Sunday, November 1, 2015

First day of NaNoWriMo!

It's November again, and that can only mean one thing: time to write until your fingers bleed.

...Or at least that is what I usually do. Last year I had about 5000 words done in the first day, this time I didn't. Well, I'm feeling quite at ease with this subject, so I don't rush. Having a blast really.

The first day of Cideon's Brief History of the World was just a timeline. From that I have made links to pages where I expand the story a bit more. I'm so glad I found that feature in Scrivener!

The problem I encountered is that I will have to write something about a fictive religion too, I just added a religious group that is trying to take over the world. No time for writer's block here! One thing though. I notice right now that I find it really difficult to write in English. I've been writing and thinking in Swedish all day.

So. To all of you out there who are writing - good luck, break a leg and all that, but most of all: have fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sentimental value

I've been having the most fun ever - and I never thought it would be, which is why it hasn't been done until now.

I'm cleaning up.

Not at home, even though I should; no, far more interesting. I'm collecting everything I've ever written from the fantasy world I've built. It's a lot, I've been obsessed with this place since I was fourteen, so all the really crappy stories, the very limited conlangs I made in high school during my Latin classes, all those old characters (some of them are still the same, believe it or not) and the strange backstories; they are all about to find their way into the pile of research in my Scrivener file. Not all of it, but some of it can actually be of use.

What made me really sentimental was the old map I had drawn, where some of the place names saw daylight for the first time. I still have a Cliff of No Return just for the shits and giggles, a vast backstory to that name, but the Doomed Forest isn't around anymore. There are some historical places added to that map, and I remembered how much fun it was to come up with both the names and the backstories to these little spots on the map. An old bridge over a waterefall which seperated two countries at war, for example. Two ancient kings met on this bridge to sign a peace treaty.

Then I found something that I hadn't thought of at all. 
A calendar. I made a calendar some time during high school, made up important holidays in different cultures and countries. Why this find was such a surprise to me was that I totally had forgotten about it. I still use the same names on months and deities, but the holidays? I had forgotten about those. Of course I had to fix that right away. 

So, cleaning up. 
Couldn't get rid of the old maps, but lots of other papers just lying around. Filled a grocery bag with discarded papers, post-its and so on, and there's still a lot to go through. 

Found my old journals too, and they are really in bad shape. I had them with me everywhere. Full of scribbles, illustrations, ideas for stories and short dialogues between characters. My head was as strange back then as it is now...

So, sentimental value - yes. That's probably all it is, the only reason why I've saved these things for such a long time. Some of it for almost twenty years. This time I'll save the little nuggets of gold, and in another ten years I'll probably look at it all again with the same facial expression as I had today. I felt almost like I was looking at baby pictures of my daughter. 

Oh, and here's some Skyrim fanart I doodled the other day. Seldom save doodles nowadays ;)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Feeling relieved

Maybe this is not what it's all about - NaNoWriMo, that is - but I've decided to work with my research during November. For the time being, everything is chaos. I have some of the work written in really old Office documents, post-its and scribbles in journals, other things are found in Google docs. Some of it have been moved to Scrivener but are in such a complete mess that I can't find it.

So, a while back I was talking about making a wiki for the story, making it easier to find the information when I'm working. I realized that most of the features I needed in a wiki is actually found within Scrivener, so I can get what I want without adding new programs.

So, yeah. This is probably a little like cheating; I won't start anything new and I won't be writing a first draft. I still have to add a whole lot of information to make the threads between places, characters and timelines work, and there's a whole lot of information that have been lost on the way and has to be rewritten. I haven't taken the time to do this earlier because... well, it's boring, really. Pretty much like cleaning. It's much more fun to write, but a structure would make that part much easier.

So, hopefully I have some of the maps ready at the end of November. I have said for years that I should make maps of the cities and their suroundings, make sure the world map is up to date and so on. Make sure I have all the information on all the places ready and make sure I haven't used different sources in the novel itself. I doubt that last part, but I'll have to take a look at it anywway.

I also want to make a timeline of the world history, which at the moment doesn't exist. stuff happened, but when?

And all those illustrations lying around... They should really be scanned and placed where they are easier to find. Like in the character sheets for example.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The voice of a character

I was wondering... 

How many of you hear your character with an accent and all when you picture them? I noticed that I do when I write in English, but not when I write in Swedish. Maybe because there is such a diversity of accents in the English language. Swedish - well we have some, but it's not really the same.

I noticed this, because I've been writing in Englsh all summer - still reading and writing in English just t practice the language. The main character I've been writing about has a British accent, sounds a bit like a thespian playing Hamlet. He's a drunkard, has several children in every port and can't talk about anything without finding a double entendre. I've had lots of fun, laughing hysterically to the voice I hear him speak with inside my head.

And he falls in love. Of course he does. With a tall, blond, muscular health freak who's sent to kill him. Yeah, she's an assassin. She's also a werewolf, talks with that adorable Savannah-accent, but is a bit too forward to be comfortable to be around. The thing is, she is bruatlly honest all the time, but everything she ways is said with that adorable voice, which makes her murders utterly amusing to write about.

The big thing about this is, that you use words that fit better with that accent you've chosen, which gives the character even more personality.

And then I come back to Swedish, and every male character sounds like my husband, every female character sounds like me, and there's no diversity at all. The voices aren't as amusing to write about. I'll ether have to find some accents that fit the characters quickly, or I'll have to think in English while writing in Swedish.

Man, I wish I had all your accents in Swedish too.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Song Challenge!

Yeah, I like challenges. Have been stuck on that video game challenge for a while now, written a whole bunch of short stories based on video games. Lots of fun, but now it's time for something new.

The Song Challenge!

Grab a song, read the lyrics and try to write a short story based on it.

What to remember:
  • The song has a hidden meaning - DON'T use that. Pretend you've misunderstood the entire text and twist it until it's hardly recognizeable. Example: Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind and Fire. Write it as if it was a fighting scene with zombies. Perfect for practicing double entendres - if you know what I mean *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*
  • Add rather than remove things to the story to create the right feeling.
  • Keep everything in order. If the lyrics starts with "Midnight creeps so slowly into hearts of men who want more than they get...", then that is where you'll begin your story. Maybe you're describing how it feels to turn into a zombie, I don't know, but keep the order of the song.
  • If anybody is going to say anything, try to use lines from the song. like "Baby, uh, uh, it don't work" (even though I'd probably do something about the grammar).
And by that, here's my example. It's not supposed to be serious, so there's no need for false politeness ;)

The song is, as mentioned, Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind and Fire.

