Tag Archives: conflict

Nothing to Report

Honestly, I’m more than a little disappointed in myself. I haven’t written anything of substance all week. There was actually only one day this week that I opened my laptop to write. Really, the most constructive time spent on this book was the half hour spent talking about it with one of my writer friends over lunch. While she didn’t give me any answers to my problems, she helped me get a little bit of perspective on the doubts I have been having.

This week I must do better. One of the things that she suggested was to forget about my concerns regarding the weak middle section of my book and just start writing it. Hopefully getting some words on the page may spark some inspiration that will help strengthen the weak spots.

We also discussed the scope of the finale. It would probably be better not to try to make the hero try to save the world. It would make it much more personal and emotional if he is simply trying to save the struggling little family that he has grown to know and love. He doesn’t have to be James Bond, simply a caring human being.

That’s it for today. Time for me to open my novel file and get to work. See you next week!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

New Year, New Novel

As promised, today I’m going to give you an update on how the planning for my new novel is going. I have to warn you though. I have been busy, so this post is going to be a long one.

The working title is The Reluctant Hero, as you can see by my new Word Meter on the right. I’ll probably leave the Dirty Little Freaks meter there for a while just because I am proud of having finished it. I did get that last story done before the end of the year, and it wasn’t too terrible. It was about a woman who was lost and stumbled across a secret laboratory. She was taken prisoner and injected with a serum that turned her into a superhero. That’s about it. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the story, like how did she get lost in the first place, who was running the secret lab, and where they all went while the serum was doing its work. If I ever figure out the answers to those questions I might revisit that story, but meanwhile at least it served its purpose as a writing exercise.

Now, back to what you are all waiting for. The new novel!

All right, so the first thing I had to do was decide what I wanted to write about. As I told you last week, my only real idea was to write a story using the old theme of the reluctant hero. Someone who was pulled into a dangerous situation and forced to step up in order to save not only himself, but the whole world. Or at least more of it than would normally fit in his pajamas. So the first thing I needed to do was figure out who this guy was.

I started with a character sketch. I don’t mean a picture, although that will probably come in at some point. No, I mean a description of the character, including name, age, general appearance, and most importantly, his history and personality.

My main character is named Alexander Lunde. I chose the first name because it actually means “defender of mankind” in some languages. Or, at least, that’s what my Scrivener name generator told me. The last name is pretty much just random, except that I thought he should be of Norwegian descent. Just because.

I won’t get into his height and weight, eye and hair color. The important details are that he is a widower. His wife died in “the disaster” and he blames himself, so he lives alone, cutting himself off as much as possible from everyone else. If you want to get into the psychobabble, I suppose that he has low self-esteem and doesn’t feel like he deserves to live among other people. Another reason for his life as a hermit could be that he can’t stand the thought of losing someone else close to him. So he pushes people away, and generally comes across as a grumpy old man.

So that’s where I started. Now, you might have noticed a couple words in quotes in the description above. That was my next step in figuring out where I was going with this story. What, exactly, is “the disaster”?

Well, I decided that I wanted to write a post-apocalyptic tale. That meant that there should be at least the remains of technology available in the ruins of civilization that were still left standing. However, I also like the ideas of magic and monsters. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are high on my reading lists. So what kind of disaster could I come up with that had both science AND magic?

And, if at all possible, dragons.

My brain struggled over this for a while, and finally, out of the storm came this little gem. A comet passed extremely close to Earth, and billions of people went outside to watch as it neared the closest point. Unfortunately, those were the people who died. The comet gave off a strange form of radiation that killed everyone that saw it. The radiation also triggered a reaction deep in the Earth’s core that rekindled a magical force that had been largely depleted over the centuries of humanity’s history. After all, the legends of gods and fairy tales had to come from somewhere, right?

So now I’ve got a man with a past. What about the world of the present?

My next step was to figure out what was going on right now. I had to determine what the world was like in order to figure out how my story would fit in to it. After all, if my reluctant hero was going to have to save humanity, I had to at least find out what he was saving them from.

I already knew it was going to be post-apocalyptic, so that gave me a start. Few people, primarily gathered into small communities, largely either living off the land or scavenging through the ruins. With the magic influence, I decided that along with the bandits that would undoubtedly threaten any travelers, as well as established communities, there would also be fantastical monsters. Goblins, ogres, creatures of both dreams and nightmares, and, most importantly, dragons.

