Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Writing workshop...

Because I went to one.

And it was awesome! That is really all I can say. Awesome! Oh... and Awkward... Let me tell you about it!

So. I arrived at the place where the workshop would take place and it was a small room for kids with serious - some times deadly - diseases to hang out and be themselves. At this place a few tables were sat up and we could sit roughly 3-4 around around each table. So being who I am I just sat down at the first one available. Two other girls sat down at the table with me, and usually I am pretty outgoing... but only around people who are also capable of... speaking... those two were just quite. And then I became quite. Which resulted in long awkward silences. But I don't blame them. I was that shy kid once. Now I'm awesome.

Okay, enough of that! The actual workshop, right. The author who was going to speak to us was Merlin P. Mann, who has written the "Taynikma" series - he has also written a lot of books for disney. He was there to talk to us about himself and how to write a great story. It was so interesting to hear his thoughts on subjects I have heard so many other authors touch upon, and I loved what he had to say. AND I loved his personality! The first thing he said when he came in was: "Can I take a selfie with you guys?" and he said it to me and those two other girls at my table! I'm the only one you can really see, so I'm just saying it's my personal picture with him.... kinda sad that my waterbottle is more in the frame than me, but Merlin did blame it on his short arms. 

It was such a great experience and I defiently learned a lot that I will take with me as I make my way into the business.

Keep Calm and Write On.

- Nanna.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Just keep writing, just keep writing...

It needs to be done, so just do it.

So... as I told you all last time I had rewritten the prologue and chapter 1 of my novel into 3rd person. Now I have written chapter 2 and am in the middle of chapter 3. I have to say; words are really coming onto the page. So far I have around 11k words done already. And I'm only three chapters in!

The only thing I fear is that I will make a "NaNoWriMo"... Oh, you want me to explain? Well, okay then!

A "NaNoWriMo" is an act of writing, where you put in too much unnecessary information in order to get as many words done as possible. Later, once you have started editing, all those wonderful words will shrink into maybe only a third of that original number. This is what happened to my story, when it was stil in 1st person. And I have to say that it was devastating. To see all those words disappear... it broke my heart a little. 

But of course I know that it is a necessary process. No first draft of anything will be perfect. What I am currently writing is technically the 3rd draft, but since I am writing it in a different POV I might as well treat it as just another 1st draft.

I thought I would start doing something new here on the blog... share with you, my favorite writing music at the moment. Just so you can see what gets me in the mood to write.

This week I have been listening none-stop to one artist: 

Jason Mraz

The funny thing is that the story I am writing is on the darker side, and his music is really happy... maybe the contrast makes it easier to write to? I don't know. His voice and songs are just so... perfect. Not for my novel, but it fits so well with my personality. That might be the reason...

Keep Calm and Write On.

- Nanna.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exciting news!...

And it was pretty exciting!

So as you know if you read the post from Saturday, I am rewriting my novel in 3rd person. I was in the middle of writing the outline, and guess what: I finished that on Monday! 43 chapters at the current moment in time. Now you may think... yeah that is exciting, but what is the big deal? 

The big deal is that, when I was writing the outline for the final chapter I started tearing up. Yes! Okay, so a little backstory... I'm pretty hardcore. I have only cried to a book once, but that was when I was young and didn't know what a good story was. Other than that I am usually ice cold. I didn't even cry reading Eleanor and Park, which surprised me. And I especially don't cry while writing my own stuff. Like I said, I'm ice cold.

So having that moment... feeling the tears... it just made me realize that maybe... just maybe... I'm writing something real here. I still have a long way to go, I've still only written the prologue and chapter 1, but things are going somewhere, which is good. Any progress is progress nonetheless.


I participated in a competition to go to a writing workshop with one of the lead authors over here in Denmark - along with other people as well. What I had to do to participate was write 2 chapters of a story about a teenager with a life threatening disease.

I first wanted to write about a girl who had cancer... but I know shit about cancer... so I would sound freaking stupid if I tried writing about it. Therefore I decided to write about a young girl who had progeria. I watched the documentary "life according to Sam" and read all I could about it. And then I sat down to write it.

