idea whether these cover artists are even available, willing to work with me, or even within my budget. Still, these covers are impressive, and each contributed to a book that found its way into the top 100 bestsellers list for Christian fantasy.

What do you think? Which cover design is your favorite? Am I fooling myself by thinking the paintings I made would make good covers? Be honest now.

Looking forward to your responses.

– Thomas M. Watt

Author of “A New Kingdom

Adam’s Plot

Image

A point, a reason, a purpose due.

A thought, a quest, a long pursuit.

A fear, a doubt, a question posed.

A reason for the reader to go.

Entertainment is not enough,

Nor are words puffed up with fluff.

Need to feed the man some strengths,

Some endless longing for his wrong days.

For what does this one man stew?

What is it that he so must do?

Brain is trembling, being all fears, so much time – plot’s still unclear.

Cannot quite touch it yet, need the thought but it’s still wet.

A playboy, a pessimist, a selfish man too,

Fear of love, a heart untrue.

He needs the fame but no King’s glory,

He needs a plot or his story’s boring.

Currently his chapter’s are fun,

A lot of sex, a thoughtful run.

Does his best to escape his needs,

Falls in love with Gnashing’s great weed.

A woman who is beautiful, charming yet, precisely dull.

She’s got a character much like his own  – Sweet with words, a heart that’s cold.

His story ends with much betrayal, for the girl who did enable –

Him to meet the antagonist, she brought him to the bad man’s twist.

So what now, what’s all I’ve told?

From what you’ve heard, what quest is known?

I need a plot, a question to pull. I  need a purpose, or Adam’s story just lulls.

– Thomas M. Watt

Mayor Dunlap’s Estate

Mayor Dunlap's Estate

This is the Dunlap’s estate. It is known as the most lavish abode in all of Gnashing, and is frequently admired by all who pass by. It is located in the farm country, and is the same home former Congressman P. Farro inhabited.

Michael has some troubling childhood memories here, as the third story room was where he committed twelve murders during the Slave Owner Slaughter.

For more about my novel, “Way of the World,” feel free to check out my website at http://www.thomasmwatt.com

Don’t said it wrong!

Image

Vision is dim eyes are blurred, where do I go, where had I were.

Grammar school lesson easily taught – the writers who make it don’t give a fauk.

What do we say, what do we do, what do we know, what’s new with you.

Laughing, happy, crappy, cough.

I hate all those people who constantly scoff.

Stand up my friend let’s hear your joke then,

Let’s see how it goes when the critic stands in.

Shitty dippy, dippity-doo. Find me a snack and I will bark for you.

Oh boy he’s crazy, shit now I know, I shouldn’t have read this, wait shit I wrote.

It.

What’s with this poem and all these strange rhymes? Did he really just add only one word to that line?

And who does he speak to, for whom is this written, why does he breakdown his voice intermitten?

God oh that’s painful, ‘nother word misspelled, dammit to heck the writer can’t seem to tell,

The difference ‘tween ramblings, spellings and his, ability to place commas within sentences.

And why does he talk with his voice like it’s mine, why does this guy pull this shit all the time?

Somebody tell him, please somebody say – We are all just waiting for your style to decay.

You will soon fall, dwell with the rest, you will shortly collapse and see our way is best.

No sir I’m sorry, really I do, the problem with me is, I just don’t care about you.

I am a bit crazy, hazy with words. See them like colors, splash on my verbs.

My work is of art, a mixture of paint. A strange tendency to love what most people hate.

Well fuck me I said it, I did what I do, scramble your brain, and be like mine too.

– Thomas M. Watt

(Painting courtesy of Ayse Juaneda, the greatest painter in the modern world. You can view more of her artwork at http://aysejuaneda.wordpress.com)