#skrivutmaningapril, 3

Luften var laddad. Någon röt till och allt svartnade för en sekund. När synen återkom hade jag flygit flera meter bakåt och framför mig hade jag ett par. Helt tysta, endast stirrande in i varandras ögon. Nej, inget par. Ingen respekt var synlig i deras blickar. Det var hat men igenkänning. Vilka var det där? Oavsett så tycktes det inte finnas någon trevlig utväg på situationen framför mig.
Den lite äldre mannen lyfte långsamt handen för att sen överraskat snärta till den mot kvinnans ansikte. Hennes reflexer var bättre. Som om att hon hade sett hans handling redan innan den hänt. Hon grep tag i hans hand, böjde den åt fel håll och luften fylldes än en gång med ett ryt. Den här gången av smärta istället för ilska.
Men det stoppade honom inte från att höja andra handen och slå kvinnan i magen med knuten knytnäve.
Jag slog mig för magen och skrek samtidigt som kvinnan framför mig. Andan gick ur oss båda.
När kvinnan böjde sig dubbelt sträckte hon ut ena benet och fällde mannen och var på honom med händerna runt halsen innan han förstod vad som hänt. Hon klämde till.
Slagsmålet försvann framför mina ögon och ersattes av en svarthet jag aldrig upplevt innan. Jag tvingade upp ögonen och stirrade rätt in i mannens.
“Du har blivit bättre sen vi sist sågs,” sa han till mig medan han kämpade efter luft.
“Min tränare i unga dar var inget vidare,” svarade jag med glimten i ögat och släppte taget om min gamla mästares hals.

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#skrivutmaningapril, 2

”Kom hit då, lilla bubben! Kom då! Ja, kom hit!” Svansen viftade med den uppenbara känslan som strömmade genom hela hans väsen. Bollen var nästan platt i hans mun när han kom springandes. Stolthet över att ha lyckats med uppdraget att hämta den flygande leksaken var också tydlig i hans ansikte. Med snabba men klumpiga skutt var han snart vid min sida.

Luften försvann ur mig när det stora fluffet hoppade upp på mitt bröst och släppte bollen rätt i ansiktet på mig. Slafsigt och blött. Men känslan spred sig till mig som det snabbaste viruset och jag skrattade högt samtidigt som jag höll om min lilla älskling och kastade iväg bollen på nytt.

#skrivutmaningapril, 1

My writing depends on many things. It should be the other way around, shouldn’t it?

I have 26 000 words in 10 months. That’s not good. I need motivation. I think the inspiration is there. I pretty much know what to write, or at least where I want to go with each new chapter. But so many things come in between.

I think the most important thing (besides people who want to continue to read what I have yet to write), is routine. At least that’s what Stephen King says in his book “On Writing” as well as Litterära Konsulter (who gave me feedback at the Book Fair last September).

So I have accepted a challenge. Workout challenges are fun. Reading challenges are fun. But I have never felt the urge to follow them through. A writing challenge however. Yes, that could be my thing! Not just fun, but with a purpose as well. Writing a little every day to get a routine while at the same time learning to “show, don’t tell” as I have learned it is called in English. To give something form and meaning by showing it rather than telling it. If that makes any sense.

The challenge is provided by Litterära Konsulter through Instagram. We are given 30 words to write something about without writing the actual word or synonyms. Just to describe it, show it. And then let the readers guess the word.

I am actually writing this in Swedish, could be good exercise too. And here comes my first entry in this challenge:

Favorittröjan så här i kalla vintertider låg på golvet i badrummet efter gårdagens långa och uppvärmande dusch. Inför dagens promenad längs sjön i det molnfria och friska senvintervädret var den vinröda stickade det givna valet.

Hon drog den över huvudet. Något var inte som det brukade. Nåt fränt trängde sig in i näsan. Surt. Inbillade hon sig? Nä, usch! När skulle hon lära sig att katterna alltid passade på att kräkas i klädhögar på golvet?

How is this possible?!

A few days ago, my mom sent me a picture of the first page of the book she just started reading. I read the first line and thought “Oh, how weird, someone started their first chapter in the exact same way as I did”. Then I continued to read and all I could think for the rest of the page was “What the fuck?!”

I have never heard of Peter May before, or his book Coffin Road. But it is scarily similar to my first page! My first thought was that this might be me in a previous life. But the book was released 2016, so perhaps it was an earlier time in my reincarnation process but in this timeline, because time doesn’t matter in reincarnation? Perhaps I am living a double life as a Scottish author. Haha!

For those of you who have read my first chapter, you will most likely recognize this red-marked part from Coffin Road. May uses different words, but he follows the same path as I do. My first two sentence are “Salt. The air that filled my nose was full of that salty aroma.” His first sentence is “The first thing I am aware of is the taste of salt.” Pretty similar, don’t you think? The second thing his character aknowledges, is touch. Mine feels warmth, his feels cold. Then May’s character opens his eyes after what seems an eternity (mine can’t tell how long she lays there, a minute, several hours?) and it blinded, exactly as mine is.

Then he fills out with environmental descriptions, and throwing up, which I don’t, but then the realization hits both of our characters and they start to wonder who they are and where they are.

Then of course, he writes in a different way than I am, perhaps slightly better. Only slightly though, hahaha!

