Month: October 2015

Agatha Christie

Last night I started watching a documentary about Agatha Christie’s life and work for the third or fourth time. She’s influenced me greatly in the way I think about plotting and writing in general.

I grew up watching David Suchet play Poirot on TV, and eventually also started reading the books. Agatha’s stories have sold so many copies that the only literary work to surpass them is the Bible. When asked about her success, John Curran told David Suchet that he believes that it is so enduringly popular because she wrote such simple plots. “Doesn’t matter if you have no education or whether you’re a nuclear scientist, you can understand where she’s coming from”.

Agatha Christie as a child.

Agatha Christie as a child.

Add to that multiple layers of psychological complexity in her characters, and you can begin to understand why people love her work so much. She’s obviously one of my literary idols, and she’s taught me to focus on my plotting and to tighten it as much as possible.

Agatha also has an edge in a lot of her novels. Many are placed in exotic locales, something which inspires me a lot, because I love to travel and I like love literature as a form of escapism. My current novel is partially set in Moscow, bringing an international flavor to the plot which is mostly set in Trondheim.

My other project: writing for tweens

Thought I’d write a little bit about my other project. It is a book aimed at tweens, and I started writing it in the summer of 2013. It has been submitted to a publisher, and I’ve been revising it for over a year now.

The main protagonist is a girl named Tiara. She’s thirteen years old, and is unwittingly taken on an epic journey to save the world as she knows it from evil dragons.

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Along the way, she learns about herself and gains a new unlikely friendship in the prince of England, a shy, timid boy who just wants to be left alone with his books.

Together they have to visit vikings, fight pirates and face their fears.

This book is obviously a fantasy book, inspired first and foremost by Philip Pullman’s excellent Nothern Lights, but also by Robert E. Howard’s Conan, and Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I really hope it will be published within next year, and that I can begin to give out more information soon.

Trouble in Trondheim is currently on hold until this revision is done, but it is progressing nicely.

The 100 pages fear

I recently surpassed 100 pages on my novel!

While this is a great achievement, it comes with its own set of expectations and fears. The last novel I wrote is currently (it is still being edited) 135 pages, and I really want to surpass that with this one.

As soon as I surpassed 100 pages, I started developing a fear that my plot wouldn’t be able to sustain that number of pages. But currently I have at least three more chapters planned, plus the fact that I know I will have to go back in and add characters and details later on.

Thus it looks like I’ll end up with at least 135 pages (hopefully more), but I can’t seem to get rid of the fear. It feels a bit like trying to write while banging my head against a wall, but at least I don’t have a writer’s block yet.

The question is, will I finish in time for a Christmas publication? Right now, unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. But frankly I’d rather push back the release than not be satisfied with the final product.

I just hope by the time I finish there will still be people around that are interested in reading!

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