The Sanctum. What was it with some people, preserving their dead? She could have asked John, but he would probably have laughed her in the face. It didn’t matter how silent she was, behind every door there was another mummy waiting, ready with a weapon and a spell, just a shout away from turning her into dust. As if it was guarding something. Marsha knew she was good at what she did, but for some reason the annoying little man behind her knew what to say to make her feel insecure. Muttered curses between his teeth as Marsha opened a wooden door with a squeak. Called her unprofessional. A squeaking door was of course out of her hands, but John’s words hit her right in the stomach like a hard fist. At first she felt guilty, was just about to give him an excusing smile.
That was before she noticed that there were no mummies on the other side of that last door and that the chest on the platform in the middle of the round chamber already had been looted.
The lid stood wide open.
That little thieving bastard. John hadn’t just reconnoitered the area while waiting for her, he’d emptied the place from everything of interest.
So, why did he need her around at all? It was nothing but a dance in Boogie Wonderland; a dance he knew all too well on his own.
He needed her as a shield. The chill running down her spine at that moment was enough for her to get her act together. He was up to something, and he thought she’d be a pawn in his game.
Marsha frowned and gave John a mean glance and a crooked smile over her shoulder.
“Midnight creeps so slowly into hearts of men who need more than they get”, she whispered, giving the new blade in his hand a glance. He knew how to handle a sword, and this wasn’t the one he usually carried. It wouldn’t be balanced the same in his hand.
John met her gaze, and as if he knew what she was thinking he replied her with a wolfish grin.
“Daylight deals a bad hand to a woman who has laid too many bets.”
His face, a mirror of her own expression staring back at her. Then he shook his head, still with that grin; he didn’t even say it loud. She understood what he meant: “Baby, uh-uh. It won’t work.”
Marsha didn’t even bother to draw her sword. It would be her death sentence. That sly bastard, he knew she wouldn’t fight him face to face. He’d keep his eyes on her, preferably her back.

Marsha wouldn’t call herself a religious person. She’d kept the old silver cross that her father gave her, but she didn’t have it with her. Left it by the shrine in her home, kept it more of tradition than belief, prayed because she had gotten used to it. She said her prayers though she didn't care.
At least not until now. When she turned her back against John to walk through that door, she prayed. Asked her ancestors to protect her from whatever that deceitful rat would decide to do behind her back, asked God for wisdom, even sent a thought to grandma.
Why wouldn’t she - this mission, this tomb; it was madness, and for once her crazy old grandma might be able to see things from the right perspective. Marsha knew this wasn’t life, but she didn’t want to go like this, not without a fair fight where there at least was a chance that she didn’t reach the end of her line.

On the other side of the chamber was another wooden door, this one locked. So, either John hadn’t gone further than this, or he’d locked the door when he returned to the surface. The latter rather improbable. Whatever met her on the other side, he hadn’t sneaked past it before. A slight flutter in her stomach as she bent down to pick the lock, thinking that this was ridiculous. Why was she doing this, really? He apparently managed to unlock doors that wasn’t supposed to be unlocked; why was he standing there behind her, instead of doing what he did best? She didn’t have to think that thought through; Marsha remembered that she already had the answer to that question. And still that short little man had the stomach to taunt her when she broke her lockpick. Marsha took a deep breath, tried to pretend she didn’t hear him, grabbed one of her hairpins and got back to the lock.
The door flung open, a narrow and dimly lit corridor in front of them. The stench of decay, sound of feet over stone and rubble further in.
“Dance and shake the hurt”, Marsha murmured, took a deep breath and walked slowly on light feet into the corridor. John followed just behind her, stopped when she stopped at the edge of a platform. On the ground floor, several feet below them, three mummies were walking back and forth. One of them wearing a crown on top of the linen wraps, the two others holding staves.
“Dance” John agreed, and for the first time since their paths crossed, Marsha understood him. In this boogie wonderland, they talked the same language.
So she giggled. “Yeah, dance.”
The sounds flew through the night; her screams, his taunts, metal clashing against metal or rotting and peeling flesh. They were both on the ground floor in a whirlwind. Back against back, spells making the floor crumble under their feet, her sword glowing of the fire within. For a short moment they were equals, chasing the same dreams in this land of undead.
The noise woke others; like sleepwalkers they left their sarcophaguses to join in the fight only to meet their end at a sword. Limbs scattered around them, a severed head flew across the hall and bumped over a table in the middle of the room with a thud, and when the last of the undead was lying on the floor, twitching before leaving to the eternal stillness, John and Marsha turned around, face to face, a split second of understanding before he grabbed her face in his calloused hands and kissed her. Hard, demanding and with the same desperation as herself.
And they both knew that soon they’d be dancing again, and one of them would reach that dream at the end of the other’s blade.

Have fun!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Video Game Challenge!

Firstly, I'd like to say I'm sorry for not writing in a long while. I've been busy with work, being a parent, and recently reading lots of books (and some light video gaming). My summer holidays started a week ago and I've been delving into all those books I've wanted to read since Christmas.

And as I finished that last book and still was hungry for more, I started searching the web for anything, really. I found something quite interesting; fanfiction based on video games.

This made me think. What game have I played recently? Well, Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim, of course. I bought the legendary edition a while back.

I played Skyrim a few years ago, finished the main quest line and all the guild quests and was bored when I reached level 80 and couldn't level any further for the perks.

So, I started a new campaign, completely new character build.
...Or, not entirely. I have played female Dunmers since the dawn of ages in these series, so of course I still play a female Dunmer, but last time I went for a battle mage through and through. This time I went for a thief. Different perks, and in my oppinion much more fun to play.

OK, so to the challenge.

Chose any videogame you like, I guess RPG's are to prefer though. Write a short snippet about your character, and make sure to stay true to the way you've played it so far.

My example is, as mentioned before, based on my Dunmer from Skyrim. I tried to build the character for this snippet based on the skills and the perks I've practiced this far.

Her name is Savesea Salobar, names snatched from the Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind. She's a skilled marksman (level 90), great at sneaking and mixing potions, besides that I've worked on her light armour- and speech skills. Oh, and she's also a werewolf. For a thief though, she sucks at all kinds of stealing this far.