It got selected. I got selected. In one week exactly I'm going to Copenhagen to participate in the workshop. And the most amazing thing is that we'll be workshopping at a hospital with teenagers who have life threatening diseases, but also enjoy to write. 

I just know it is going to be an amazing experience. I just know it.

Keep Calm and Write On.

- Nanna.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rewriting from scratch - how it is going...

Wednesday I talked about how I was considering rewriting my novel, changing the perspective from 1st to 3rd person. Well... I have now officially begun the process. 

I'm not gonna lie - it is hard work. And even harder when I found out how different my story, world and characters are going to be. 

First of all the story - The plot at its core has not changed. It is still a post-apocalyptic novel, however... whereas that was the drive point... it has now changed into a bit of a Sci-Fi/PA novel... maybe there's also some dystopian in there somewhere, I don't know. But so much has changed in the story that it has been necessary writing a utterly new outline.

World - Something I noticed while reading through the 2nd draft of the original novel, was that the world was VERY empty. So empty it was unrealistic. There were no people, no buildings - which was so stupid since it took place in Central Europe. Also there were some plot-holes that I can't comment too much on here, but trust me: Some people would read it and ask themselves "how is that even possible?" because it wasn't. When I first wrote the book there were certain things I didn't take into account... which is why I have created this new - and better, world.

Characters - Some of them I've kept... but that is mostly by their name. They have brand new personalities... there are overall new characters, who will be playing big parts. But most importantly: This version will have much deeper and better relationships and developments. 

So how far am I? Well... I have written the prologue and the first chapter. Now I am working on the outline for the rest of the book. The reason I didn't do the outline first was because I wanted to see how different the story would be from the original. Now that I know, I will have an easier time figuring out what is going to happen. I'm almost - if not - done with the outline for chapter 8. I still don't know how many chapters I will end up with, but hopefully I can update you all on that on Wednesday.

Keep Calm and Write On.

- Nanna. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dilemma as an apsiring author...

As many of you know I wrote a novel in November 2013 during the NaNoWriMo. After which I edited it and wrote the 2nd draft. Now I am currently reading it through before handing it out to beta-readers. Everything seems to be going well, right? ... not exactly...

It all happened a couple of days ago. I was writing a story for a writing competition I'm participating in. That story is written in 3rd person limited. Actually... most of what I write is in 3rd person limited. Except for my current novel. This one is in 1st person. And I thought it worked really well when I first wrote it. But then, as I was reading it through, I realised something: My world is so empty.

Because it is in 1st person, there is no reason for the characters to talk about what happened to the world and therefore it is hard as a reader to understand why things are as they are. Beside that I found that writing description is so much easier in 3rd person limited than 1st person, because in 1st person you can only describe what the character sees. That is not a problem in 3rd person limited; here I could describe the world as much as I liked without breaking the viewpoint. That option I currently do not have.

On top of the fact that I write better in 3rd person limited, I have also found that I enjoy reading in that perspective more as well. It's kinda stupid, but I feel like, when reading 1st person, that the author is telling me what to do. I know... I'm a freak. 

So this is kind of a dilemma. I have already finished the 2nd draft in 1st person, so wouldn't it be kind of a waste throwing that away just to write it all over in 3rd person... well no. I know it will be much better in 3rd person, or at least I hope so. I'll write the 1st chapter in 3rd person later tonight just to get a feel of where the story could go in that perspective. 

So yes. I will probably have to rewrite the entire novel once again, but it is okay. It just means that I am dedicated to my work and want it to be the best possible thing I can craft at the current moment in time.

Now I understand how it can take years for authors to write their books. 

Keep Calm and Write On.

- Nanna.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Review: "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

A short summary

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life - and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mom leaving

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.

Now the two sisters are starting college, and Wren doesn't want to be Cath's roommate. Cath has to deal with an entirely new environment alone and deserted from her sister. With classes, love, family and her online life, the question is: Can she do it? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand?

