dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-10-14 03:41 pm
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To Nano or not to Nano

 (What I've learnt the last couple of weeks: few things are so damaging for your creativity as a severe cold. Especially when it's one of those brain-draining colds that makes close to anything hard to do, including doing the things you are supposed to do. But anyway....)

I realized a few weeks ago that Nanowrimo would be hard for me to attend this year (for those of you not in the know, you write 50 000 words on a new story in the month of November). I leave for Tokyo on the 14th and I get back on the 30th. You don't have to be a genius to realize that might be hard to do. But then again, this would be my fifth year, and to break off traditions... Looking through my statistics from last year (which was quite a slow one) I came to the conclusion that it might not be impossible, last year I was at 48 000 words on the 13th. So doing the Math I should be able to pull it off. And it would be fun. It's not how I write my most interesting pieces, I admit to that, but it's good opportunity for me to try out new things, write in genres I usually avoid and suchlike. 

Sooo.... I finally decided that I would take the plunge this year, and I might be writing five other stories at the moment (did I mention I'm a compulsive writer?), but I have one that has been laying in the back of my head, waiting for the right moment - a story set in 1970's Sweden with the main character just having finished school and having her last summer break before leaving her small hometown and going to university. 
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-09-29 01:51 pm

(no subject)

 Finally managed to get a decent background for my posts.... Just took me a few months (though admittedly it would have been much faster if I had actually worked on the problem and not just noticed it was there....)!
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-09-28 10:28 pm

Introducing my writing projects, part 2

 (Right, must remember to log in here from time to time - don't want to let this place go to waste... A new year has begun now, so it is a good time as any to start over, or more exactly continue like I had planned.)

My second writing project for the moment is a story which I for some reason have given the name "String theory". It has the nickname "The String". After all, every good story must have a nickname. It is some 30 chapters, and some 100 000 words - though I must admit that I, at the moment, am too lazy to actually check the figure. My boyfriend called the book's genre "intellectual chick lit" which might be quite correct. It is definitely a comedy, in any case. And it's in the editing stage now, which is exciting and scary all at once.

The main character is Anna, a 22-years old girl living at home with her mother and older sister, who takes a break from her studies to take the job of her dreams. That is, taking the job as a personal assistant to a world famous writer whom she has admired incredibly much since she read his first book when she was 15. The problem is, of course, that he has no reason to hire a young university student, so she lies on her resume and about her age (and plays a few other tricks as well, to be sure to get the job). Not that it's a very glamorous job, she mostly has to run errands for him (buying coffee, shirts, and things like that), answer his fan-mail and stay out of the real work - done by the writer and his secretary, Renard, who is anything but friendly towards Anna. But the secretary has to work with her to make the life for the writer as smooth as possible, and Anna (who is a friendly soul) tries her best to get along with everyone - though being so close to an admired author makes her come to the conclusion she might prefer the books to the person behind them. And when she gets drunk after finding out her ex-boyfriend is dating her sister it is the very bemused secretary who has to help her, which isn't the best start on a beautiful friendship, to say the least. 

dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-09-13 02:32 pm

Introducing my writing projects, part 1

 At the moment I'm working on six stories (writing 4, editing 2), and that is quite a lot even for me. A couple at a time is not unheard of, but this.... What can I say - I get a lot f bright ideas and I didn't want to loose any of them and save them for "later". Later is a dangerous time. 

So what am I writing at the moment? I'm sure you're all dying to know (let a girl have her dreams, right)!

The first one is by far the eldest - I started it in 2008, but on the other hand this is the fifth version of it. The differences between some of the versions are small, between others much greater, in version four I added a couple of chapters and expanded others to get a better flow. And this fifth one is editing around the comments of two trusted readers - to check for things I've missed and to make sure the right point comes across. For example, if my main character is to be upset I don't want her to seem frightened for her life necessarily. As a writer you so desperately want the feelings to come across that it's easy to make it too obvious, and too thick with it. 

The story is about a girl  who gets pressured, by her family, to get engaged to a posh young man (his father has just bought her father's business, discovered some illegal affairs and quite simply threatens to go to the police if the family doesn't comply with their wishes - so she gets engaged to someone she has never met to keep her father out of prison). And to make her a proper wife she is sent of for her last year of school to an expensive boarding-school, the same school her fiancé is attending and is the admired (and somewhat feared) head of the student council. And then she has little less than a year getting to know him (easier said than done), figuring out why she got dragged into something like this and learning Hamlet. Apart from Sarah and Daniel, the main characters, other important figures are Helena - whom Sarah shares a room with - and their English teacher Mr. Smith (young, sadistic and a smoker who rents a one bedroom apartment in a nearby village).
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-09-09 04:06 pm
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 My as yet untitled novel is finally finished (at the moment it has the uninspiring work title of "The personal ad" - but that won't work if I ever make something real of it). It came in just under 125,000 words which I think is a good length for a normal book. I fear it's a romance, which is a genre I don't read much myself - but at least the love interest is not a man most women would actually want much to do with. No, he is not abusive, he is not unfaithful, but he is very full of himself and doesn't really care about the consequences his actions have for others.