Another thing I had to decide was where it was going to be set. Of course, like most of my books, I decided to set it close to home. Personally, I think that Madison, Wisconsin, would be a fine place to live if most of the people were gone. Especially the idiots in that fancy domed building downtown. There are also plenty of farms and wooded areas around the city that would be excellent places for the survivors to use to start over and support themselves. There are even a few state parks where my hero could live without being bothered.

And there is also the UW campus. Let’s face it, if magic came back into the world, can you think of anywhere better to set up a school of wizardry than the research facilities of a major metropolitan university? It was a perfect place for people to gather together to start researching how to use the new forces of magic that were now available to all.

And that gave me the idea for the plot. These new wizards, just figuring out the “science” of magic, could easily cross one of those lines that are better left uncrossed. In the fantasy books I have read, one of the biggest dangers of using magic is summoning a demon. When dealing with evil creatures from another plane, not only does your spell have to be perfect, but you also have to have an iron will in order to keep body and soul together. Otherwise, what you end up with as a monster terrorizing the neighborhood while bloody chunks drip down the walls of the summoning chamber. Not good.

So I have a hero, a setting, and a climax. Now, how was I going to get Alexander from being a hermit to saving the world from a demonic invasion? And where were the dragons going to come in?

The answer, of course, is to bring in other people. I had to force him to spend time with others in order to be in a position where he had no choice but to be a hero. And who better to transform a grumpy old man into a loving “grandfather” than a little boy (or girl)?

Here’s the rough outline of the plot that I came up with:

Alexander is out hunting and finds a small family en route to the campus that is being attacked by bandits. He saves the family, but the father is injured and the bandits got away with most of their supplies. He reluctantly takes them in while the father recovers, which gives them time to bond with him, despite his efforts to push them away.

After the father recovers, the two of them go into the local town to restock the family’s supplies so they can continue their journey. On the way, they find a dragon’s egg, which they pick up and bring into town. Unfortunately, the dragon tracks them there and attacks the town, killing the young father before it, too is killed.

Alexander goes back to his house and breaks the news to the young wife. She is upset, and Alexander feels really bad. After she calms down, she tells him that she still wants to continue her journey, and she makes him promise to take her. He still has the dragon egg, and decides to take it with them so the people there can study it.

This part needs a bit of work. They get to campus and he sticks around while the girl gets settled with her family. At some point he discovers that the wizards are experimenting with summoning spells. He goes to watch and that’s when all hell breaks loose. Demons start flooding through the portal, and Alexander is hurt badly while trying to fight them off.

The ghost of Alexander’s dead wife then appears to him and tells him that it isn’t his time to die and that he needs to keep fighting or the young mother and her children will die. Her spirit then takes over the unborn dragon egg, which then hatches and helps Alexander fight off the demons and close the portal.

In the end, Alexander, the baby dragon, and the little family go back to his cabin in the woods and live happily ever after.

It’s pretty rough, and as I mentioned, I know there are some problems with the plot, but at least it is a starting point. I welcome any comments, criticism, or suggestions that will help me make it better.

That’s it for today (whew!). I’ll see you next week with another update on my planning. I hope to be able to work out some of the weak spots in this outline and fill in some gaps with a list of the scenes I’ll need to use in order to make this a decent novel. Later!

Leave a comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

Oops

It seems that I forgot to post on Sunday. Sorry. I guess all I can say is better late than never.

Last week my story was about an auction. I was watching episodes of Storage Wars, so it seemed like the thing to do. In case you haven’t heard about it, Storage Wars follows several people as they bid on storage lockers that have been abandoned. Nobody knows why these little rooms full of people’s lives have wound up on the auction block, but it gives these entrepreneurs the chance to  pick up stuff for pennies on the dollar. They find the most unusual items, which they then take to experts to explain why they are special and what they are worth. At the end, the narrator recaps the profits that each one made from the locker.

So my story started simply, about a man getting ready for his bid. Then he spots an attractive woman who seems to be extremely interested in something in the locker. He decides that he is going to do something different for this auction. Instead of focusing on the value of the contents and cutting off his bid appropriately, he decides he is going to spend whatever it takes to win the locker. He is betting that he can then get the woman to sleep with him in exchange for whatever it is that she wants from the room.

The bidding goes higher and higher, to the amazement of the rest of the people at the auction, as they are convinced that it couldn’t possibly that much. The main character pushes it up to ten thousand dollars, probably ten times what it is worth, which wins him the locker. The rest of the auction then goes off to the next item up for bid, leaving him alone with the girl.