I still have a hard time believing this. This is insane!! I have had plenty of “what the fuck”-moments lately, but this takes the price. It is unbelievable! His book is a detective story and mine fantasy. It’s funny how two so completely different books can start in exactly the same way. Funny.

Another milestone reached!

Yesterday I hit 20k words!

I have so many things in my head right now, things I want to both rewrite and continue to write. And as from the beginning, I still have tons of ideas for parts that will happen in 30k words or so. If only a day had more hours!

Right now, I am currently adding a whole new section to chapter 1. I am adding conflicts and excitements instead of just having it poetically beautifully written. I don’t want an anticlimax where I built up to something and then just threw it out the window. This will be great!!!

Gothenburg Book Fair

In Gothenburg there is a book fair held annually. And as a book enthusiast, I am embarassed to admit that I have never been, until today. If I hadn’t had an appointment, I probably wouldn’t have gone at all because of the demonstration. I won’t go into detail about it because it is extremely upsetting and I honestly don’t understand how the city of Gothenburg could approve of a Nazi demonstration. So many thousands of people on both sides coming to Gothenburg of all places, from all over Europe to demonstrate. Svenska Mässan, which is the place where most fairs are held in Gothenburg, was right in the middle of all the action but mom and I were lucky and didn’t get in the middle of anything.

We started our day at Heaven 23, the top restaurant in Gothia Towers. In all the years the hotel have been there, I have never been to that restaurant and had one of their famous shrimp sandwiches. But today I did! And at one of the best tables, right next to the window with an overview of all the chaos down in the street. Lots of people there, but we were lucky. Nice experience!

So anyway, at 16:30 I had an appointment with a literary consultant. They offered free analysis of the first chapter. I was nervous, but the woman I had who read my chapter was really nice and gave me some really helpful tips. For example, I was really good at making the text flow, well-written, and good environment descriptions. The first part of the first chapter was really good, built up some suspension, but it got kind of flat at the second part. I put together chapter 1 and 2 as they are written now because it made sense. There is kind of an anticlimax, I build up for some suspension but then leaves it. So I will add some action, or maybe not action, but something exciting instead of the “perfect” and boring paradise life.

Something else she told me that really inspired me was that I need to direct the reader in some direction. Either plant hints about what will actually happen, or lead the reader in a different direction and make them surprised when something else is revealed. I have planted lots of small hints, but they are not enough to guide the reader in any particular direction. I have to think a little bit about that I think. But I already know what kind of suspense I will add. I got the idea exactly when Anna-Carin told me about it. It will be awesome!

There was also a monter where there was supposed to be a short seminar about how to publish a book and what to think about. I was there, waiting, but when I got there the owner of the publisher told me that the security guards told them to keep the volume down. But the monter behind them were allowed becase the security guards didn’t want there to be any conflicts. The monter behind was Nya Tider (the nazi paper)… She is gonna post a presentation online in a week and I will look at it then. She gave me lots of help there though and I knew what kind of questions to ask at least one publisher that I have looked at before. It sounded really nice! But that is far away. Hopefully only a year, but we will see.

Anna-Carin also gave me lots of advice, like what I should do if I get stuck. I should try to write from a third person perspective and from other people’s point of view. Now I will get very “stuck” with my main character, to whom I draw lots from myself. She told me it could be good to write some other things and feelings to get perspectives that will give me a better understanding of the story.

Lots of good help and if I get really stuck in the future or need anything, I now know where I can turn. Unless it is way too expensive. But she was really professional and helpful and kind and excited. It was a good experience and I am now more thrilled than ever to continue to write!

This fall has been better than this year’s summer. Beautiful evening in downtown.

Starstruck

A lot of people are telling me to read books that they loved. Most of the times, it takes me a long time to actually get to read them. One of my biggest regrets is Throne of Glass, it took me way too long before I read it from when someone told me about it. One exception to this behavior of mine is Lars Wilderäng’s Stjärnklart series. I read it almost instantly and I loved it! One of the best series I have ever read. I know a lot of people who think the ending is too spaced out, but I loved it, it was the perfect ending to that story.

Anyway, to my starstruck-story. Yesterday I had a friend from Cal Poly here for a day and I just had to show him my favorite store (and probably his new favorite store): Science Fiction Bokhandeln. When I was there I saw a sign that tomorrow (=today) Lars Wilderäng woud be there to sign his new book, Höstsol.

I have a really bad cold right now, but that didn’t stop me from going. I usually don’t get starstruck around celebrities, and wasn’t at first today either. I was a loss at words first, but then told him that I loved Stjärnklart, and told him, somehow (I honestly don’t know in what order I said stuff or how I got to it, but we talked for a little while) that he had already sent me signed copies of the whole series because I wrote reviews last Christmas. Want to know something funny? He remembered me! And this is where I got starstruck! He told me that my blog post, written in English, was used to promote the book abroad!!! Somehow, I also got it in there that I am writing my own book in English (because he remembered my review specifically since they were in English). I told him that I currently have 17k words and he told me that I should aim for 100k words. He also asked me what it was about and it looked like he slightly nodded approvingly when I briefly told him the story in two sentences. Or at least that’s what I will remember to keep myself motivated to keep writing.

This is definitely on my list of cool stuff that I have been through!