Wow. Where did the time go?

So things have changed for me and my family. But first I would like to apologize for the months of radio silence. I didn’t intend on it, but it happened.

You see, we have moved. Down south, on an island. Near the ocean. My family and I have moved from the cold north of central BC to Vancouver Island. To Nanaimo to be exact. Why you may ask?

Blame my wife. She applied and got accepted into VIU and is now a university student. Her instagram account and her wonderful art can be seen at the link below.

https://www.instagram.com/gracepedde/?hl=en

My kids are going to elementary school. Here is a pick of them on picture day. I have to get them ready all by myself. That was the best that I could do…

Kids

Me, I am still writing. I am currently prepping for NaNoWriMo this year. If you are doing it, add me as a buddy. My name is N A Pedde. Just mention that you saw my blog.

Here is another pic. This one is my book board.

Book Board.jpg

Each card is a novel or novella or a short story that I am working on. Each column is the different series that I am working on. The line on the right are all of my story ideas.

There you go. In a nutshell. Well, not really. There is more to tell. But that will have to wait on a future blog post.

Hopefully it won’t be as long as this one was.

Until next time.

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Story Ideas: How to use an idea and turn it into something your own.

Youtube sucks.

More importantly, it is a time suck. I get stuck on it and I watch videos. I lose track of time and then nothing gets done. But sometimes I find inspiration in the piles of videos. So I came across this:

 

I am a fan of the show. I own a couple seasons, but I haven’t found the time to finish watching all of them. I do watch some of the battle scenes on Youtube as they tend to be well done and are fairly close to historically accurate for TV/ Movies.

For those that aren’t familiar with the show, the story of the series is the one of Ragnar Lodbrok. Ragnar was a Norse Chieftain and then king in the 9th Century. He was the father of historical figures like Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Hvitserk, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and Ubba. I am not going to go into too many details about the series, but I will kinda throw some spoilers in. But they aren’t really spoilers as it deals with historical facts and myths.

In history, Ragnar had raided his way across Northern Europe and had a bunch of sons. He had, however, pissed King Ælla of Northumbria. At one point, Ragnar was captured by the vengeful king. Who tortured him and threw him into a pit of snakes. Ragnar’s sons, all six of them, gathered a large army and then invaded Northumbria and Wessex, killing the king and taking large tracks of land.

In this scene, Odin, the Norse God, goes around to each of the Ragnar’s sons and tells them that their father is dead. Each son is doing something different. They are in different parts of the world, from the Mediterranean to working at the forge on a sword.

The scene is wonderful and works well in the TV series. They include the symbolism of the crows/ ravens and the wandering god in different parts of the show so that this scene is foreshadowed and is enjoyable.

I enjoyed the scene so much that I want to use it in my own writing.

But taking that scene is plagiarism. Right?

Wrong. Kinda. It’s complicated.

If I take the entire scene as is and use it in my novel word for word. As if that scene was written down into a book, then it would be plagiarism. But I am not going to do that.

First, I need to break down the scene into it’s different parts. To do that, I watch it a couple more times, on mute. With subtitles so I can see what they characters are saying. But they don’t say much.

The different parts. 

The sons.

They are all established characters. No time is needed to establish anyone. You have met them before. They are well developed characters. So for me to use this scene, I must have the characters established and well developed. I don’t think that I need to be sons though. I am thinking more like blood-brothers. Or members of a type of knightly order. Something like that.

Time.

As the characters are established, this is not an opening scene. Which is why it works for this story. For my story, I am thinking that it can be either the first plot point or the second. I am leaning the first. Establish the characters and then force them to get together.

The Crows, or ravens.

This is something that I will be taking from the scene. Having the God character preceded by Raven’s is something that can carry over to my novel. It adds stability to the character and foreshadows events in the story.

The God.

In the scene, it is Odin who is telling the son’s about their dad. In my story, it doesn’t have to be a father-God. It can be any type of God that does it. He just has to wander around watching people. I can make him less sinister looking that Odin was. But the character was also established. If you look up the opening scene of the TV show, you see him taking souls with him from a battlefield. In my book, I will have to establish him as a character, even if he gets no lines and is only seen from a distance.