He starts digging into the boxes, purposefully ignoring the one she was interested in, while she hems and haws in the background. When she finally speaks, he dismisses her, but she refuses to leave. He ends up thinking that she is a born victim, unable to make up her mind and in desperate need of a strong man to take control. Which he then does.

She tells him that the locker was her sisters and she is looking for a family heirloom. He convinces her that the only way she is going to get it is if she takes off her clothes. She hesitates, but eventually does as he asks. While she strips, he finds her trinket, which is a locket with a crescent moon on the cover. He also finds some fur-lined handcuffs, because apparently her sister was into light bondage. He puts the cuffs on the girl, and then slips the necklace over her head before turning around to get another sex toy from the box. By the time he looks back, she has transformed into a werewolf which proceeds to tear him apart.

So the aggressor becomes the victim, and the world is possibly a better place. Depending, of course, on how you feel about werewolves.

My story this week is about a young boy who finds buried treasure. A huge golden egg buried in the woods. So far he has spent most of the day digging it out, and gave himself a hernia getting it out of the hole. I’m trying to show that he is unnaturally obsessed with this thing. I think it is going to turn out to be a dragon egg, but I haven’t figured out yet where the story is going next.

I’ll fill you in on the rest of the story next week. Hopefully on time. See you then!

Leave a comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

Too Much Story

This week I had the problem of having too much story for my goal. I am only writing short stories right now, and it didn’t take me very long to figure out that the story I had started was not something that could be told that quickly.

I started by showing my main character standing at the sink and thinking about everything that had just happened to him. I spent a few paragraphs talking about how there are secret things lurking just beneath the surface, and how at any minute they can pop up and ruin your life.

And that’s when I made the big mistake. I wrote the following sentence:

My house was a wreck, my car was in the police impound lot, my wife had taken the kids to stay with her sister, and my dog was missing.

So now I had to write a story which covered all of those things. A SHORT story.

Did I pull it off? Not so much.

While I did end up with a story that had at least mentioned all of those things, I actually never got around to wrapping things up into a full circle. The story kind of works, but it really needs to be a LOT longer.

I’m going to count it as done, even though it sucks. Like I said, I did get at least something in there for everything I had mentioned in that sentence. And the last sentence of the story provides a nice ending point. I could certainly do a lot more with it, and the situation brought up in the opening paragraph is totally left hanging, but that part could simply be removed in edits. Or, I could take what I have as a starting point and blow it up into a complete novel. I’m really tempted to do that, possibly for NaNoWriMo.

In other news, I’m still going strong on both the Magic Spreadsheet (82 days in my chain), and on DuoLingo (33 days in a row). I still only know 165 words of Spanish, but at least I am continuing to practice, and hopefully some of it is sinking in.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back next week to fill you in on yet another story in the growing Dirty Little Freaks anthology. See you then!

1 Comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

A Man and His Dog

Once again I started a story with no real idea where it was going. I began by describing an ugly dog. A mutt whose better days were all behind him. And then I decided that my hero was the human equivalent. A bum who lived out of trash cans, but still had a code of honor.

The story was nothing special at first. I just told how he rolled into town and found a meal in exchange for doing some odd jobs for a widow. But I couldn’t leave it there. Our hero got jumped by an overprotective neighbor and the dog protected him. Together they made their escape, and that was the start of their friendship.

Again, this is a story that will probably need a lot of editing before it becomes what it should be. I think I need to amp up the dog’s part in the story building up to the fight. I might want to bring in the attacker a little earlier in order to foreshadow the conflict and increase the tension.

But at least the bones of the story are there. And I practiced using description, which is something I have struggled with. My writing tends to be a little on the bland side, and I am trying to work on that.

In other news, my Magic Spreadsheet chain is still going strong, and I am still using DuoLingo on a daily basis. I’m not adding new words very quickly, but I’m getting a lot of practice with the ones I already know.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back next week to tell you about Story #32. I wonder what it will be?

Leave a comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

What Did I Just Do?

OMG.

Dirty Little Freaks #24 was way out of my ballpark. I’m not sure how I got there, but the story took me places I have never been before. Places that are impossible for me to reach. It was a struggle all the way, but I think I can be proud of what I did, even if it was a painful journey.

I started with something simple. A rude comment made by someone at a funeral. As I developed the story, the comment was made by a younger brother and the funeral was the main character’s father. Then things started to get really interesting when I decided that the comment that had been made was true, and that it was about our main character having an incestuous relationship with her father.