Here we go!

“I’m a Dunmer, you thought repellant little alit”, Savesea scoffed with one of her eyebrows raised, “where, in that small brain of yours, can you find me a reason to join the stormcloaks?”
Not the best way to answer a question on such a touchy subject.
Especially not when in Windhelm, the city where Stormcloaks seemed to pop up faster than mushrooms in a cave.
And as usual, her big mouth ended her up in yet another brawl with yet another man who thought she’d be an easy target.
“Damn it”, she murmured as she rather hastily decided to leave Candlehearth Hall, the man she’d fought still panting on the floor. She left with sore knuckles and blushing cheeks indeed, but from the sound of that slowly growing mob behind her, there wasn’t much hope of keeping neither knuckles nor cheeks if she stayed. Maybe she should have listened to the angry woman at the counter and gone for the Gray Quarters instead. Even if that's where the rest of her kind stayed, she didn't like that slum.
This mob though. And that full moon. Awesome, just awesome.
Maybe it was better to leave Windhelm all together.
Her blood was boiling of suppressed rage and she could feel the beast trying to escape through her chest, nails trying to turn into claws. It was painful, and she had to regain her cool. The weather outside was cold enough to help.
She pulled her hood up, took a deep breath, opened the door and walked out into the blistering snow. Was the weather always this welcoming in this part of Skyrim? Hold that thought. Was the weather ever welcoming at all in Skyrim?
“With that big mouth of yours, Savesea, you’re the real alit”, she kept scolding herself, muttering all the way down the stairs, clenching her fists. Without even noticing it herself, she harvested some snowberries from a bush as she passed. Still muttering, concentrating only on her heartbeat as she forced it back down to a slower phase, she kept on walking directly towards the huge gates just a stonesthrow away from the inn. Irritating really; she’d already paid for the room and yet not even had a glance at it.
A guard opened the gate for her and she walked by him without even giving him a slight nod as a response. Breathe in, breathe out. Think happy thoughts. Gold. Yes, gold was nice. Swiming in a sea of septims and diamonds, rolling naked over a bed covered with jewels. Yes. Much better.
Though, it was painful to her core that she’d spent some of those septims on a bed that she wouldn’t use. The thought of that empty bed made her mutter a whole sentence of ill repute words, but the beast was back in it’s leash. Admittedly pulling the chains, barking and snarling.
“Excuse me?”
A man’s voice pulled Savesea back from her thoughts.
“I’m sorry, what?” she answered, put on a quick smile to hide her confusion. A guard. Of course. She’d just left Windhelm, of course there’d be a guard. Why was she so surprised?
“Did you just call me a s’wit from a fetcher’s ass?” he asked, which made her stop in her steps, one foot mid air and spin around looking directly at him.
Keep your cool. Don’t feed the beast with anger. Feed her something nice. Like sweet rolls.
Only picturing the beast licking the frosting off a sweet roll was enough to make her smile.
“A s’wit from a fetcher’s ass?” Oh, she might just have said that, she wasn’t sure. “Of course not.”
“I’m quite sure you did”, the guard replied.
Savesea gasped and covered her mouth behind a gloved hand. “Oh, dear, I’m sorry, you weren’t supposed to hear that. I must have thought out loud.”
“Would that make any difference?” the guard asked, now with a harsher tone. 
Those helmets, they were really irritating, how could one interact with a person whose facial expressions were so hard to decipher? She could smell anger on him, a bit of sweat. She would never recognise this man again if she only saw him. That smell though. Maybe he wasn't familiar with baths.
She would have to talk herself out of this one, and since it really hadn’t turned out to be her lucky day this far, she wasn’t sure feeding the beast with even more sweet rolls would make the difference. Maybe the beast would become morbidly obese and not have the strength to keep pulling those chains?
Rhymes. What could she have said that was a bit better than… that? Her brain tried to rummage through words that could form a less offensive sentence while her heart started to beat faster.
Sweet rolls. Gold. Diamonds. By Azura, I’ll give you a rabbit haunch if you just behave.
The beast backed down, wagging it’s tail.
This might actually work!
Savesea took a deep breath and moved slowly towards the guard. Being dressed in leather armour wasn’t working in her direction even though it was new and of superior quality. Flutterling eyelashes, a mischievous smile, biting her bottom lip usually did the trick, but a plunging neckline would have been better still.
Another step, a sigh as she entered his personal space. She could smell it on him; this was as close as he’d let her come. 
For now, at least.
“This is really embarrassing, I don’t want you to think less of me for this.” Savesea said and inched just a little bit closer. Reaching for his arm, desperately working her mind to find the right words while bowing her head just slightly to be able to give the man a gaze through her eyelashes. “You see…” she hesitated for a second then smiled even wider. This time her smile was honest though: she suddenly know what to say.
“The thing is, as I passed through the gate I couldn’t help but having a glance at your… behind”, Savesea whispered and lowered her glance in faked embarrassment. “What I said was ‘that’s fit, what a fetching ass’ - oh, my, this is really awkward.”
If she’d been able to blush on cue her act would have been even better, but it would probably not had made any difference. With a skin as dark as hers the poor guard would not have noticed it anyway.
At first they just stood there, both silent. Savesea looked up again, trying to figure out what the man was thinking. His shoulders fell down and back, from defensive to proud. The smell of anger ran away with a couple of fast heartbeats.
“Huh”, he said, almost laughed. “Thanks, I guess.”
Savesea sighed from relief, gave him a quick wink and left. She could sense his eyes following her down the path towards the stables.

If you'd like to try this challenge, please send me a link! 
I'd love to read what you've come up with!

Monday, May 4, 2015

May the 4th be with you

Sorry for not writing anything in a while, real life have been hectic. Not in a bad way, no, not at all! My daughter turned six years old and wanted a Harry Potter themed party for all her little friends.

...And me being a book nerd with only one child (whom I also gave the name Saga, btw) couldn't resist to grant her that wish. I'll tell you all about it in another post.

Today, on the other hand, it's all about Star Wars Day, and I'm about to introduce my daughter to another Saga. The Star Wars TRILOGY. Yes. You read it right.

So with no further ado: 

Happy Star Wars Day 
May the 4th be with you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

About Character

So. We've been discussing content, world building and a whole lot of other stuff (like Do your own coverart), but still I haven't posted anything about character building. I love my characters, so I've posted a lot about them (character interviews, snippets of crudely translated text), but nothing about how I came up with them.