But as I am the author I know he cares for my main character very much so I'll let him have her - and hope she won't suffer too much from it.

The funny thing is (or perhaps the scary thing is) that this is the third time I write this story. The first time was back in 2009 when I bought the book "They call me naught Lola - Personal ads from the London review of books" (look it up, buy it, it's hilarious) and that gave me the idea for a writer working for a lifestyle magazine who is pressured by her boss to put such an ad in a paper and go dating and then write about it. The first time around I wrote the beginning of the story and then the end, and realized that perhaps there need to be something more in it - not to mention that the motives for the characters were a bit... unfinished. So I scrapped it.

Version two became much longer than that, I kind of knew where I wanted the story to go this time - I actually finished it. Sort of. The only problem was that most of the story was the main character walking around just waiting - waiting for her dates, waiting for her boss, waiting for her ex, and the chapters where something interesting actually happened were few and far between. It would have been a drag for anyone to read. It was a drag even for me.  So, it was finished, but that didn't make me much happier and I felt I had let a great idea go to waste.... Didn't like that. 

So in April this year I went for a third round, and seeing the structural difficulties I had had, I planned the story  much more than I ever do. I kept some scenes (though I rewrote them completely) from version 2 and took away all the annoying waiting, I still had e-mail conversations between the main character and her boss between (most of) the chapters, and I finally managed to make sense of why things turned out the way they did, I finally understood why my characters acted the way they did (I even managed to understand why she had dumped her last boyfriend). And I had a lot of descriptions (which is where I mostly fail otherwise). Now I'll have to let it rest before beginning the editing. I'd better since I have another to do in between. And I have some new stories to write on too, I have something to fall back on (I hate finishing a story and then having nothing new to turn my attention to, it's not good for me). 

So I'll end this with some happy jumping up and down. *jumps happily up and down*
dameboudicca: (Bleach - Uryuu rättar till glasögonen)
2011-09-06 02:08 pm
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Sims3 and my characters.

 I wonder if I'm the only writer in history who actually uses the PC-game Sims3 as an experimental studio for my book characters. I build their houses and I make my characters into Sims, giving them traits they show in my stories and then place them in this artificial world and then I see what happens. (Not all my households in Sims are actually "writing households" but quite a few of them.) What I like the most is that a) my houses generally works quite well, practically I mean, and the sims generally act together as I thought they would. 

Yeah, I loved my doll-house when I was a kid... 
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-09-03 03:48 pm

Staring at the screen

 I swear, writing the last 4000 words of a 100000 words story really is the hardest thing to do. Well, perhaps not the writing process itself - just sitting down and actually start might help. But I've found myself these last few days hardly writing anything at all! And that is, when it comes to me, just weird. I need to sit down and write it and then move on. I mean, I have things to move on TO so it shouldn't be that hard. 

Or it could be because I have a couple of chapters to finish on a non-fiction project that makes me so reluctant to write anything at all. Because that is something really, really important to me - and nothing can make me freeze up quite as much as importance....
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-08-26 02:31 pm

I can see the end now

 Four chapters to finish off, then another story to the edit-pile. At least I have other projects to work on after that - I would feel so empty and sad if I didn't. I often do when I've finished writing something.

And I really look forward to finishing this one - more than the usual accomplishment of actually finishing writing a novel. This is the third try with this idea and I failed miserably the first and close to the finish line the second. I really liked my idea to begin with so I like that I've proved that it's workable. I hate failing. I especially hate failing when it comes to writing!
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2011-08-25 02:45 pm


 Maybe I really should start using things one a bit more than I already am (which is not at all much... my friends' list was a depressing sight, I tell you, when I bothered logging in here). I need to do some serious work here (like redoing my layout) and kind of figure out what this place is for... Reading and writing maybe? That was after all the original plan, when I first got this!

So well, here I am! :)
dameboudicca: (Bleach - Uryuu trär nål)
2009-12-11 12:46 pm
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(no subject)

Today the home-delivery of furniture will land on our door-step - including a sofa and five book-cases.

The most scary thing about the five are that they are actually needed, or at least needed of a sort. Three are for me, which will bring my total up to eight. I did a calculation on where to place what - one for manga and Japan-related material, two for fiction, one for classics, and three for non-fiction (with two specifically for different eras in history - antiquity, middle ages/renaissance, early-modern, and modern). And this leaves me with one empty. I don't think I've calculated wrong and I need the space for other stuff (my own writing, magazines I'm published in, and the like), but I have a feeling it will eventually be full all the same.