It was about pain and loss and love that broke the rules.  And it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. I’m not looking forward to editing it, because I know that any changes I make to it will only have to make it better, and I’m not sure how I can. I was really stretching my boundaries on the first draft, so taking it to the next level is going to be rough.

I think that the direction my story took was at least partially influenced by the book I was reading. The Lake of Dreams, by Kim Edwards. It wasn’t about incest, but one of the themes was the death of the main character’s father, and how it affected the course of her life. I could actually see how the story I was writing changed to reflect the story I was reading. That sort of thing doesn’t happen often for me, so it was interesting seeing it happen now. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it was a bad thing, just that it was unexpected and a little frightening to go where I have never gone before.

In other news, that makes 19 days in my Magic Spreadsheet chain, for a total of over 8,000 words. Having the spreadsheet is really giving me that extra incentive to keep writing, even though I might not want to. In the last few months, I have only been worrying about getting the story done, and have skipped some days when I didn’t feel like writing. But now, the focus is on getting at least the minimum in every day, so I have been writing first thing in the morning and taking the rest of the day for myself. The stories have been longer, as I only have to make sure I reach the end by Saturday, but I think they have also been better. We’ll see how it goes in the coming months.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next Sunday with another update. See you then!

1 Comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

Whoops! I Did It Again.

I finished story #9 for my Dirty Little Freaks series yesterday, and it wasn’t too bad. But once again, I had to go to the dark side.

The story is about a little boy, about eight years old, who is orphaned and homeless. He is on his own in the big bad world, except for one thing. He can see ghosts. To be specific, his dead parents are still looking out for him, and he understands that as long as he listens to their advice things will turn out okay.

This time, however, he’s not so sure about what they want him to do. While he was settling in for the night, hiding in the woods along a deserted country road, a car parks nearby. The man driving then pulls a bound woman out of the trunk and takes her into the forest to do terrible things.

Little Jimmy wants to run away, but Momma and Poppa have other ideas. They convince him to go help the woman, even though he thinks the only possible outcome is for him to end up dead like them.

Then I cut to the woman, Jessie. I had to do this because I wanted to go into the characters of each of them before the end. I describe some of the details of how the kidnapper prepares her for what he plans to do to her, and mix in some of the thoughts running through her mind. In particular, I explain that she thinks she is doomed and she regrets not having kids of her own.

Just when our villain gets to the point of no return, however, Jimmy shows up with a tire iron and conks him over the head. That gives them just enough time to get Jessie out of her bondage, but she has to hit him again to keep him out of trouble so they can get away. In the end, the victim and her rescuer tie up the bad guy and head back to the road. When they get back to the car, Jessie meets Jimmy’s parents and find out that they want her to be his new mother. So we get a happy ending.

Not a bad story, but I woke up this morning still thinking about it. Going over and over in my mind some of the edits that need to be made. For example, I really think that I need to focus more on Jimmy and Jessie’s character, and less on describing their situation. In order to properly build up to the ending, I have to make them both realize how much they belong together. I also think I need to work in a little more history of each of them, such as how Jimmy’s parents died, and what Jessie’s lifestyle was like before she was kidnapped.

But that’s exactly what editing is for. No writer expects to get it right in the first draft. The trick is to ignore all those nagging thoughts about correcting your work while you are still writing that first draft so you can get the story done. If I had gone back to rewrite the beginning before I came to the end, the story wouldn’t be done right now. And if I took the time to start working on my edits right now, I probably won’t be able to finish this week’s story on time.

So this story is going into my pile along with all the others, and will be one of the first on my editing schedule at the end of the year. Between now and then, however, I’m going to ignore it.

I’m still trying to figure out a way to write a story without it being rated PG-13 or worse. I know that the most powerful stories are where the characters are put through hell, but I’m getting tired of the twisted thoughts that are coming out of my head. I’m considering attempting to write a comedy, even though my sense of humor is probably just as twisted.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts about my story. Feel free to leave a comment. And as always, I’ll be checking in again on Wednesday. Catch you later!

1 Comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

Stretching Your Boundaries

It’s always a good idea to reach beyond your comfort zone. This is especially true for writers.

This week I am trying something new. My story is set in a possible future, where global warming has caused the oceans to rise until most of the land is underwater. Most of the people still live in the same buildings (now waterproofed, of course), and never see the sky. The term “upper class” has become literal, with only the richest people able to afford real estate where you can still open a window.

This story is a stretch for me because, even though I was raised on Heinlein, Asimov, and Varley, in recent years I have identified more with the fantasy genre, in particular urban fantasy, which combines magic with the modern world. I have yet to write a story that I would classify as science fiction.