Those are the different parts of the scene. Some can be taken as is, some can be tweaked, making the scene feel similar, without the nasty issue of plagiarism. But where and how do I turn this idea, into a non-plagiarized story?

My Manuscripted Universes. 

I have many books in the works, with the vast majority of them in the development stage. I do try and keep my world building down to a minimum. World building is a pain at times and I would rather do it as few times as possible.

I have three major fantasy story universes. Here is a problem, this story concept may not fit into any world that I have created at the moment. It may fit into one, the biggest one. ‘Agersolum’. But maybe not.

That means that if I want to seriously consider this story, then I will have to create or modify a world. But the idea is a good one.

Where to go from here?

That is the next question to ask.

You have found a kernel of an idea. A small flame. How to turn that single scene into a story.

First, I pick a world. You might not have that issue. If you do not, don’t worry about the world. You can do it after you flesh out the story a bit.

After I choose a world, I start asking questions.

In no particular order, these are some of the questions that I need to ask and answer to create this story.

  • Who does the God tell the Sons about?
  • Was he important in the world, and in the story?
  • Was he a POV character?
  • Was he a protagonist of some kind?
  • What did he do to deserve his fate?
  • Who did it to him?
  • Why did he die?
  • Could he have saved himself?
  • Did he sacrifice himself?
  • What did he do to get the attention of the God?
  • Who are the son’s?
  • Why are they important?
  • How is each son different from the next one?
  • How many son’s are there? (Ragnar had six. I don’t need to use six.)
  • Are they good fighters?
  • What are they up to?
  • How many are POV characters?
  • What are there reactions to the news?
  • What is the God, the God of?
  • What is his purpose?
  • What do the son’s do with the news?

As I answer the questions, they lead to more questions, which will also need answers.

For those that don’t have a story universe to write it in, now is the time to add in questions about the world. Draw a map, etc.

That way a story will slowly form out of a single simple idea that I saw at 2am on Youtube.

Until next time.

 

 

 

Tattoos

This blog post is going to be completely off topic in regards to writing or anything that I normally talk about.

First a brief, or not so brief story.

Some of you may know that I lost my dad when I was young. I barely remember him; I was young when he went. What I do know of him was what I got from my mom and the stories that relatives told throughout the years.

My Grandpas were two men that I am happy to have had in my life. I had a different relationship with each of my grandpas. Growing up, it never occurred to me that one day they would be gone; as an adult it was something that lived in the back my mind, that I didn’t want to acknowledge.

My Grandpa Hennig passed away a couple of years ago. He was the mayor of a small city and we talked endlessly about politics and technology; he loved cameras and solar power.

Then two years ago, my wife miscarried our third child. It hurt her more than she let me know. I wanted to help her in anyway that I could. Grace showed me the picture of what she wanted and she got herself a tattoo.

She got one of a bird and some flowers. It is absolutely beautiful and I can’t even begin to do it justice in any description.

Not long after, my Grandpa Pedde passed away. He was an electrician, a farmer, he loved computers. He knew more about computers than I did when I spent a summer earning money helping him out on the farm when I was 18 years old.

All of these events combined together did something. Growing up I suppressed my emotions and hid away weakness. Hiding away did something too. After the loss of my third child I felt I needed to do something as a memorial, for them all. Most of my siblings have gotten memorial tattoos to suit their needs for healing. When my wife had hers done to commemorate our third I obsessed over it.

20170501_11305020170501_11310520170501_113118

Sorry about the multiple pics. The part by my wrist is hard to see all of the writing in one picture.

I have always wanted to get a tattoo, but I never knew what to get. I would always lose interest in it and change my mind. This time I had a rough idea of some of the elements I wanted to include and handed them over to Kat Cleland of I Heart Tattoos and she transformed them into the piece that resides on my right forearm.

To break down the elements in the tattoo:

The little boy. 

The boy represents the child that we lost.

The cowboy boots and hat.

They represents my dad. When I think about him I think about the pictures that I have seen of him in rodeos.

The kite.

The greatest memory of my Grandpa Hennig was that my Grandma told us to go fly a kite when we were being annoying one day. We did. It was cool. I still have the kite. It was made out of a garbage bag.

The skull-kraken

My Grandpa Pedde was an avid fisherman. He was always fishing, or wishing that he wasn’t so busy that he could go fishing. He always had a story about why he didn’t catch the fish.

