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Novel writing – Draft of first part completed

It is done. I have used 28 790 words to complete the first part of my novel. This would mean around 80 pages in a standard paperback, and roughly constitutes one third of the story I plan to write. This is a very big step indeed, and I’m going to elaborate on that as soon as I’ve tried to introduce the project itself. It’s a bit odd, but I think this is the first time I mention the book on this website, with the exception of progress reports.

I’ve been writing fiction since I was very young indeed, but apart from a few short stories, I have never really finished anything. As I grew older, I wrote even more, but focused on things related to fiction, but that wasn’t fiction itself, such as role-playing games. All this time, though, I’ve been wanting to write a novel, but it’s only now I can say I’ve started down the road that leads there. I might have had a cursory look before, but this time it’s for real.

When I started the 101-in-1001 list in April 2006, I decided it was high time to do something about my creative writing, and thus put both a role-playing game and a novel on the list. Even though I subsequently failed to complete any of these two tasks on time, I still invested a lot of time in both and I’ve no doubt that I will complete them in a foreseeable future. Here is some basic information about my novel:

Working title: PKK
Language: Swedish
Completion: 2010+
Genre: Science fiction (soft)
Pages: ~250

I always choose working titles that have nothing to do with the project and that can never be used as a real title, simply because of the risk of getting stuck with a name that once sounded nice, but turned out not to be very good in the end (Magneter och mirakel for instance). PKK, as in the Kurdistan Worker’s Party is such a name.

The choice to write in Swedish was far from obvious, but I turned English down mainly because¬† I don’t feel comfortable writing everyday conversations in that language, my never having spent more than a couple of weeks as a tourist in England. In the future I might return to English, but it’s Swedish on the menu for now.

Late 2009 is of course a vague guess and only goes for the writing itself. As for polishing, corrections, proof reading and publication, I have no idea.

The genre is science fiction, though this is not obvious most of the time. With “soft”, I mean that the focus is not on science itself, but rather on its consequences for humanity and individuals.

The 250 pages is also an estimate, but I will not write a novel much longer than that (please read this article to understand why).

So, one might ask, what is this novel all about? Regrettably, I cannot give a straightforward answer to that, at least not one that makes sense in a practical way. This is indeed a drawback of the concept, but it’s inherent in the story that it becomes spoiled if disclosed. In short, it is a story about two very different women who together tries to make sense of momentous events that take place around them. Thematically, the novel is heavily focused on worlds of experience, both of individuals and of groups, and how these interact (or more often, fail to interact) and what this has to tell us about everyday life. What is real in the first place is also a fundamental question, both in a practical way and philosophical way. Philip K. Dick can perhaps be said to be the most important literary influence, so if you’re familiar with his works, perhaps you can understand better what I’m talking about here. I did say it was hard to summarise, didn’t I?

Regardless of this, completing part one feels great. Of course, it’s only a draft and a huge amount of work remains still to be done, but I have proved to myself that I can write regularly and that I enjoy it. These two qualities will make me able to finish this novel, of that I’m sure.

That will have to wait for a while, though, because I have decided to take a break and focus on other writing projects for a while. Preparing for part two, I plan to write a series of short stories introducing and exploring the themes, characters and setting of part two and three of the novel. I might also have another go at my role-playing game Magneter och mirakel. Thus, I will have time to plan parts two and three more thoroughly and then go on writing. I already have quite a detailed structure of the entire story, but as the story progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to write and so needs even more careful planning.

It will therefore be a while until I can tell you about progress on part two, but for now, I’m very satisfied with having completed part one.

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  1. Kalle’s avatar

    So what can a brutha do to glean a look?


  2. Olle Linge’s avatar

    First you must sacrifice a pint of blood to Dagon, then you must…

    No, not really, we can just talk it, how about that?