So here I go, stretching my wings and seeing where the wind may take me. I plan on having my hero get involved in a terrorist plot which ends up transforming the common people into water breathers, allowing them to break free of the chains of the old world and form a new society of Atlantis.

I’ve got a fair start on my story, but I still have a lot of work to do before it’s done. So I hope you’ll understand and forgive my short post today. I’ll be back on Sunday to let you know how it went.

2 Comments

Filed under Politics, The Writing Experience

Trying to find Balance

One of the hardest things for me as a writer is finding a balance. I’m not talking about balancing plot points and character development, although that is difficult as well as important. No, what I am speaking of is finding a balance between my writing and the rest of my life.

Part of being a writer is opening yourself up to the rest of the world. You have to share a vital part of yourself in order to engage the reader. The tricky part is figuring out which part, and how much you can show. Show too much, too soon, and people will think you are overeager. Show the wrong parts, and people will get bored, or angry.

Kind of like being an exotic dancer.

Think about it. If you went to a strip club and the dancer showed you the goods right off the bat, you would be a little disappointed, wouldn’t you? After all, part of the show is the “reveal”, and you can’t have a reveal if you never cover it up in the first place. And if the dancer never showed you anything, you would be just as upset. After all, you paid good money for this show, and there are certain expectations about what is going to happen when you get inside.

Okay, now this analogy is starting to get me off-balance. See what I mean?

What I am trying to say here is that I am having trouble reconciling my personal life with my writing. I have certain, deep-seated beliefs that frequently conflict with the things that I write. There are many times when the words that come out of my head make me uncomfortable, because they aren’t the kinds of things that I believe I should be writing. And yet, there they are.

I’ll come right out and say it. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Otherwise known as the Mormons. Yes, the same church that Mitt Romney belongs to (even though I think he’s a bad example of our faith).

One of the tenets of being a member of my church is living the law of chastity. That means so much more than just not having sex. It also means avoiding pornography and keeping your lustful passions confined to the marriage bed. And it means that when I start writing about sex and use four letter words in my stories I am either walking a fine line or stepping over the edge. And that’s what makes me uncomfortable.

This is tough for me. On the one hand, I’m not being unfaithful to my lovely wife. I’m not even looking at dirty pictures on the Internet. But when I write about other people having sex, it’s like letting a fantasy out of my head. And it’s probably not a fantasy I should be having in the first place, much less share with the rest of the world.

What makes it even more difficult is that I know for a fact that there is a huge market for erotica out there, and writing about sex would be an excellent way for me to make enough money to keep the hounds at bay. An important consideration in this economy.

Last week I announced my “Dirty Little Freaks” project, and I said that it would possibly contain some erotica. To be honest, I’m rethinking that decision, for the reasons I have just stated. I started the series with an introduction to the narrator, Boomer. I wrote it as a one-legged midget who uses his “other leg” to make up for the missing one. He used words that I would never use in public (or in private, for that matter).

I don’t think I like this guy. I think he needs to go away.

But that means that I need to come up with something to replace him. I kind of liked the idea of a dirty little freak introducing the stories as tales of the strange and unusual that he came across in his travels around the world. But that also means I would be limited to stories set in the modern age, and on this planet, and it may be better to open the floodgates a little wider and give myself some more room to play.

I was thinking that doing this series would be a good way to have some stories on file for possible submission to assorted magazines and anthologies. And the more different types of stories I have, the more options I have to present to editors.

Pardon my rambling. I find that I have a tendency to start on one topic and end on another. I hope you guys don’t mind. And this post is getting a bit long-winded, so I had better wrap it up anyway.

But first, a few other things that I need to say about my struggles with balance.

A few years ago I made a commitment to lose weight. I started at 320 pounds and by the time I was done (about a year and a half later), I was down to 175 pounds. I was proud of myself, and I swore I wouldn’t let myself get that fat again.

I broke that promise. I am back up to 290 pounds, and I have to say that part of the reason for the weight gain is the hedonistic lifestyle of being a writer. I have splurged on unhealthy food and gone out to eat at restaurants when I should have been dining at home. I have enjoyed cake and candy when I should have been sticking to carrots and celery. I have stopped exercising, and my bike (which I used to rely on as my main mode of transportation) is rusting in my basement.

I’m sick of it. I hate what I have let myself become and I have made a resolution this year to get back on my diet and start dropping the pounds again. I have started logging my food intake again and I am trying to keep my calories under control. I plan on getting my bike to the shop for an overhaul this spring so I can start riding to work again.