The quote

Yes it is a quote. Geek points to all who get the quote. “We are all just stories in the end, so just make it a good one”. The quote speaks to me at a personal level, geekery aside, because my life is fueled by the desire to create/tell stories, and is a reminder to live my life to its fullest.

The scene

This was something that was added by the tattoo artist. I had the different elements and the quote. She put it all together into a small story. The little boy with the slingshot in his pocket is letting go of the bright red kite to fight with the monster of his imagination.

I am quite happy with the tattoo and  am currently trying to figure out the next one. Yes I am getting another one. (So it begins hahaha)

But this isn’t just a cool tattoo. There is meaning behind it. Not all tattoo’s need it, but I feel that this one did. The personal meaning behind it made it possible for me to deal with the lifetime commitment a tattoo requires…its part of me now.

 

For anyone intrigued by the tattoo, feel free to visit the link.

Link. https://www.facebook.com/ihearttattoos 

https://www.instagram.com/katclelandart/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/reesecleland/?hl=en

 

Update: Writing, life and the family

I know that it has been a bit and my posts have dropped off. I apologize for that. My day job has gone nuts and I have spent a couple weeks doing 10 hr days. The pay will be great. After the greedy governments takes there cut.

Anyways. That has taken a lot of time from my writing and other thing time. I have pushed some things aside so that I have time to think.

I am only working on one writing project a day at the moment. The others will be there once I get more time. I am also wanting to work on the house more. I need to get it done. I am tired of living in reno-land. It is not pretty and there is no cookies. I was promised cookies.

Anyways. The family is going good. My 5 yr old girl is singing and dancing to everything. We have to be careful to what we put on, she will sing to it. Sometimes it is not appropriate.

My 6 yr old son plays piano and now wants to play guitar as well. He also take pictures with a cheap point and shoot camera we got him. He draws pictures and paints things. He is also working on a story series with him.

The one project that I am not going to drop. It is too important. It must be done.

Speaking on the project. It has a new name and the first book will be published in a few weeks. As soon as I get some notes from the editor and the cover art is done.

The new name for the book previously called, ‘Space Courier’ is now called, ‘The Des O’Neal Chronicles‘ It is a planned 6 part series with the first book under the subtitle of ‘The Saboteur Missile Attack‘.

Anyways. I work early in the AM. At an ungodly hour of 6AM. Time for bed.

Laters.

 

New ideas.

So I hate my brain. In the dark, cold recesses of the night. When I should be doing something important like sleeping, my brain is at work.

Some people think about work, or the money troubles that we all seem to be in. But for me, I am thinking about a story idea. Not an old story idea, but it is usually a new story idea.

This time, I thought of a new story centered around the idea of writing a story in the early bronze age.

That was the catalyst of the story. I have talked more about that concept in previous blog posts.

So, then I created a character. Arn. He is a 16 year old son of a tribal Chief. His tribe has been enslaved and killed at the beginning of the story. He is the last of his people and now he must find some way to move forward when all he feels is despair and anger.

The world is a land of mythical beasts, God’s demon’s and demi-gods. They all walk on the earth and meddle in the affairs of the puny mortal humans.

I have created a mythos of the gods. I have created a break down on the land and the different peoples. Magic has been created. I have written the first chapter.

The worst part is that I am excited to write this story. My mind is plotting out the story even now as I type this. I want to write it and get in onto paper.

But I have so many different projects to do.

Why brain? Why!

A short one today.

Until next time.

Ramblings: A story of how I manage to write novels while living with children

So I am a dad. More specifically, I am a father of two. I have a six year old boy named [REDACTED] and a five year old girl named [REDACTED].

My kids are great. I am not sure how it happened, but these kids are nothing like I was as a child. I was the child playing in the mud, ALL the time. I didn’t want to be inside the classroom, I wanted to be outside playing. I had multiple run ins with the Special Needs Teacher because they thought that I had a learning disability. It was just that I didn’t care, I knew the stuff, and I passed all the tests that they threw at me.

What can I say… I wanted to be outside.

My kids, however, love learning. They love doing things that expand their minds. My son, [REDACTED], loves science, math, and reading. He plays the piano and he practices for a couple hours a day. He is in grade one and is currently reading the 2nd book of Harry Bloody Potter. My daughter is a dancer and loves reading and drawing. She is the arty one out of the two of them.