I figured this would have to be the next step: How to build a character that is interesting to read about. To start with, I've always said that a character that is interesting to write about usually is interesting to read about too, so if you're getting bored just writing about him or her, you should probably take another look at his och her traits.

To start with, there are a few key things to look at:

1. Characteristics. This is when you say "Well DUH! It's a character, right?"

2. History. We all have memories.

3. Ambition. As long as your character isn't staying in bed watching TV all day.

4. Faults. We all have them. Make sure your character does too.

The thing with our beloved characters is to make them real. If they are to us, it's easier to make them seem real for others. They don't have to be boring and down to earth for that, we just have to convince our readers that THIS is a living person, he or she have feelings just like you or me. They have real lives with real fears and most important of all: they don't feel like they've been dropped into the story just to push it forward. They are supposed to react to what happens around them - well, if you've fed them horse tranquilizers they might not, but if you've done that I hope there's a good reason for it.

This is a simple step by step walk-through, and at the end there's a character sheet that I've made. I had to translate it from Swedish, so hopefully it's OK. If not, here's a very detailed one I found on the internet.

1. Characteristics.
I like to begin with a sketch; this makes things easier for me. I usually have an idea about what my character is supposed to be like before I start, so it's just there before I start with the details.

For Fur, I had decided that he was going to be petite, slightly baby-faced and long-haired:

My sea captain is supposed to be determined, have dark hair that is impossible to style and a broken nose:

And from this, I've already got some characteristics. This is not the end, however; there's a long list of things to look into.

Things that are included in characteristics are:

  • physical appearance - length, weight, complection, face compared to age
  • voice - speach pattern, dialect, language, tone, gestures and bodylanguage
  • habits - economy, food, addictions if any, quirks
  • mentality - pessimist, optimist, grumpy, the joker, depressive, nervous
  • thoughts - what the character thinks about him/herself and stuff around him/her.
This is very shallow, but good enough to get one going. If you've decided to make your character really short, as I've done with Fur, you also have to think about how this character reacts to this. In Fur's case, he's very selfconcious about his appearance, wears clothes which make him appear larger than he is, uses body language to emphasize confidence.

2. History
As said before, all characters have a history - if they aren't born at the beginning of your book and you are describing their history as you get along. 

Your character's history doesn't have to be written in your story to make impact - your character reacts in a certain way to different things because of his or her history. 

What you need to think of is:
  • birthplace
  • family/loved ones/disliked ones
  • childhood memories
  • growing up
  • education (or earlier workplaces)
  • recent history
I'll use my sea captain as an example here. He's the youngest son in a high ranked aristocratic family. The fact that his family is out of money forces him to work. The navy is always looking for new recruits, and his father is a shipowner - not a very successful one, since he can't afford to keep the fleet going - so this was a natural step for him. He's advanced on his own merits.

This is hardly mentioned in my novel; my sea captain have been married for some time, have two daughters and is about to build up some wealth when he's introduced. His history is mainly to remind me about what he finds important in life and why.

3. Ambition
There are a few things that forces us forward, and one of these things I mentioned in my post about world building. It's in the human nature to advance. We always want to become better at what we do, even if it's about finding the perfect spot in the sofa before turning the TV on. We're also lazy by nature, so another question is how far we are willing to go to get what we want (just can't help it, started singing "ain't no mountain high enough...") and what we are willing to do to reach that goal (could your character REALLY kill for an ice-cream?).

There's also that little thing about determination. Our minds might be set on writing this novel, we are willing to sit inside writing all day even if the sun is shining and there is laughter from the garden because everybody else is having so much fun.
Are your character stubborn enough to stay in his/her tracks?
Determined to finish what's been started?

The important part abut ambition is to figure out what it is that forces your character to reach further. Why I picked Fur and the sea captain as examples here, is because they both have the same goal: to become wealthy. The differences between them is that Fur lost his scruples a long time ago, while the sea captain fights inner struggles every day.

4. Faults.
Nobody is perfect. More importantly, you can't give your character minor faults that is charming rather than annoying. Why? Well use yourself as an example. Of course you don't find anything irritating about your own person, you wouldn't find yourself irritating to hang out with, woud you? We are still humans, and since we're making all our choices from our own perspectives with the full trust in our own capability to make good choices. Of course we think everything we do is all in a good cause.
At the same time there is at least one person that think you have a fault or two - you might be too talkative and can't keep a secret, have a childish humour which isn't suited around dinnertables or don't show enough empathy. These are faults that can be irritating, and your character should have at least one of these. Other characters must accept your main character for what he/she is or hate these faults enough to shudder and walk away as soon as they see him/her.


Fur has so many faults they can't be counted, so I'll just give you a few. He thinks he's smarter than everybody else and treats everybody else like garbage. He takes advantage of other people's weaknesses and use it to his own gain. He has several addictions, and show little to no empathy to other living things. He's very restless and can't be still for a longer time (this is one of my own faults, you shoud see me in meetings).

Here's the promised character sheets. They are also found on the resource page; both Swedish and English.

Character sheet in English

Mall för karaktärsbeskrivning på Svenska

If there's anything you'd like to add, please comment below!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

About World building

I was thinking, since I've been talking about the practical parts of writing lately, I should dive into that some more. This time, World building is on the menu, and why I picked that is because it's fun. Well, there's a good explanation to that: I'm writing fantasy. I guess I wouldn't be as interested in it if I was writing something else.

World building is...
Everything. Litterally. The world in which your story is set might not always seem as important as your main character, but to be fair it really is. It's not just about setting, it's about how the moon turns the tides, about all the creatures that live in it. From the largest stars to the smallest microbes. Why? Well, even in your back yard there are at least seasons, a climate and weather, bugs - maybe even microbic aliens flying arond in saucers, probling the daffodils. Your world gives all your scenes that little extra and shouldn't be forgotten. And, the most important part of all: your characters interact with it, so of course you have to mention it in some way or another.

If you are writing Fantasy or Science Fiction, this is a really interesting challenge. Suddenly you have to turn your backyard into a magic forest or the engine room of an invisible space ship. The interesting part of these themes is that things can look almost however you like, but if they are too fantastic they have to be described, otherwise your vision stays where it was born: in your head. Would you want any of your main characters to stick around in your head through the entire story?