And yes, if you hadn't figured that one out, I like sorting stuff!
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-12-10 11:56 pm

Getting myself free books

All I have to do is read them (and write a few words about them) - and I even get to choose them myself.

Not that I need any more books, but who am I to say no?
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-12-10 12:23 am

Oh dear

Haven't posted here in ages...

...and I should.

But this is just saying the obvious - I will actually do something about it later. Like tomorrow...
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-10-18 01:40 pm
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Love and friendship, part 4

Time to print out three copies of Love and Friendship for those who will be reading this third (fourth) version of the story. Never been so particular about a story as this one - but then again I usually shove it in a drawer as soon as I've finished, and what good does that do? No, time to be serious about writing.
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-10-12 12:30 am

(no subject)

I don't particularly mind this famous new flu. I just mind having it. I mind having had it for well over a week and still get a fever by trying to live my normal life. And I mind very much my right lung feeling like somebody used it for a punching-bag (that was the lung whing had a slight case of pneumonia in February).

I want it to be over now. I have a life to take care of. My life.

Well, at least I can write even when sick. I have to nice stories, which I write in notebooks (I know, it's SO old school! ;)), and I figured out that the reason I didn't like the ending of Stringtheory (even after having written it twice) is because it needs to be longer. And I will do something useful for NaNoWriMo, just because I can... I just need... a little less fever, and life would be perfect!

So what have I missed in the close to two weeks I've been gone?
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-09-26 06:40 pm
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Back from business

It is really nice to be away out in the real world from time to time - at least if it involves working with books and writing (or doing stuff which will make it possible to do so). I went to the Swedish Book Fair in Gothenburg - a gigantic thing with all and everyone in the Swedish publishing world, and then some. The point is to find cheap books, especially those from publishing companies you've never heard of!

And if you have a nice idea for a nice book it might be a good idea to talk to a publisher about it. And shake hands with them you already write for.

Of course I did all of it. I have a suitcase full of books - everything from comics to archaeology reports (I have too many interests, I find too many books I like), shook hands and promised to mail an outline. I was so nervous talking business, but I still think it went well (at least, it obviously did not go wrong!).
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-09-10 11:13 pm
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I was going to say 'it's that time of the year again' - but then it obviously isn't so I'm not.

But I have an idea, based on a line I read as a description of a manga (that I have never read, and probably never will), and my all to vivid imagination took off.

I have never written about a demon. There should always be a first, for everything. Well, perhaps not demon, but some kind of unnatural creature who is not a/-n angel / vampire / werewolf / undead et c. Demon will suffice for now.

Now, I just have to figure out what to do with my demon. I will get back to you on that one...
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-09-09 02:47 pm
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Write what you know.

You know, that advise you get all the time. It has some truth to it (especially if not taken to literally).

But what do you do if you suffer from prosopagnosia (facial blindness), when you couldn't describe the face of someone you knew if your life depended on it even? If you are incapable of reading facial expressions (at least, if they are not really exaggerated). Does that mean you have to write stories about faceless beings who never shows the slightest hint of an expression on their faces? It would be all right if your character had the same condition, but if you don't want that...?

This is not just a question out of idle curiosity, I have these problems, and so far I have avoided it by using generic descriptions (put together from stuff I've read), but it feels a bit like cheating (no, no, not word-by-word, of course not - but still!) - and I'm terrified someone will, eventually, see through it. After all, I know it's fake!

Or, do I have no choice but to continue as I do now?

[somewhat cross-posted]
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Persuasion - Anne i ljus)
2009-09-07 11:20 am
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Home again!

And after some nice rest I might even catch up some here - well the key word is 'some' since ten days would be a lot of reading. If there is anything in particular I have missed please feel free to tell me! :)
dameboudicca: (Arakure - Pat me)
2009-08-26 02:58 pm
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No, I don't need a pat on the head - I just like the icon!

Nothing like a migraine to keep you away from the computer for a number of days! Sorry about that - I have them so rarely, why can't I skip them altogether?

Anyhow, this is mostly to say I won't be around much for a while - I'll be going to Germany tomorrow for about ten days. We are supposed to have Internet, so I might post - but I won't promise anything.

See you when I get back, otherwise!
dameboudicca: Blowing papers (Default)
2009-08-02 02:58 pm
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Back after a week of intense working over at the university library (which means no Internet for the whole day, and a very beat dB in the evenings)! It was an interesting experience, I have done many things, but never done an official translation before. If you are giving it your first try I would recommend you not to start with a text from 1906, written by a literally deranged Danish guy who is convinced Pan is Lucifer is Satan is Jupiter is Venus (et c. - and I'm not pulling any legs here) and the creator of everything. It's interesting, but when he can't even write complete sentences it's interesting in the 'I want to pull my hair off'-kind of way...

Now I can return to my lovely, and normal Etruscan roof-tiles, and my own writing. And my brains won't try to commit harakiri on me!