I Remember

When I think about my book, when I think about my characters faces, their paths, their journeys, their fates and the message that this story as whole is telling, before I see it, I feel it under heaps of buried emotions. Sometimes I wonder, is this book a piece of literature successfully conveying a great story and message to a captivated audience? Or is it just a mere sense of a lone author, hopelessly chasing a feeling that always escapes him? A feeling he cannot simply lock down and try to understand?

Without revealing too much, I will try to explain to you what I mean by that statement. Please stay with me on this because this article I know will be hard to write, already I am finding myself entrenched in too much thought. I was actually in the process of preparing a rant for you to read, rambling on and on about trivial things that drive me up the wall, things like slow walkers on the pavement, bad driving, unreasonable people and slightly off cheese and milk, but after a long days work, a long walk home and a much needed coffee, I deleted what I initially was going to spew at you, and decided to reveal a part of me that not many people know about. This post will be a little different to what I usually publish, but providing readers with something out of the ordinary from time to time, something rather unusual that makes one scratch their head, is what keeps the masses intrigued and entertained. I write books, it’s a form of entertainment at the end of the day, this is what I love doing, entertaining you.

The first book has indeed been written but not all published just yet, as some of you will know Book One has been split into three separate Volumes. ‘The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream – Volume One and Volume Two’ can be found on The Amazon Kindle Store, I will provide you the links below if you are interested. Paperbacks require a little more work but it is underway, and Volume Three will be released soon after the dust settles from the release of Volume Two. Then it will be time to move onto Book Two, the sequel, Volumes Four, Five and Six. I am proud of the work I have accomplished and will of course appreciate a purchase, but won’t throw a tantrum if I sell zero copies; Why? Because I write for me, I do it because I enjoy it because I love doing it. I feel like it is grand and ambitious story to tell, one worth telling and learning about because the messages conveyed are important. I am attempting to do something never done before, and that is to push the genre into a direction that it has not encroached on before. By doing this I hope to one day set a new standard, if I fail I fail but I want to make that reach at the very least. This article will briefly explain to you part of my own personal process. It is that time again guys, so please, sit back, relax and enjoy the read.

When I was ten or so, I used to feel a sense of loneliness before leaving a place I had spent large amounts of time in and had grown attached to. For some strange reason I always found myself wandering the environment alone, an environment I was about to part from and take in the memories I had accumulated there over the years. The first time I experienced this feeling was when I was leaving school. I cannot remember precisely how it had happened because it has been a fair number of years since I left, but I remember being alone in the playground, taking in the memories of my classmates. I remember walking the corridors where I learnt things, circulating each classroom just one more time before heading home, sitting at my desk and soaking up the empty yet haunting atmosphere. This happened again when I left secondary school, College and University. College was a particularly fond memory, happening after the grand 2006 Graphics Exhibition where I first presented the idea of ‘The Ancestral Odyssey’ which was called ‘Mythology’ back then. I remember sitting before my display boards as the headlights inside the atrium were shutting off one by one. I had been the first to arrive for the event, and would be the last to leave. Something similar happened at the end of my University life. I had become dreadfully sick toward the end of my third year, and had unfortunately missed out on the graduation ceremony and after party to recover. When I recovered I was offered a choice, repeat the year or attempt to get my final assignment done in a month, bear in mind that the time scale of this assignment was set to about three months long. I decided to risk doing it in a month, I could not tolerate a year of my life spent in a place that I should have left. Never have I worked so hard on an assignment before, I was working at it 24/7. I stayed with a friend and commuted into my University every day for an entire month. I finished the assignment, handed it in on time and made good use of the facilities and my time there. However on the last day, once I flicked off the Mac for the last time, gathered my things together, I couldn’t help but feel that same feeling of sadness, everyone was gone. This place, this room was once buzzing with working students, students I had gotten to know, studied with and had grown close with, never again will we be in the same room, working as we once did together. Eventually, this sense spread to my working life, I’d spend years working at the same place, I’d meet people, gain experiences and learn things whether it be with others or alone. I could feel it coming sometimes, the winds of change, and as my friends and colleagues would be swept away by these winds, I’d know my time would come soon, but I would not follow their path, I’d make my own or take up what was offered. Every time I leave somewhere important, somewhere I’ve spent a great deal of time in, I always allow myself that time to remember what has taken place. It both saddens me yet fills me with joy to know my own journey will continue. Nothing lasts forever. The winds are changing, I feel its pull heading to one of the farthest places on Earth from the UK, Australia. The time will soon come to pack up my things again, possessions that follow me around from place to place, some possessions of which have followed me through my entire life, others not so much and some having left me all together.

With this all being said, I attempt to incorporate feeling into my books. I try to tap into those strong senses of emotions I felt as a youngster and place them into key spots of the book. Depending on my skills as I writer, I believe this will tip the balance between a good and great story. This can be extremely difficult at times, similar as if I asked you; What does music look like? or What do you see when you think of nothing?  Such questions lead me to ideas which are novels in themselves, for example, within ‘The Ancestral Odyssey’ there is a race of people who can actually manipulate sound and music, they can make it tangible, colorful and give it shape using the apparatus of their day, apparatus inspired by sound bowls and wind chimes I discovered in Romania and some markets in Bosnia. This idea of mine is currently being written, a story part of my ‘Mythorigin’ collection. Anyway, getting back to the topic…Of course each emotion has its uses for different scenarios, you cannot use the same feeling one gets from being upset, and weave its way into a scene that is centered around aggression and hate, you need to be tactful in which emotion you unearth and be careful where you place them to really give your audience the same effect. This is the reason why my book is an epic, because I identify with my own journey as a lone Human being. The definition of epic is as follows, pulled right out of The Oxford Dictionary itself “A long film, book, or other work portraying heroic deeds and adventures or covering an extended period of time” This powerful sense of travelling, journeying, moving on through thick and thin, heading out onto a new path is the emotion that resonates within me the most, and it is by far the most potent. Some of the great authors of today have often told aspiring writers to write a book on what they would like to read, to write what stories they would like to be told, to write something from the heart and what is most relevant to you. I interpret this as; Write what you know and write what you love, why stray to do something other than what you are passionate about?