No, neither would I. 

And that's why I think it's imprtant to at least treat the world as a prominent member of the crew.

OK. Let's look at what's important when you put your world together:

1. Maps.This is not only about a map itself, it's about mapping your story too.

2. Society. This is a huge part.

3. Conflict. Yep, even your world should create conflict.

First of all: If you're writing a series and will be needing all your data in one place: Save yourself some time and make a wiki-page. I haven't and my reason is that it would take too much time now when I already have it all structured. If I ever sit down to write something this massive again I definately will though. There are loads of hosts out there, just have a look around and pick the one you prefer. Here's a bunch of them that have had some great reviews, Zim is probably the one I'd use, since it's a compact program - it's a desktop wiki - and relatively easy to use.

Let's have a look at how to do this then.

1. Maps

Maps, pictures of the area where your novel is set. Flora, fauna and other things about the nature around your characters - without it your characters will find it really difficult to interact with it.

Making maps is an artform I sadly have no skills in. I used Photoshop and made this from a hypothetic map of Mars that I found on internet to show you what I mean. Lots of copying and pasting, even more crude drawing. It doesn't have to be fantastic, it's just for you.

Not Mars

When that is done, it's time to start thinking about how big your world is. Why would this be important, you might ask. Well, it's rather disturbing, as a reader, to notice that King Midas and his umpty knights travelled from point A to point B in about forty days on their valiant steeds with hooves sparkling from the speed, while the lonesome wanderer seemed to do the same route on foot in about two hours. When that is done, the rest is simple math to make it all probable.

The best part with maps is that as you go along in your story, you can pinpoint small things as you go and reuse the same place again to make it even more realistic.

Like when Galad the Brave lost his left glove just outside the tavern in Blahblah Village. Not that important for the readers, but it could get useful for you. Maybe not now, but in your next book in the series.
And then, SMACK!
When you describe how Angus the Angry finds this glove when he's taking the dog for a walk before rampaging the countryside (as he's muttering about how much he hates Galad the Brave for interupting the last raid), you not only describe your world, you're nailing even the most minute pieces of it to the inside of your readers brain. And this is, at least for me, what makes George R. R. Martin so extremely clever. On the other hand, I've heard somewhere that he uses miniatures of armies and characters in pretty much the same way. I for one don't have space enough for that, so I'll have to settle with loads of red dots and some small scribbles on the side (as you see in the above picture).

OK, now we have a map. What's next? Oh yeah. I almost forgot. This map, is it from a planet similar to ours or is it completely different? Like, can you breathe the air, is the water drinkable, do the planet have multiple moons, what effect does these moons have on the planet? Suddenly there's a whole lot of things to figure out.

When we've decided to make the ground of our planet into acidic slime and water is the only thing you can walk on; our planet have three suns and loads of dangerous vulcanoes; rains are heavy because of gravity (and that's also why everything is very flat) we can begin to look at population.

Before that, just for the fun of it, check out Nasa's Design a Planet. Maybe it'll be enough for you to start thinking that maybe your world is at least a bit similar to our own ;)
Here you can find some other worldbuilding tools, I haven't used any of them. Through NaNoWriMo I've come across this Magical Worldbuilder though. It's a good resource if you're not quite sure where to start. SFWA also have a nice set of questions to make world building easier.

This is when we decide to build up what would live on this planet, and this is the crucial part. To decide what would live in the world you are writing about, you first have to decide what climate we're working with. Is it colder in some places than in others? What are the seasons like?

When that's done it's time for plants and animals! Yay! Yet again, all about being convincing.
For example: if you plan to write your story in a desert setting, a polarbear shouldn't be your main character's biggest fear. If you're not viewing this polarbear as comic relief or a piece of conflict, of course. If the polarbear was out of its natural habitat, I'd be confused.

Same goes with plants. If Honeysuckle was described as flowering in November I would stop and reread that sentence, maybe think that "Honeysuckle could probably grow in Australia", nod my head and go back to the story. It would make me raise my eyebrows though, and it would take some time to get back to that flow I had before. If a reader does that, he or she has tumbled out of your story and has to be dragged back in, that's not a good thing. Yet again, if this honeysuckle is like the polarbear; a part of a conflict, there's a completely different story.

And to be fair: this is just how I react. Other people may not.

If you are making up plants of your own, try to figure out what makes a cactus survive in a desert and then copy these traits to your own desert-plants. The same goes for animals.

Photographs or illustrations linked to the different areas in your map is a good start, but then you have to study these plants and animals through a magnifying glass. Every little bit of information about all the things that you would menton to make your world more convincing.

2. Society

If you have people in your world, you have to know how they live their daily lives. You have to figure out what society is like where your story is set. Since your character - probably - is part of this society, you also have to be sure about his or her part in it. That is also why you need to know this about your world:
  • History 
  • Cultures (as in religion, philosophy and traditions)
  • Races
  • Heirarchy systems (let's face it - it's everywhere)
  • Economy
  • Politics
  • Technology (and if you're writing fantasy, here's where you add magic system)
And, a thing that I think is really important: Your characters will sometimes have leisure; time to follow their interests. What's available? If you're writing fantasy, you have to come up with books they might read, plays that are famous and so on. Even though your main character might be that orphaned stableboy with no education, the world surrounding him is full of culture. In the village he lives: fairy tales that coloured his childhood, songs, games. This culture is different from village to village, and it will be something completely different when he reaches the city. This is also all about the unwritten rules like manners and fashion.

And please do not forget about food culture. Food is something that everyone can talk and write about; it's such an inspiring subject that I've used it several times as things to write about in classes. Even the students that don't enjoy writing can go on for pages about food. It's more important than you might think.

3. Conflict

Even your world can create conflict, and if it does, your world is even more a part of the story than before. When you've built your world, added everything to it, conflict is what makes it alive. Different religious groups, cultures that interact with eachother, You would probably see predators going after herbivores too, or at least showing trace of a hunt if your story is set in the countryside. Something as simple as a slippery stair could be a conflict.

An example for conflict could be that squeaky floorboard that your character has been thinking of doing something about since the dawn of time, and how annoying this becomes that day when he tries to sneak through the house because he's heard a weird sound from the kitchen. Let's build this up even more: when your character finally gets his crowbar to do something about the floorboard, he finds a treasure map... But now we're running too fast. Your scene isn't only going to be part of conflict, it's also the fitting surrounding to it. You don't have to go all epic "It was a dark and stormy night", but that sentence certainly gives the scene a certain feeling, doesn't it?

