Tag Archives: author

Writing Is Reading?

Hmm… I was complaining the other day (oh well, most of the days) that I don’t have time enough to read stories. At the same time I was formatting my story ready for publication. Going through those 180.000 words I thought about my writing process.

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And really – I had made plans on how the story would develop. I’m very good at making plans. Just ask my hubby dearest who is shaking his head at all my calendars – both paper- and digital ones. Well you gotta have a calendar where you plan your writing schedule – your work calendar. And then a smaller calendar for the handbag you can dig out to check your everyday events (the handbag in question is actually big enough to accommodate the bigger work calendar as well, but that’s beside the point…)

I learned to plan every day beforehand when I had to write all those essays during my Egyptology studies. When I planned everything in my calendar the first day of the new semester, I always knew what I needed to do each week and day. Lessened stress considerably.

So plans, careful plans, were made to write Nephilim Quest 1: Shadowhunter. Only the story had other plans. It took over. New characters appeared and much to my surprise seemed to have a will of their own. When I really got into the flow of writing, my fingers typed and I just stared at the computer screen, wondering what was being written. It was like I was reading a book while it was being written. And oddly enough when I read the story through, I noticed my subconscious had tied the story nicely together. (Ok, well, nicely… The editing part took over a year)

So who am I to complain I don’t have time enough for novels? I was reading a story while my fingers typed in on the screen. Quite a wonderful experience, really, to see how a story pours out and onto the “paper”.

And now I need to take that work calendar and start planning the next story in the series… I do try to keep up with my plans, but most likely I’ll end up reading a story that writes itself through me. Still –  for a short while I can pretend I have it all planned beforehand, before I start the actual writing again…

The first chapters of Nephiilm Quest Book One: Shadowhunter can be read here.

If you have already read the previous chapters, you can continue with Chapter 2. Kitty Is Gone

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Writer’s Helpers

I came across these photos from the time I was working on my essays as part of my studies for the Certificate in Egyptology at the University of Manchester. (I continued the studies and now hold the Diploma in Egyptology, which took five years of studies that basically dominated my free time so I did not even have time to read novels). Our own apartment was being renovated and we lived for two months in a small one bedroom apartment, which was crammed by some of our furniture, hubby and me, and the three felines who are very much aware of the fact cats were worshipped in ancient Egypt.

I suppose if there is any writer out there with cats, this is a rather familiar experience to them. Kitties seem to be a like little children – if Mommy tries to concentrate on anything else but them, they make it known what the priorities are. Despite the intervention I did manage to finish the essay (it was about the rules of ancient Egyptian two-dimensional tomb art during the Old Kingdom).

writing with rolli

Obviously the rhythmic tapping of my fingers was rather relaxing, as you can see from the second photo…

writing with rolli 2

This still continues if I take a book or my iPad to my hands with the intention of reading or doing research. It seems a book is an invitation to the cat to hop on your lap…

Immersed in writing

If you also write, you have probably experienced the following:

You look at the time and think that ok, there’s some time you can use for writing before you have to do X (add your own activity which you have planned on doing – cleaning a cupboard, studying, watching something interesting on TV, going for a walk…).

You sit down, open your computer, find your text and begin. Fifteen minutes, that’s all you have. Thirty max, you decide and start typing.

Then the phone rings and you are scared out of your wits. You look at the time and don’t believe it – three hours have passed.
I love those moments – being so immersed into doing something you love that you forget the time. That’s life at its best. 

 (a picture of my writing mascot who followed me home from the British Museum)

Seven Things About My Writing

Miriam Bibby tagged me on Facebook to discuss 7 things about my writing. I figured I might post my reply here on my blog as well, with some editing done.

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1.  Not many know but I have written stories since I was… Well, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Fairy stories as a child, and fantasy when I was older. None of those stories have been officially published. Though I did win some school writing contests. I don’t remember the subject of this one competition any more, but the best price was a trip to Hunnebostrand near Göteborg in Sweden. I still remember those roses climbing in the gardens, and the wonderful sea and islands. Not even Liseberg’s amusement part could compare to the sea… (I’ve always loved nature, and the sea especially)

 

2.  For the past five years I’ve mainly written Egyptology essays – first when I studied for the Certificate in Egyptology and then for the Diploma in Egyptology (University of Manchester). I really enjoyed that – loved all the research involved, and my only problem was that I could never fit in my essays all the information I had gathered. Still – pruning your original draft into half of its size sure teaches you not to fall in love with your own words. A very useful skill to any writer.

 

3.  I learned the hard way to first just write a story through, and not stop to polish my style until the first draft of a story is written. I used to fall to the same trap over and over again, and found myself making the old mistake of beginning to correct my style before the whole story was done. And that way the story never finishes.  The editing only comes afterward. (And trust me – that is much harder than the actual writing) 

 

4.  Oh, sorry. Sure I have published something, kinda sorta. I put up a website http://www.inspirational-short-stories.com a few years back, before starting my studies at the University of Manchester. There I put some of my stories. I am now in the process of pruning those – the site was sorely neglected because of my Egyptology studies. And after five years I look at what I write with completely new eyes… Some of the pages will definitely end up in garbage…  But oddly enough I seem to have quite a following in India… Strange… But I like the people and colorful culture of India, so that is quite nice actually.

 

5. And yes, you could read Mr. Mummific’s opinions about our modern life from an ancient Egyptian perspective as short stories, I suppose. You find him at http://www.ancientegypt101.com  – do have a peek but don’t take him too seriously… He has his dry tongue firmly in cheek. (If you only want Egyptology facts, then skip Mummific and go only to the facts-pages) At the moment we are slowly going through the pharaohs and queens of Egypt in chronological order, and I throw in other pages about other aspects of ancient Egypt as well, when I have the time. (If someone has time to sell, do tell…)

 

6.  I love historical novels and fantasy, and love to write that too. So that would be my genre for sure, if I publish my writings in real novel format. Needs diligent research, though, and there is always the fear you get some detail wrong, but I try to get my facts right. 

 

7. Shall I publish fiction, then? Have I written something “serious”? I leave you in suspense… But to give you a hint: Miriam A. Bibby​ is an excellent editor! (Something a non-native speaker of English definitely needs.) Just don’t your steal her from me, you aspiring writers – she is my “Precious”. (Yes, Lord of the Rings was my definite number 1 read when I was young). If you want to be impressed by her wonderful writing, check http://amzn.to/18xdUBC