One such method I’ve found that helps with the unearthing of emotions, is music, music is key to my writing, as key as coffee, tea, food, oxygen and whiskey, yes I do mean this. Music can trigger all sorts of feelings, perfect for gearing up your head space before sitting down to indulge in your book. Deprive yourself of music, cut it out of your writing process and I believe your outcome will be significantly weaker in comparison to one not deprived of music. I dare you to try it, go on try it after you finish reading this. Put on pause what you have going on, turn up your volume, get those headphones in, sit back and play a few tracks that you used to listen to when you were very young. Take it a step further perhaps, listen to music your parents or your guardians used to play when you were still finding your taste. Play music from films you haven’t watched in years, take original soundtracks from some of those old classic games you played. I can promise you that you’ll feel something, although the feeling will be the same, you’ll process it in a different way because you yourself, have matured and gained in experience. Identify with the feelings, store them and use them appropriately within the scene in which you are writing. This is how I write my most epic scenes in ‘The Ancestral Odyssey.’ Applying such methods to your most important scenes in my opinion will increase your words potency.

Another such method I’ve found useful when trying to capture the atmosphere of a certain scene, is to try to take something from real life, something you have personally experienced and then describe your experience as best you can. This method, again falls back on your skill as a writer and how well you know the complexities of the language, which is why it is so important to get busy living. The more you do, the more you experience will come through in your writing. When I got back from travelling Europe I found my skills had improved dramatically. Now I know what you are saying, I know what questions you are about to raise so I’ll do my best to field some of the most obvious ones. How can you relate to being a soldier when you have not been one yourself? How can you describe what it is like to be in a place so bizarre, so unreal where you can desribe the sense of feeling effectively? If your main character is a woman, and you are a man, how can you possibly relate to some of things females go through? … Of course there are a truck ton more questions you can ask, but we only have so long here don’t we? … I write about knights, warriors, thieves and rogues, my main protagonist is female as is (arguably) my antagonist also a woman, I am none of these things, so how do I write them, where do I even begin!? The answer to this comes in two parts A) Research and B) Experiences. You need to research no matter what you are writing. As you write, it’s always a good idea to have a few books handy on relevant subjects or at the very least have Google opened. As for experiences, I used to be an athlete, I used to run for a club, I am a very competitive person. I have tasted the joys of victory and felt the pain of defeat. I’ve competed against people older, bigger and stronger than myself and still won, more often than not. I also used to be an extra, I was an extra in the most recent ‘Robin Hood,’ ‘Captain America – The First Avenger’ where you can see me as clear as day in a certain scene, and ‘Wrath of the Titans.’ Before arriving onto set outfitted in your armour and weaponry, I had to undergo training at boot camp, where we were trained by real S.A.S personal. Before put in front of a camera you had to demonstrate that you were confident part of a group or alone. I learnt how to march as part of an army of thousands, I was taught how to wield a sword and shield, spears, daggers and how to shoot a bow and arrow, it’s a lot harder in reality as to how it is portrayed in TV. Taking such experiences from my own life, amplifying them to match my novel and on top of that actually talking to real people who have been in military situations, has really given my writing an advantage over most others who unfortunately were not as privileged as I was. When it comes to relating to women, the answer is simple, talk to them. There really is nothing more to say on this subject of women, if you are a guy, writing a book where your female characters are under the spot light, talk to your lady friends, ask them a few questions and listen to what they have to say, most will be more than happy to talk with you. Same goes for women, ladies, talk to your guy friends if you are struggling with the male psyche.

If you would like to know more about of my favourite pieces of music that really help capture emotions, if you would like a list of some of my most beloved films, games and books by all means you may ask me. E-mail me your question or Tweet me on provided links, be sure to check out Youtube and find my Promotional Teaser Trailer for ‘The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream,’ please rate it as you see fit. If you have enjoyed this post I have other articles linked on this page. If you want to request a topic you’d like me to cover, forward me your request using the e-mail address below. I get a lot of e-mails so if you haven’t heard back from me, please be patient and I’ll get back to you asap. In regards to the new artwork you see on the home page, the original photograph does not belong to me, but belongs to a wonderful photographer going by the name of Kyouko, I only used a small portion of the photo and included my own effects, if any of you would like to see the original please contact me and I’ll direct you to it. I am no longer making personalised Bookmarks, the last batch were dispatched today, however if you really really REALLY do want one, please state your first name, your two favourite colours and a quote you or another has said that you like to hear, this quote will go on the flip side of the marker. Be sure to tell me within the message who you are quoting, I do not want to seem like I am passing off other peoples works as my own. The next marketing project I will be working on will be beer mats, I plan to create a nice little design on coasters and go on a large pub crawl in Oxford, leaving a few mats in each establishment I visit. As always, thanks again for your time, hope you visit again.

The links below are as follows

To the Amazon Kindle Store – https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The+Ancestral+Odyssey

To the Teaser Trailer – youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf2qNplelyk

To my Twitter – @MegasTeque

To my E-mail – taotome@outlook.com

D.W.Gill

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