I guess you enjoy studying the world around you - at least I do. Here are a few examples of conflict from every day human life that I'd like to point out:

  • Men vs. women; we are seldom as equal as we'd like to be
  • There are always more people that are poor than people that are rich and there are forces keeping it like this for several reasons
  • Minorites are usually louder than majorities
  • Human needs will always come first; after dinner we can talk about morals - when in need we drop all our ideals
  • We are always trying to advance and sometimes scruples come in our way
  • Humans are lazy by nature - the easiest way may not always be the best way though
  • We can put up with a lot of stuff. When we think we can't deal with it anymore, we still strive for yet a while. Our minds are always stronger than our bodies...
  • ...But there is a point when we can't go on anymore. What is important here is the reason and the reaction, but that is very individual. Which is why this is almost part of character building rather than world building.

There are loads of things you can use if you're just looking at the world around you, these are just the things I wrote down from the top of my mind.

If there's anything you'd like to add, please post it below!

Monday, March 2, 2015

About content

Writing - a time warp?
It certainly feels like it anyway. I mean, I love to get to that state when I've been writing for hours and I'm so lightheaded that I could go on for yet another day and night without noticing the sun setting. It's empowering and almost meditative. The brain turns into a total blank and you fill page after page with scribbles, and the next time you look up it's dark outside.

Yeah, I know. Hard to read, even for me.

So, if you started to write in reverse...? *scratches of ballpoint pen towards paper*

And then, when you've filled journal after journal with this and start to revise, you realize that there's just a nugget of it that is really good. You start to work with a first draft based on that nugget, and work even more nuggets into it where it might fit. Suddenly you have a story.

That's the best part about writing - you see a whole world taking shape, tie the logic solutions to the story, build the characters to a point where they could be real actual people. COULD be, by the way; I know my characters better than I know my family. I love their quirks, their weaknesses and their strengths.

And then comes the rough part. When you revise that second draft and notice that the CONTENT is not at all as good as you thought. The next step is horrible. Tossing away chapters that don't lead anywhere, remove things that are very well written, but really uninteresting to read. Like a chapter I wrote during NaNoWriMo about shaving with a straight razor. It was more a study in how to work a straight razor rather than a thrilling episode that could move the story forward.

BUT. There's a benefit with this. All these chapters are discarted and the story is shorter, BUT I know my characters even better now. Know without reading the character sheets when Fur should be getting nervous, Know exactly how long Nefret can restrain her anger before she explodes. Am absolutely certain how to discribe Achillea's expressions and bodylanguage when she's being manipulative in her own very discrete way.

The problem is the content, and that's why I wanted to write about this.

I love reading, read something every day, reread books I love. Right now I'm rereading the Harry Potter series, introducing my six year old daughter to her favourite character in written word. She LOVES Harry Potter, but has only seen the movies - together with me, of course, and with a warning before the scary parts (she's learned from this that the menacing music in the movies are a good cue to look away).

I tried to figure out what it is I like about certain books, what it is that makes me read them over and over again. To do this I had to start by looking at what books I revisited and why. This is rather embarassing to admit, but I keep journals over books I've read, even marked how many times. Here follow some examples of books I've read several times and why I've returned to them:

Emma by Jane Austen
This book is one of my favourites, and according to my journals I've read it three times since I started to write notes of all the books I read. So, what is it that I return to in this book?
Milieu, Dialogue, Characters, Romance. You know what will happen, but the characters are so well written it really doesn't matter.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
Three times in Swedish, once in English. What is there not to love? Yeah, I know. I have to be objective. Why did I return?
Milieu, Magic, Adventure. The dialogues aren't really my favourite here, and I feel like I really don't get to know the characters really well, but is there any other place that is as captivating as Middle Earth?

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This is a book that I've read at least five times. I even bought an early print (in Swedish) of it by an antiquarian. And why?
Adventure, Characters, Feelings, Intrigue. The main character is driven by revenge, and everything he does is really clever.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Read it two times, and the reason for this is:
Characters, Intrigue, Dialogue. My favourite chracter would be Uriah Heep, who is such a disturbing character you just can't get rid of the oily feeling you get after reading about him.

So, according to this, there are a few traits I look for in a story, and I guess that most people do the same. That's why this list could help me find out what CONTENT I need to finish this story. Ever.

  • Milieu. I enjoy reading about beautiful landscapes, but most of all I enjoy the feeling I get from how the characters interpret their surroundings. I really enjoy that open air countryside from Emma, the same about the Shire in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Dialogue. A clever dialogue could make or break a book in my point of view. If the dialogue is uninteresting or straight out stupid, I will hate the characters. Passionately. Which could be a good thing if it was done on purpose.
  • Characters. This is very well linked to the point above: a character have a dialogue that fits his/her personality (most of the time). I like characters that I can get to know bit by bit, as if they were real people. See how these "real" people react to actions. A good character is one that you root for or dislike, someone that freely share his/her weaknesses with you to make you understand how difficult the easiest task could be.
  • Feelings. I love when you can feel what a character feels and see how their actions follow their reactions based on feelings. Which leads me to...
  • Romance. Or, in reality, all pieces of human nature. Romance is a strong subject and a great way to build suspense.
  • Intrigue. All about suspense. What I like most about this is the possibility to give the story lots of unexpected twists.
  • Adventure. There's a bit of adventure in everyday life, but there's nothing like an epic fast paced story, forcing your heart to beat faster as your new favourite friends are about to do the impossible. Or fail.
  • Magic. There's a bit of magic in everything, it's just about giving the ordinary things a scent of mystique. Not knowing if it's good or bad, and again: impossible things. That's the charm with books.

So, according to what books I return to, I should write these things myself, right? That's why my third draft seems further away from being finished than ever, even though I'm now confident enough to let people read snippets of it. Hardly ever did that before.

The next problem is how to work this into a story.
I've been teaching for about ten years now, all ages from six to sixteen, and I've always said that the only way there is to learn grammatics and spelling properly is by reading and writing. The children I teach now are eight years old. They read books, at least 15 minutes a day and write stories which I help them to correct afterwards. Since they hate to rewrite things, they have become very good at spelling. To make it easier for them to build a story, I've made a seven point list for them, based on Dan Wells' story structure (If you want to read more about this, you can find some here).

