27 Sep 2010

Long days ...

These days most of my time is spent on proof-reading with a deadline looming on Friday. Writers have different approaches to the process of writing. Some like it all, some prefer the research, some love the words on the page, and others - myself included - prefer the development of the story and the ideas. Frederick Forsythe doesn't like writing. He puts a lot of effort into research and then plans his story in detail before writing it in three weeks. Dean Koontz rewrite and rewrite - sometimes forty times - before he's satisfied. (How he gets the time, I can only guess).
Dorothy Parker sums it up beautifully: I hate writing. I love having written.
I couldn't agree more.

5 Sep 2010

Work in progress

I'm about halfway through the last book in a series I'm writing in Norwegian. This is the 11th book, and I'm finding it quite the challenge. The last book should be as good as the first - of course they should all be good - but when the production time for each book is about 5-6 weeks, something has to give. Mostly it's the outstanding literary qualites, excellent language and well- thought out storyline.
So what's left? Well, that's a good question. 
Tempo for one thing. I don't have time try out different storylines and mostly have to go with whatever pops into my mind. Sometimes that gets me to places that keeps the story moving in a good tempo. Other times I have to backtrack and rewrite despite the frustrations and the quick sideglances at the calendar. It's excellent training for the imagination, by the way. Keeps the old brain alert and focused - often on the border of insanity - but it's good. I also have to trust my characters to move the story along. That's good too. Characters are funny people - they live their own lives so to speak, and I just have to trust I have done enough ground work to keep the flow going. The trick is not to have too many characters, otherwise you are bound to forget someone ...
The series has been a joy to write. Yes, I've been moaning about the short deadlines, I've battled "keyboard elbow", and sometimes I've just been sitting in front of my computer, staring at the blank screen for hours. But the truth be told, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I had no idea I would be capable of writing a book in such short time. Now I know because since January I've written 6 books! Once you know that, there's no holding back.