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People Don’t Change Opinion (Real Life Post)

So I have a new idea for a book, real good too, I think. There is only one problem, which this far has prevented me from starting the writing process. It is that there is an emperor involved in the story, and for it to go forward, he needs to change opinion. Why is this a problem, then? Because in general people don’t change opinions just like that. Usually someone has their opinion, and they’re bloody sticking to it, no matter what.

I’ve even been in situations where I can clearly show evidence of my view, and the person opposing me still don’t change theirs. Not even in the face of obvious evidence, because they have their view and… they are sticking to it. This seems to be pretty normal human behaviour. So why would an emperor in my story change his view and outlook on life when thus far he has received everything he desires by not changing it?

It drives me up the wall to read books where the main character suddenly just switches view or accepts things which prior to the book events have been completely impossible. One example is Bella Swan, who just seems to go: ‘Vampires? Yeah, alright, I mean they are kinda hot. And I’ve got an open mind, so I’m totally okay with that.’
Sure she was a bit reluctant at first but not really all that much. Somehow I think a person functioning normally would go something along the lines of:
‘AAAAAAAAARGH they’re sucking BLOOD! GET ME OUTTA HERE!’
Right?

Edward Cullen? Not so cool.

Alucard from the Hellsing series. Now that's a real vampire.

Alucard from the Hellsing series. Now that’s a real vampire.

 

Don’t get me wrong, even if there is a lot (or rather not a lot to be honest) to be said about Meyer’s writing, she isn’t the only one who has done this. A few years ago I read some supernatural romance novel where the main character also simply accepted the presence of werewolves and vampires overnight. After all, the Love Interest was a vampire, and he was hot, so she just shrugged and went along with it. Loads of supernatural/romance novels work this way, but it’s not, I think, a normal human behaviour to just accept that which has previously not existed and/or has been frightening if it did. Neither do people just change their views about other people or the way to live one’s life.

After all, a rather classic theme in literature and film is ‘The Other’. We have the real classic here as Friday and the cannibals in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, but this theme has continued. In movies we see it in the villains who, for this reason, often have been foreign, preferably with an accent. It’s the same in literature. A few centuries back a villain was spotted by his foreign sounding name. We feel threatened by that which is not ‘us’. Admittedly, this is a rather silly thing, but then again racists and nazis can’t be said to be very clever. Xenophobia is the sign of low intelligence if ever I saw one, but I digress.

The point is, that people are afraid of that which is foreign and different, and they won’t change views in life unless they have a very good reason. I’m thinking this could, in the case of my emperor, be an economical one perhaps. I don’t think love will be enough. Or maybe a near-death-experience. Or maybe I should just kill him off.

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The Eye-Dancers Review (Real Life Post)

I finished the copy Michael S. Fedison sent me of the Eye-Dancers!

This was an interesting read in many ways. The author has created very compelling characters who speak to you. Each one is unique and the author has managed to create a way of expression and a language which is different for each character carrying the point of view. I liked this, because you could recognize whose point of view it was simply by the language the character used. Also there were no silly descriptions of looks or environments, but everything in that department was placed carefully into the text in the appropriate place. The consequence was that there wasn’t a lot of description, especially not of how people looked, but that wasn’t necessary either. You got a hint, and could imagine the rest yourself.

The story line was interesting, and it was fun to see how the author has played with the thought of parallel universes using quantum physics. I’m a bit tired of all theories we can’t yet understand to be explained away with the usage of quantum physics – just slather it on and it can explain almost anything. I guess that it is our era’s equivalent to magic spells. However, those are just my personal feelings. As a way to carry the plot forward it was a clever solution.

I did feel the climax of the story to be lacking a little bit. The story itself ambles along in its own time, because it contains a lot of the characters’ thoughts and emotions on their situation. Sometimes I felt there was a bit too much of this, but at other times not so I think my general opinion is that in this particular story the characters’ opinions matter. Then the crescendo happens and I got the feeling of ‘Oh, was that all?’. I had wanted more of a build-up and release. However, there was a clear story-line which was always kept on track without being all over the place.

The world the characters went to was also interesting and to be honest I wanted to know more about that. Part of me wished that they could have remained there but then again I have a love for the kind of era the world reminded me of.

All in all this was a good read and well executed.

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Nemesis or not? (Real Life Post)

I thought I had the plot more or less finished by now and then it hit me that maybe my dear Matilda needs a nemesis? After all, some great fictional detectives do! Sherlock Holmes has Moriarty. Phryne Fisher has Murdoch Foyles. Not all of them do, I mean, I don’t think Hercule Poirot has an archenemy?

This requires some thinking indeed.

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My First Book-Review (Real Life Post)

A few days ago I came across this blog: The Eye-Dancers. The idea for the book sounds intriguing, which I naturally mentioned in a comment to the author, Michael S. Fedison! On Friday evening he sent me an email and long story short is that I was sent a free copy of his book, which I will then review on my blog (and Goodreads, of course!). Hopefully I will finish during the week, so keep an eye out!

The Eye-Dancers

I am very excited to be doing my first review like this!

The image is borrowed from Michael S. Fedison’s website.

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Inspiration – Where Does it Come From and How? Part 2 (Real Life Post)

Yesterday I wrote a bit about some of my thoughts regarding inspiration and how to trigger it. I really do believe it can become a state you call forth at will.

But before it is that, what can you do to create more inspiration?

First off, buy a notebook you can carry with you. I think there is something special between the brain, hand and paper, beneficial to inspiration in a way you cannot achieve typing it into your smartphone. After that, begin to write down everything you feel like writing down. For me it has been snippets of poetry, names, quotes, stuff people say, scenes I see, ideas I get for books, short stories, poetry or just plain fun stuff. Later on you can always leaf through this notebook and it will most certainly spark inspiration because you pick up on how inspired you felt when writing it down.

Right but inspiration doesn’t just happen by itself. Right? It’s true, you need to expose yourself to the world in order to find it. You need input in order to be able to output.

In other words:

  • Read
  • Watch series
  • Learn things (I’m reading about the Celts and Ancient Egypt at the moment)
  • Go places even if it’s just the forest behind the house
  • Talk to people (I’m an introvert but I manage some of this)
  • Read the news
  • Read up on other countries and Google for images, if you can’t go there 

These are just a few things I came up with last year when I had a course in creative writing for teenagers. It’s true that as a writer you come up with an entirely new world, which you create from inside your head. But in order to do this, I think, you need to draw on things you experience.