  1. "THE HOOK"          - Something that makes the reader curious. THE BEGINNING.
  2. "THE #1 TURN"       - Something goes wrong...
  3. "THE #1 PINCH"     - Which forces your character to take action against his/her will.
  4. "THE MIDPOINT"  - Things go very wrong, your character DECIDES to take action.
  5. "THE #2 PINCH"     - Your character takes action.
  6. "THE #2 TURN"      - These actions don't go as planned.
  7. "THE END"             - Solve all the problems now.

Since my story is devided by several character's POVs, I had five parallel stories to work with.

Anyway, let's return to CONTENT again. When I had worked out what it is I like in certain stories, I had to figure out how to make my story interesting to read - and of course to write. I already had an idea of what to write, but this strucure made it easier to make it interesting.

For example, the first set of scenes weren't that captivating before I realized that I had to lure people into reading further into the story to get more. I decided to leave things unsaid (things that had been told in a narrative voice earlier non the less) to reveal it little by little like bread crumbs on a path. My betas liked it a lot better, I might add. It was well worth the try, and now I just have to figure out how to fit romance into this story, because that's the only thing - in my point of view anyway - from my list that I haven't managed to work out yet.

Please, if you have any traits you'd like to point out as important in your favourite books, let me know!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Saturday Scenes and Sunday Scribbles

Yes! A new piece of text, translated into English!
Not anything connected to the novel I'm working on, but the backstory to this is rather amusing.

The other day I was supposed to write a new chapter. I have discarted several chapters and written new ones that fit the story better. Third draft is harsh business. Anyway, I sat on my bed with my laptop and was supposed to write about Fur doing something he's always doing now adays: being nervous and trying to not show it. Somewhere in the middle I fell asleep and had the weirdest dream. The second I woke up I just ha to wirte it down in some way, nd here it is:

”If you’d been there you’d believe me”, Emma ended her monologue with and panted. No surprise there, she was just as exhausting to listen to as it must be talking like that. Of course, that was just an assumption; what Robert was sure of though was that if he didn’t say something soon, Emma would keep on talking for hours upon hours. This beautiful day would come to an end and they wouldn’t even have opened their pic-nic basket yet.
“I believe you”, he blurted out, a bit too fast and a bit too high pitched. “A thing like that can’t be made up.”
Emma nodded her head. “Right? And to think I was planning to go to Paris this spring in an ordinary plane – I mean, why pay for cramped seats and expensive miniature soft drinks when it’s so much easier to just…”
“Yeah, but how do you do it?” Robert interrupted, much calmer now when Emma’s words didn’t tumble over him like an avalanche anymore. A quick glance at the arm watch and a sigh. Noon. No wonder he was hungry.
“I have no idea”, Emma replied, “I doubt it’s as easy as pinching your nose and blowing.”
“That would be something though”, Robert laughed and leaned backwards, resting on one hand in the low cut grass. “I would probably freeze to death.” Was he out of his mind? Did he really think about what would happen to his body at those altitudes as if what she’d just said would be a possibility? Robert shaked his head. This was madness.
“Yeah, you maybe.” Emma punched Robert’s shoulder, “Remind me to put on a hat and a jacket.”
“You’re planning to try this out.” Robert looked at Emma and didn’t really know if h should laugh or cry. How could she be so naïve?
“Yes, of course! I want to figure this out.” Emma leaned backwards too and squinted towards the sun. “It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?”
“Sure”, Robert answered, still trying to figure out if she was a complete idiot or just crazy. A bit of a nutter, yes; but that was hardly any news. “It’s a lovely day for a pic-nic, and I’m starving. Let’s eat.”

Later that evening, Robert was standing in front of his bathroom mirror brushing his teeth. An old record with Billie Holiday were playing in the background, soon on that part of Gloomy Sunday when he’d have to lift the needle from the scratches in the track to be able to hear the end of the song.  It had been a nice day at the park, but he hadn’t been able to drop that thought. Emma had to be bonkers. Robert was actually a bit disappointed. Why would she, a clever girl – well moderately anyway - think a person could just fly off like that? During lunch hour in the middle of a street? There must be a good scientific explanation. Not to why she believed it to be true; Robert was already aware of the fact that she was a dreamer; there had to be a trick behind it.
Robert went to bed, turned his lights out. Tried to sleep. Tossed and turned with his eyes wide open in the dark room. Outside, a car passed by. The engine hummed away until it disappeared into the distance. He had to break up with her. She was too irrational. If he was this disturbed by her daydreams now, how would it be in a few years? He’d be angry to the point that he’d explode by their second anniversary. He’d be too annoyed to kiss her. In fact, he’d been too annoyed already to invite her to stay the night. That engagement ring had to be returned to the store, first thing in the morning. And as Robert had come to that conclusion, he felt relaxed and started to doze off.  Really comfortable; so relaxed even that he felt like he was floating above the bed.
And then he bumped his head.
Robert opened his eyes.
The ceiling was a bit closer than previously expected.
“What the…?” Robert turned his head, looked towards the window. It was placed much lower than he remembered. He must be dreaming. Or was Emma’s nonsense contagious? Robert didn’t dare to move. What if he fell down?
“This must be a dream”, he murmured, with a surprisingly high-pitched voice. What was this? He sounded like a chipmunk! Of course. Those annoying chipmunks. He had to be asleep. Robert flapped with his arms, at first carefully, to see if something happened. When he did, his legs sank and the blankets fell off him. He felt stretched, as if he was hanging from his head. This was not a comfortable dream. It was a bit too realistic. No, wait. How could he call this realistic? His head bumped the ceiling once more. Robert tried to move towards the bedroom door. Walking in midair didn’t work, neither did swimming. He had to walk on his hands over the ceiling towards the door. Push away to not bump his head.
By the door was the light switch. He had to climb – downwards, cling on to the moldings. It was like the laws of gravity had flipped and turned the world upside down. It was a struggle to reach the doorknob, and when he did he had to cling on to it as if his life mattered on it. Panting like a dog a warm day. Robert reached for the light switch.
On the other side of the room, by the closet, there was a mirror. Robert didn’t really mean to look in it. Just by pure coincidence he realized that his head was huge. Smaller at the base and wider on top.
“What is this?” he murmured, still with a chipmunk’s voice. His head looked…


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blank overload

Yeah, hats off to that. I've been working too much and that thing I promised myself to do - you know, the writing thing. Oh, you didn't hear? I was supposed to finish my story before Easter. Not happening.