Me? I have been writing for as long as I can remember and  I am pretty prolific. Not to brag…but I have a pretty high word count (more than some writers that I know). I manage the word count by writing whenever that I can. I  don’t have an office… I write my works in the middle of the living room  (which acts more like a study).

Often I find myself writing to the sound of Paw Patrol. (If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about. If you are not. Google is your friend. Watch a bit of it.) Thank God it is not Cailliou.

Now that you know the back story, I can tell you what is going on with my writing.

My son loves watching me write. He’ll sit beside me on the couch and watch me hack away at the words appearing on the screen. Now that he is reading Harry Potter, he is able to read what I am writing.

Word for word.

That makes writing sex scenes a little harder at times…

About 3 months ago, my son approached my with a bundle of printer paper, folded in half and stapled together. He was going to make a book. I encouraged him, and told him to write away. It didn’t last long. He got bored with it. He is six.

A couple weeks later, I caught him sitting on my laptop, on Scrivener trying to open a new project. He still wanted to write a book. He wanted to write with the keys as it looked easier.

He wanted to do what I do. I write novels, so he should too.

At that point I knew that there was nothing that I could do to get him not to write something. That’s not my way as a parent. I don’t believe in putting up road blocks to get my kids not to do something that I may find annoying, but isn’t harmful to anything but my sanity. (Sanity abandoned me on the roadside ages ago. It went on strike due to poor working conditions.)

And having [REDACTED] work on creative pursuits is not harmful in anyway. He isn’t climbing and jumping out of trees. Or eating mud. Or hitting his sister with sticks.

Like I did at his age. (Although, all but the hitting are still good past times)

So there was no way (in good conscience) that I could tell him no. He is too young. Or whatever lame excuse that I could come up with to get him to leave me alone so I can get another thousand words down.

My solution to this problem: Encourage him more. That’s right, I kept encouraging him, The same thing that got him wanting to write a book in the first place.

Now…My son, being six, has the writing skills of a six year old. He is advanced in sentence structure, but not that advanced… He is six…So I decided to do a collaboration with him. I sat him down and we started to brainstorm a story…

He decided the genre.

The setting.

The plot.

He named all of the characters.

All I did was be a guiding hand to keep it somewhat logical. I am the one that does all of the writing, but my son is the one that is in charge of the plot. We are constantly brainstorming ideas.

The book, temporarily named ‘Space Courier’ is now being written as a serial. Each book will be 25k in length, and we plan on 6 books for the first season.

That’s right. He wants multiple seasons.

In conclusion. I have created a monster.

May God have mercy on us all…



 

Late night blurb: Work stopages

So every writer experiences this. Times when it is hard to get any word count down. Times when it feels like you are trying to squeeze water out of a sponge. Well, today was one of those days.

I still managed to get 500 words on my Space Courier book and I edited 30 pages of my Culture Shock book. Not bad for a night that I managed to get writing at 10pm.

What happened?

At 6pm, for some reason I got grumpy. I am not sure 100% why, but I did. Maybe it was my two kids not listening, or maybe the house was too hot. But then once I got grumpy, I stayed grumpy cause I was grumpy that I had gotten grumpy in the first place. Not a good cycle to be in. Once I was grumpy, I couldn’t write. I was too grumpy.

How did I get out of it?

I relaxed. I stopped worrying about writing down words. I had a snack, some tea. And then I managed to pick up work once more.

Was it that easy?

No. I also decided that I wasn’t going to be grumpy anymore. I made a choice in my mind and then I made it happen. I took back control of emotions and I went with it.

Will this work for you?

Maybe. The big thing to remember is to remind yourself that you are the boss of your emotions. Not the other way around. You get angry when you need to be and you are inspired when you need to be. Sometimes really strong emotions, like anger, will interrupt you and take you for a ride. They will run wild and not let you off.

As an adult and a productive creativeblo person, it is up to you to take control. Figure out what sends you into those grumpy spells and what makes you inspired. Then do more of it.

No one is going to write that book but you and if you don’t keep at it, then it won’t get done and we need that fiction. If you send it to me, I will beta read it and put a review on the website of your choice. Just saying.