Writers face many problems. We're such a poor folk - never happy, always alone, miserable to the bone.
And the worst of all, these prejudices are not even true.
One thing is true, though. We're working hard on our stories, push ourselves and fight against gratuitous emotional outbreaks when things don't go the way we want them to. Characters can be even meaner than the prejudiced folk, making us change whole story lines or central themes. And still we're like mothers, loving our children no matter what.
How much research do you do for your stories?
Research starts by looking at how much time the main character needs to walk down a street and how much conversation can fit into that temporal range. Sometimes you're absolutely busy with something else, you have no time whatsoever to think about your story, but your mind forces you to switch your concentration and do mental research. For example at the supermarket cashiers.
Then there is what we normally perceive of as research - looking into books, talking to scientists and asking skilled friends. For my novel project, I'm in a bit of a mess because of the amount of research that I feel is needed to make it as good as possible. There's the scientific bit about parallel worlds, not an easy subject. Then the meteorological details for the tornadoes (partly even as close as characters in the other world) and not to forget smaller but nonetheless important information about characters.
I don't know why my character has to be an architecture student and not something else I'm more familiar with, but that's okay. Felix wants to study this, so I let him. Like children, I told you. So now I just have to figure out how to become a skilled architect, physicist, meteorologist and sci-fi writer in about three months which is my personal deadline for having written the whole thing. (Next to third year Uni stress.)
Wish me luck and I hope you writer's life is easier.
PS: I'm not complaining here. I love it. I just wish I could stop time.
Recently I talked about my new novel plan - the Sci-Fi/Fantasy story about a journey to a parallel world. For this I had to research quite a bit of physics to be sure about the possibilities of parallel worlds. At the Book Fair there was a stall from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. I figured why not ask them about my ideas - best thing you can do - just ask people and don't be shy. They were more than willing to be helpful.
I also decided to take part in their LHC@Home project. This is a connection from your laptop to their system. You get tips on how to make your computer more efficient and in return they sometimes use some of your capacity to calculate some theories - millions of computers together are more powerful than one large computer. You should really check this out.
I also finally found the deeper meaning in my story. While writing a proposal for the Dissertation this novel will be part of, I had the idea to include some of my recent, quite innovative discussions in the story. After some training sessions about sexuality, forms of life and understandings of society, I was slightly confused and had to make up my mind about a few issues that seemed a bit outstanding - non-conformational. Where would be a better place to explore the difference of these ideas as in a parallel world's society?
I hope this will be something new, something at least I haven't read before.
This week I have attended the Frankfurt Book Fair on several days. On the facebook and twitter pages of PepperBooks you could also read what I experienced as it happened.
Do you go to book fairs? Do you think it is necessary?
After being on my mission to find as many ideas, networks or partners for the new publishing company PepperBooks, I have to admit that the Book Fair was anything I imagined and more.
The two freshly delivered books in my bag, I wandered around the vast buildings and halls, looked at thousands of stalls and was amazed. The first day was pretty much wasted trying to grasp all of it. I still managed to promote our literature website buchbesprechung.de a bit, talking to publishers and authors.
Later the week I got to organize some things for PepperBooks. For someone starting in the business, the Book Fair is THE place to be. You get useful information on various events and more help from different organizations. Everyone was very friendly - a wonderful atmosphere. I managed to connect to book wholesalers who thought our books looked promising and added some contacts to our friend's list.
If you like books, this is where you find people like you. Some make books out of granite, some don't care about the investment into their cook books as long as it follows their strict and inventive guidelines.
I'm just a little annoyed that I didn't have time to see everything. However, I was surprised by the presentation of this year's guest of honour - Iceland. Wonderful country - great literary world despite its size.
I'm really going crazy traveling this week so much, it's like all around the world in two days. Yesterday I went three hours to London fro 1 to 3 am, then a place to near Hamburg plus another bus to Hamburg City Centre for an inspiring training session. Now I'm in Berlin preparing for the Frankfurt Book Fair, where I will go on to on Tuesday. So, I will make it short today, as there will be more posts on publishing and Frankfurt Book Fair and other things over the coming week.
See you soon,
Unfortunately, the Smartphone Offense is still one or two weeks from now. This means that this week, I can tell you a bit about the creative side of my summer: Planning a new novel.
I'm in my third year at University now and for the Creative Writing dissertation of a BA course you have to make a Portfolio, which is nothing else than a coherent creative piece of writing of about 7000 words plus a reflective commentary of 3000 words.
It's the first time that we have a larger piece that can actually contain a bit more than a short story. On the other hand, it's still not enough to hand in a novel - bummer.
I still want this project to be a major piece of work that should end in a novel. One option is for example to just hand in the introduction to the novel (which I wouldn't wanna do, actually). I'm still contemplating how to use the 7000 words with different pieces of the novel I have in mind.
I guess I should just tell you what I came up with now. Like so many times, I got my inspiration from a dream. I love jotting down the outline of dreams and coming back to them later to use them for my writing. They are always so vivid and ... well, scary sometimes, but good material. This time I was on the run with a group of people, an older guy, a girl and someone else I think. We were driving a truck and tried to follow some guidelines to get somewhere. Suddenly there was a lightening and we had disappeared from that place - at high speed and turned up in another world.
In my mind I knew there were also some background issues. Long story short - I'm writing a novel about parallel worlds, menacing and intelligent storms and scientist apprehensions about gaining unheard-of knowledge and insights. I had to study the universe in depth to understand all the cosmic settings and the theories surrounding parallel worlds. Finally I know what Black Holes are supposed to be and what Einstein's formula is all about. If it weren't for the novel idea, I would have never gotton so much into Sci-Fi to absolutely enjoy it.
I'll tell you more about the novel/portfolio piece once I have more information. I still need to decide on a few details.
Where are you getting your ideas from? And what are you working on right now?