Wednesday, 18 September 2013


While I am not yet an expert at it, I have been co-writing a fan fiction that shall be turned into an original story for about 9 months (for more information about this, check the current projects tab). It started out as something fun to do, but slowly became more serious. It is still very fun to do but the decision to transform it into an original story and try to publish it, adds responsibilities to it.
I have this rule to never engage into business with a friend and I broke it. I am writing with a friend and even though I do not care much about the money we may get when we publish, it turns it into a business. That’s why I will not write anything of the original version of our story before we made up a contract. A contract is the basis of good partnership because it gives insurances. Things like deadlines, who writes what, who earns how much, what about expenses and what happens if someone does not want to continue anymore should be covered in such a contract. It will put your mind at ease!

Co-writing has both advantages and disadvantages. The best advantage is that you have more brainpower to come up with interesting plot twists and solutions to problems. The downside is that it can also make it a lot more difficult to agree on things. It is unavoidable that each writer has their own view on the story and the characters. That is why communication is very important. I have been talking almost daily to my co-writer. Our conversations are not always about the story, but it is an important part of our discourse. If you are too stubborn to give up on your ideas, you should not co-write! 

A big disadvantage for me is that I am not a very patient person. Since we are still writing round-robin at this moment, I sometimes have nothing to write until my friend finishes a part. And this can be very frustrating! This is the only project I am currently working on and beside school I have not much else to do and this gives me quite some time to write. My friend, however, has a lot more other things to do than I. I perfectly understand that, but, as I said before, I am impatient. This difference in time we have to spend on writing might cause some problems setting up deadlines. They have to be viable but at the same time I do not want to spend years and years working on this.
We divided the portion of work more or less equally. We all have our ‘own’ character to develop, have about the same amount of point of views to write and we split up the world building. This was fairly easy to do in our case, but when you both want to write the same character or both to the same part of the world building progress, it might be harder. 

While co-writing is a lot of fun with the right persons, it is a lot harder than writing solo. Everything has to be discussed and you must count on each other. It can ruin friendships. So far is had been a great experience for me, but if you want to try it, pick someone who has the same views as you and expects the same of a story. Be very careful and do not start a project with the first person who is willing to work together without!

When I have more to say about this topic, I shall write another blog. If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or ask them on twitter!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Too Many Unread Books on my Shelves

56 books on my shelves are unread. Later this week or beginning next week, that number will grow a little since I still need to buy some books for the Romanticism course I am taking upcoming term.  The number is just insane and instead of slinking, it keeps on growing. 

The best way to reduce this gigantic pile of books-to-be-read is not buying books anymore; a book-buying-ban. That is, however, not as easy as it seems. I am simply drawn to bookstores and it requires a great deal of effort not to buy a single book. It does not help that I discovered this amazing bookstore on my holiday to Helsinks. They had a great collection of English books. I had not planned to buy anything, but when I discovered the Kalevala in English (Finnish mythology) and some books of Finnish authors translated in English, I had to buy books! I ended up buying four books. When I paid them, I was told that if I bought three more paperbacks, the fourth one would be free. Who can resist a free book? So I went back a couple of days later and picked out four more books and got the most expensive one (!!) for free! As if picking up 8 books on a holiday wasn’t enough, I picked up two more about Finland. I bought 10 books on a holiday. 

I had imposed myself the rule of not buying books that were a part of a series unless I have books of that series. I failed this on holiday as well. I found a beautiful cover of Divergent by Veronica Roth and since people keep saying how wonderful this series is, and a film is coming out somewhere next year (I think) I just had to have it. Woops.

Goodreads, youtube and forums are horrible places to go if you try to stop buying books. Recommendations are the main reasons why I buy books that I regularly do not read. John Green is a great example of this. Because so many people loved his writing so much on youtube, I picked on of his books up and absolutely loved it. I have now four of his books, two on my to-read shelf. Forums are even more dangerous. I mainly spend time on forums related to my writing and often I ask people what kinds of books feature something that I am researching; this results in more books I have to read. So far, I have only bought one of them since I have not encountered any of the others yet.
The fact that my bookcase was full didn’t stop me either. I put all my books face-down so I could fit more in it. I still have room left. It is not pretty, but it is very practical. I suddenly created loads and loads of space that just needs to be filled. Even if my bookcase would be full, I am certain that I still will be able to find some place somewhere in my room to store books. 

As you can read, I have a problem. I know it is a matter of having a strong character and not buy anything until I have lessened my pile of books to read to a certain number, but I always get so very exciting when I pick up a book that seems so very interesting to read! 

If someone is having the same problem or has any great advice how to manage a to-read pile, please share!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Book that Inspired Me to Write

My love of writing grew out of my life for stories. I thought there was nothing more enjoyable than getting lost between the pages of a book until I started writing. Writing is a way to fight my demons and to express myself. There is no other way to get deeper into a story than to create one myself. Books often leave me with questions: what will happen next? If I write my own story, I will know everything, even though not all of it would end up in a book. Because books lay at the origin of writing, I decided to talk about the books that inspired me to become a writer. The video wherein Kate Mosse talks about the book that made her a writer, gave me the idea for this blog.

I could not have picked a better day to post this blog, beside perhaps July 31st. Today, September 1st is the day when everyone who got their letter goes (back) to Hogwarts. Yes, I am talking about Harry Potter. These series are the first I loved and read over and over again and they never got boring. I was so impressed by the story and the world in which it was set that I wished I could live in those books, even though it was a very dark place for most of the time. 

Every time I read those books, and I have done so many times, I discovered something new. Perhaps just a tiny little detailed I hadn’t noticed before, but it makes the experience amazing. The story is very complex without being difficult and the writing is absolutely fantastic. J.K Rowling has amazing characters. While they were fictional characters, I had the feeling they could just tumble out of the book and become real. Growing up with Harry and his friends was truly a privileged experience. Sometimes I want to turn back the time and do it all over again. 

While Rowling is a great writer, it is not her writing directly that inspired me to write. What the books have managed to achieve is what inspires me. Harry Potter has brought so many people together and taught a generation to read. That is a very impressive accomplishment. I do not aim that high, especially since I am not writing children’s or young adult books. I don’t want to become the next Rowling (I think that it is impossible) I hope to achieve the same things her books have achieved on a much smaller scale. I want to inspire people with my writing and hope they enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And maybe I can even manage to bring people together and let them talk about my writing… That would make me very, very happy. And in order to do that, my writing has to be good and if possible, even great. 

I am always looking for great, inspiration books to read so there for I want to ask you which book inspired you to write or which book holds a very special place  in your heart and why?