En novell på 28 sidor på tre dagar. Jag tror faktiskt att det är rekord för min del. 2886 ord första dagen, 3125 dag två och avslutningsvis 2054. Jag vet inte vad som for i mig. Men för att tala med en svensk rappare som jag i övrigt inte tycker har något att komma med: Det går bra nu! Orden trillar in som de ska nu. Det går bra nu!
Idag har jag skrivit 2 886 ord, eller 16 847 tecken, på en novell. Flow, tror jag det kallas. Drygt fyra sidor enkelradig A4. Tio boksidor. Ibland går det helt enkelt bra.
Okej, jag skiter i det där med utrikiskan. Eller rättare sagt: jag tänker skriva bilingualt, på svenska när det bara rör mig och mitt skrivande, en anglais när det rör the international arena.
Idag blev jag äntligen klar med version fem av uppföljaren till Broder själ, syster flamma. Några nya scener, några strykta scener, några raderade individer och massor av raderade ord. Typ tio procent kortare. Nästa steg är således version sex och då hoppas jag kunna stryka en hel del ord till. Längd just nu? 210 391 tecken. Att jämföra med Broder själ, syster flamma som stannade på 590 598 tecken. Aningen kortare, vilket den räknebegåvade läsaren redan har noterat.
Samtidigt har Malin landat med de nya anfangerna till boken om Emma: Flykten från träsket. Jag är löjligt nöjd; nu närmar det sig äntligen tryck!
Heart of Man (my translation; original titel Hjarta mannsins), the final part in Jón Kalman Stefánssons trilogy, centers on The Boys attempts to make the crucial choices of youth. Love and the future is at stake, while the people he has com to care about are forced into alliances they had never thought of. Life in the small Icelandic town is changing.
The mood and the tempo carries on from the previous installment, but here I’m used to them, which makes for better reading. Heart of Man is also the most complex of the three, plotwise, something that I find refreshing.
The end is at the same time terrible and terrific. While one part of me states that this is how all stories should end, simply because it is how the do end, another part finds the final scenes a bit contrived and improbable. In my humble opinion the book should have ended a few pages earlier, with much the same result, but with a greater impact.
I managed to finish the third draft of the ”sequel” to my novel Brother soul, sister flame today. Now there’s just the editing and the polishing and then off to a paid critic. I’m nervous (when am I not?), partly because the last few weeks with not even reaching the finals in the Swedish Selmapriset and the ever ongoing difference of opinion between me and the vast majority of the writing community (which seems to favour assembly-made entertainment rather than artistic attempts), have pushed my self-confidence to a record low: I simply cannot produce relevant texts; partly also because this new book will, in the eyes of many mainstream readers and writers, be virtually unreadable. Well, I think it will prove a small step forward for the fantasy genre.
I will probably publish it using my prize from last years Indie Book Awards. Now there’s a confidence-booster!
My expectations were set a bit too high after Jón Kalman Stefánssons Heaven and hell, the first book about The Boy. That was such a marvel of literary triumph that I simply lack words. The Sorrow of Angels (my translation), the second volume, is a bit longer, it lacks the precise touch of part one and fails to hold me as firmly. It is, still, a very good book, where we follow The Boy and the Mail-man Jens on their dangerous journey across the Icelandic highlands, through an endless, and probably very symbolic, snow-storm. That is all. But Stefánssons magic relationship with words and his fearless confrontations with the greatest of philosophical questions, lifts the relatively thin story to unexpected heights. I started on part three at once.
Now, I admit that I have something of a love-hate relationship with fantasy, but this thought just struck me when I read about an aspiring authors high fantasy plot: Isn’t it peculiar that so many fantasy writers tend to create worlds where everything is, from their own political point of view, alright? Worlds where the good usually wins in the end; worlds where men and women are equal; where homosexuality is perfectly normal; where the colour of your skin is irrelevant. Granted, there are other issues with these worlds: tyrants, evil supernatural entities, monsters and so on, but socially they seem to be ordered just like the writer would like our world to be organized. And since the good guys usually wins in the end … well, it all turns out alright.
Fantasy is sometimes accused of being nothing more than escapism, and when I read about worlds constructed this way I can’t stop myself from agreeing. Instead of using fantasy to put a light on real issues (such as sexism, homophobia, racism and so on) some writers choose to simply ignore them and behave as if they are not real. The logic seems to be: If I write a book where the colour of someones skin doesn’t matter, then I will add to the normalization process, that is: help build a better world, where skincolour actually is irrelevant. Maybe it works that way, I’m not convinced.
In my eyes racism is a very real problem and fantasy (like any other art) should deal with it, not ignore it. The books should be about racism, sexism and homophobia, not about worlds where these things don’t exist. Just a thought.