Other things that haven't happened: Drawing. Learning new stuff with 3D.

Why this, you may ask? Well, as I stated earlier: Work. I've been working overtime since Christmas. Every single week. If I could take all these hours out in time, I'd have a full week at home by now. At least. Since I have a daughter - the apple of my eye - the few hours I have left in a day is spent with her.
And from what I've learnt from experience, there will be lot's of overtime from now on until Easter too. So, how to cram in some time to write or paint? Back to square one with the structure and schedule.

I have had some pieces of text done, it's all right but a bit rushed. Feels like I'm panting after reading it and I need it to be a bit slower. It's like I write in the state of mind I am in at the moment. Maybe I should write car chases and action packed scenes instead of about a mildly awkward anti-hero with IBS who's slowly getting an eating disorder because he's too afraid of loosing his dignity in stressful situations. Which he seems to fall into all the time. This far, every chapter with this guy has been stressful. Poor fellow, he'll run with his face first into that wall everybody is talking about.

Anyway, sorry for not writing in a while, I'd have nothing to write about. Let me worry about blank.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Just write it out of the system

I'm not really having a bad day, just in a peculiar mood. That's not the most creative state to be in, so the only thing to do about it is to get it out of your system. 

Let's call this another challenge. Writing about what's bothering you, as short as possible. 

What is it that bothers me today then? Well, I happened to read the newspaper. I know, I shouldn't; it always makes me so disappointed in people. 

We all have goals in our lives. We all want to reach it; may it be to learn how to play Für Elise on your granny's 80th birthday or getting that book published. What bothers me is that the goal sometimes seems to be more important than the path we take and the experiences we gain on the road. Shortcuts have gone so far that it's eveen easy on some people's consciences to just grab what they want and leave. Or to just make a sloppy job and force everybody else to pay for the expenses.

A sloppy shortcut of a translate:

How damn little 
the human being is 
when she can't find 
another way to grow 
than to cut everybody else down.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Scribbles, Saturday Scenes and storms

Here on the westcoast of Sweden we have a strange winter. The storms and floods that are usual for our Autumns and Springs have become rather familiar; familiar enough to invite itself in mid-winter. 

No snow at all.

I live in a small hamlet; or to be honest, on a mountaintop just at the edge of a pine forest, in my opinion on a walking distance from the sea. On the other hand, three kilometers aren’t what normal people call a walking distance. Every time there’s a storm on the coast, I hardly notice it. Yesterday, one of Saga’s crocs – she has them standing on the stairs outside the front door beside my clogs – flew away and landed in a puddle. Besides that? Just a mild breeze. Today I saw pictures on Facebook from all the towns, cities and hamlets along the coast; water everywhere. Since this is what we have here on at least a yearly basis, nobody seems to mind – comments like “When you go for a walk today, you should wear your waders” and “Hah, that’s my mother’s car floating by down there, I didn’t know you were neighbors” is all I see.

Oh, and my internet is really slow today.

My dad lives in the middle of Gothenburg. When I talked to him this morning, he was happily surprised that his furniture on the balcony was there, even happier when he noticed that his car was untouched from the roofing tiles that had fallen down in his street. And, as usual, he’s going on an adventure through the water masses, a nice drive on the scenic routes through the city. I remember one year when we had a snow storm, school was closed and the public transports were out. On the news they showed the streets of Gothenburg empty, Götaplatsen and the statue of Poseidon covered in snow, and suddenly my dad’s car shows up. He’s racing by just in front of the cameras in his bright red Toyota Landcruiser.

In other parts of Sweden, the storm named Egon has been devastating; of course it has. Storms have that effect. Large parts of Sweden are without electricity. Floods – how common they ever are – destroy homes. I must be a very lucky bastard.

OK, so enough from my daily life and back to what this journalpost is all about. 

I haven’t posted any Sunday Scribbles in a while, and thought I should combine this with Saturday Scenes – it’s Sunday after all, and I still have a chance to post a late entry to the #Saturday Scenes at Google +.

Today’s Scribbles are the writing prompt from this morning’s activities. I’m working on a chapter in the third draft of Smoke and Mirrors (it’s a translation of a working title, bear with me).  It’s not edited, so if you find it difficult to read I wouldn’t blame you.

Fur grunted as he tried to sit up. He would certainly get a bump in the head from that blow.
“By the dung of demons and their most fearsome grandmothers, what was that good for?” he muttered as his hand wandered from the neck and up through the hair.
“You’re intruding”, a deep voice answered, just behind him by the door.
“I told you so”, the Impulse giggled from inside of Fur’s head. “It’s not midnight yet, remember?”
Fur wanted to slap the Impulse in its face, but because of their latest contract he couldn’t. As if he physically would have been able to do that before. Weird contract, really. Instead he turned his face towards whatever was standing beside him. The butterflies in his stomach had been calm until he met the glance of a huge man with a cricket bat in his hands. It felt a bit like the butterflies had become pleasantly drunk and then the moths from his empty wallet decided to walk into the same bar and pick a fight. The giant of a man had the bat lifted, as he was prepared for yet another strike.
“My head is not a cricket ball”, Fur said, swallowed and hoped that his fear didn’t show in his face. He reached for the pipe in his coat pocket. A poker face was easier to maintain when filling the pipe with tobacco.
“Keep your hands where I can see them!” the man said and leaned forward as he pulled the bat further back for an even stronger blow.
“Wait!” Fur shouted and raised his other hand to protect the face. His thoughts felt like a ball of yarn where all the loose ends were tangled into really difficult knots. Not in the face, was the only clear thought he had, as he tried to come up with something to say. “I have an invitation!”
Fur imagined that he himself would look just as surprised as the man with the bat. Stupid Impulse, what right did he have to use their vocal chords without his permission?
“I do have an invitation”, he echoed, and even though his voice sounded like it was questioning his morals in that matter, his fingers were already rummaging through the pocket after that little piece of paper.

“You were a bit slow that time”, the Impulse excused itself. Fur wanted, more than ever, to slap the grin off its face.

Thanks for reading!