The good

... everything. Okay, let me be more specific for you. Rainbow Rowell is amazing. She isn't an adult who tries to remember what it was like being a teenager. She remembers what it was like. Her writing is so adorable, and describes every situation the way it is. Everything about her stories is so realistic that I some times forget it is a book. A work of fiction.

The characters are great. I especially loved the development that went on with Cath's character. But I have to say that out of all the characters Levi was my favorite. I wish I had a Levi... He is like... perfect! But not in the sense that he is unrealistically perfect. No. I  know people who act like he does, but he just do it in a more... OMG that's so sweet.... way.

I have to say I am so jealous of all Rainbow's female characters. Park in "Eleanor and Park" is like my favorite character of recent time. So adorable! But Levi is just more... long term material, I think. Maybe because he is older.

Anyway! I'm rambling!

Another thing I really love about Rainbow Rowell's writing, and this isn't just in Fangirl, is her pacing. She doesn't have the big thing happen right away. No. She builds it up, so it feels natural when it actually happens. From the beginning of the book I had an idea of where Cath and Levi was going to end up, but I loved seeing the development in their relationship. Same with Eleanor and Park. Rowell just know how to build good and lovable relationships.

The bad

I wanted more. That is really all. I wanted to see how Cath did for the rest of the semester. I wanted to see what happened after freshman year was over. But at the same time, I felt like the story had to end, where it ended. It felt natural. 

Anyway, I gave "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell 5 stars on Goodreads. Defiently check it out if you're into cute contemporary books about an extreme introvert overcoming her freshman year of college. 

Keep Calm and Write On.

- Nanna.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Update on stuff...and things...

Because a lot has been going on.

Since my last post I have finished reading "A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin. And I have got to say... it was AH-mazing! At first it was a bit hard to get through because it has been a while since I last read a book in english. Therefore, I had to get used to the structure of the book. Once I had it down everything started going so fast. I was reading over 100 pages a day and before I new of it, I was done. I personally loved all the characters - who's perspective we got to read from - with the exception of Sansa. Omg... she was so annoying throughout the entire book... and Joffrey was such a brat! Everytime he opened his mouth I wanted to punch him. In the face. With a chair... no... with a chainsaw. A plugged-in chainsaw. And it would need to be turned on of course. Can't have him surviving. Anyway! I came to looooove Dany! She is probably my favorite character so far. Especially loved her ending for the 1st book! SO GOOD!

Now that I am done with the first book in "A song of ice and fire" I am watching season 1 of the HBO tv show before reading the 2nd book. This way I will be 100% prepared for "A Clash of Kings" when the time comes to it. So far I... like the tv-show. I am addicted to the opening theme. Again: SO GOOD. But... I think the show is too fast paced compared to the book. I know that is to captivate viewers, but it just goes TOO fast in my opinion. Also certain events happens at completely different times than they do in the book. I was looking forward to the Jon and Tyrion scene, because it was SO GOOD in the book... but in the tv show... I don't know... it fell kinda flat for me. I still like the show and will continue watching it, though.

On Monday I received a package. With two books. "Eleanor and Park" and "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell. I started reading and finished "Eleanor and Park" that same day. Park has become my favorite male-book-character. Like ever. He is adorable. Now I am currently 100 pages into "Fangirl" and I'm loving it, can totally relate to Cath. And I love Levi. He's good fun.

Okay so that was my "reading update". Now onto the writing!

I finally finished the 2nd draft of my novel! Yeeees! It's done! 103k went down to 68.707 words. But I am way more happy with this result than the previous. It took way longer than I had originally expected, but now that it is done, I feel so relieved. Now what I need to do is read it aloud to myself to see which sentences needs extra work, and then I have to find beta-readers. The only problem is that I do not trust people. I am so scared giving it to people online... what if they steal the book and publish it under their name?! I know I would win in court, but still... and I cannot trust my friends or family to give feedback, because they are supposed to say good things about it. Then who do I have left? My writing teacher, who is a published author herself. But is she enough? For now... she's all I got... and a few friends who I will force to give me their honest opinion. Or else...

Anyway... so that is what I have been up to. This Friday I am coloring my hair for the first time ever! That is gonna be great...

Keep Calm and Write On.

- Nanna.