The diet and exercise will also be taking time away from my writing, which will make it more difficult for me to meet my writing goals, but it is more important to me right now for me to get back to a healthy lifestyle.

This is the balance that I am trying to find. Balance between my faith and my words. Between my diet and my urges. Between my health and my writing.

Life is all about finding balance. I am working on finding some in my life. How are you doing in yours?

2 Comments

Filed under About Me, The Writing Experience

Mix and Match

Before you ask, no, I’m not done with my summary yet. I have been working on it, honest! I’m up to over 3,400 words as I write this, but I hit a snag. It’s not a problem with the story so much as that I had a new idea that has got me thinking about a different, and hopefully better, way to bring some conflict into this tale. And that brings me to the topic for today.

A good trick for many authors is to mix and match things that may, at first glance, not seem to fit together. My idea does this.

My NaNoWriMo story this year is about civil war, as the ramifications of the Republican political platform have been weighing heavily on my mind lately. The backwards thinking of the right-wing extremists that have taken control of the GOP have convinced me that this election is the most important vote of my life. And I couldn’t help but to (literally) demonize the crazies by including a supernatural influence in my story. I also thought that this would be a good way to rewrite the first NaNoWriMo book and include the Valkyries I have been writing about since then.

So since I have tossed all these ideas into the melting pot, you can guess that the resulting plot summary is all over the map. As I was working on it tonight I think that I may have come up with a way to bring all this stuff together into a single, cohesive whole. Either that or I have lost it completely and my story will end up even more of a mess than before.

Before I explain my idea, I need to tell you a little bit about myself. First, I am half Norwegian (on my mother’s side). That heritage is why I chose to write about Valkyries in the first place. I had a basic knowledge of the Norse mythology, and over the last couple of years I have amassed a small collection of books that have helped me expand that understanding into something that I can use in my books.

Second, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That’s right, the Mormons. The same church that Mitt Romney says he belongs to, although I don’t think that he is living any of the principles that the church believes in. But I won’t go into that now. If you watched the debates over the last few weeks you should know by now that he is not now, and probably never will be ready to be a good President. And if you disagree with me then you obviously haven’t been paying attention and I probably wouldn’t be able to convince you otherwise, so we’ll leave it at that.

So taking those two things into account, while I have a great respect for my Norwegian heritage, my faith in the LDS church is also very important to me. My first NaNoWriMo effort included some heavy references to my church, and I do want to include that in this book as well. But that brings me to a problem, as well as a possible solution.

The problem is that if the Valkyries and the related mythology are such a big part of this book, how does my main character resolve the conflict between his introduction to the supernatural world and his faith in the Christian God? (No matter what you may have heard, the LDS faith worships the same God as the Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, etc., etc., etc. We just don’t think they are doing it right.)

My solution was that the Christian God is superior to the Norse gods. If you read the Norse mythologies, deities such as Odin, Thor, Loki, and the others are all represented more as super-powered humans than actual gods. As a matter of fact, I think that there are some experts on this mythology that think that the Norse pantheon is actually a tale of a group of actual people that has been exaggerated way out of proportion over the course of history. They think that these adventurers simply had a really good bard to tell their stories, making them into the stuff of legends.

What this means for my hero is that he can keep his faith while fighting side by side with Thor. He can take comfort in the prospect of going to heaven while he is battling the demons of Loki’s army.

Working with one of the Einherjar (the warriors of Valhalla) may be a little harder to explain, but I’ll figure that out when I get to it.

So here is where we come to the idea that could bring this all together. As I was thinking about the Norse mythology, I started thinking about Ragnarök. The Norse Armageddon was something that I had thought about including before, but now I think that their version of the end of the world could be the one thing that pulls this all together.

I think I can plan the book so that my hero is thrown into one scenario after another from the prophecy of Ragnarök. The parts would have to be changed in order to more include more demons than giants, but I think that this could help to focus the plot into a recognizable pattern. Not too recognizable, as I want it to be a surprise when I pull out the reveal that this s all a lead-up to Armageddon, but I think it could definitely work.

So that’s where I’m going to have to focus my efforts. I’m going to try to finish the summary with that end goal in mind, and then when I break it up into a usable outline I can interweave the Ragnarök theme into it as appropriate.

Please let me know what you think of this plan. Is this a workable idea, or am I way off base? Any input would be appreciated.

I’ll check in again on Sunday. See you then!

Leave a comment

Filed under About Me, NaNoWriMo, Politics, The Writing Experience