Welcome, traveller ...

Here the curious reader can follow the progress of the forthcoming new two-volume novel "Brent" by Norwegian
author Morten Jorgensen a.k.a. me. Here you will find
links that will give you some background for the books,
problems that I solve or questions that I ponder may be introduced, reports from my travels on research missions
for "Brent" may appear, news may break on this blog,
excerpts may be published.

Here all shall be revealed. In due time ...


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Sunday, 10 July 2011


"What are you going to do in Beijing, then?" people ask me. I am going on research. There are two, maybe three chapters from Beijing in Volume 2 of BRENT.

So this is what I am going to do:

I have to locate a restaurant that does not exist. All I know, is that it is situated somewhere south of the city center.

Secondly, I must in detail construct a real world flight route from a certain existing hotel in the city center, to the above-mentioned part of the city. This chase covers streets, shops, malls and other buildings, a whole lot of them, we are talking zig-zag and all over the place.

There shall be no artificial constructions, I shall actually describe a possible course of flight. It may take a whole day, even two. Beijing is BIG.

Thirdly, I have to find and connect with as many as 10-15 people from a certain sociographic group that will participate as model characters in this sequence.

Fourth, I must locate a block or two, preferably not too far from Beijing's "main street", Wanfujing, that will be demolished sometime in the future. There I shall erect my stately fictious building. I will find a location, and in fiction wreck people from their homes, and then wreck their houses.

Fifth, I have to locate an existing, rather posh day-time café, where a lunch is eaten and a stranger shows up.

Purpose #6, I shall have to find a given scientific Chinese institution. I shall begin at Beijing Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology, Beijing 100050. Here I may use a cover-story, I may go under cover as a journalist. Maybe. Well, at least I have an address.

Seven: I must locate insects belonging to the familiy Syrphidae in some park, and I do hope they are to be found everywhere in Beijing.

No. #8: I shall stay at one, maybe two luxury 5-star hotels, preferably in a suite, as they come awfully cheap in Beijing.

Mission number #9 is the only thing I dread. There is no way Morten Jorgensen is going to eat dog. I find it deplorable, detestable, revolting and disgusting. Dogs are my friends, it's like cannibalism. I won't do it.

However, the author Morten Jorgensen has to do it. Yes, I said has to. We are talking, if not Fear Factor, at least "Disgust Factor". I may very well start puking. I will maybe feel sick for a day, maybe more. I may feel in total conflict with my principles, as the vessel for consumption is my body.

But this is method writing. Being there. It's the method to my madness.


(For my most dedicated Followers. Not of interest to the general public. Aspiring writers and writers lesser experienced than myself may, however, and of course, find it stimulating to follow the progress of my forthcoming two-volume novel BRENT. If they would like to see how an experienced novelist actually does it, BRENTBLOG is the place to be.)

Some of my regular readers are complaining these days. "Why are you so much on the internet. You should be writing! When is this book of yours coming, anyway??"

I wrote the draft for my previous novel BANK in six weeks. Writing has always been like cycling or breathing to me. I write easily and effortlessly 10 pages or more a day, which means I could write a book each month, if I so desired.

However, if I were to make a list, after BRENT's release, summing up the total work hours I have spent on it, I doubt that I will have spent more than 10 % of my time physically writing. It's all the other stuff that takes time.

The previous month I have been entirely devoted to figuring out - in my mind - the scenes in BRENT 2 that will take place in Beijing. Measuring, deepening, improving, expanding. Hours upon hours. And now I'm going there.

In this planning and reserach phase, writing is a waste of time. Why write a whole page that is bound to end up in the garbage bin anyway? I write solely when the only remaining work is editing. When I sit down to write, I know exactly what I intend to write. Sometimes I may fail, but I never improvise text. Never.

In BRENT volume 2, the Beijing scenes will occupy less than three chapters, and no more than 30 pages, probably just 15-20. But these Beijing scenes, of which most are extremely demanding, will take me maybe two months to shape, although 90 % of my BRENT active working hours will be spent on research and mind work, not writing.

Writing it is the easy part. It will take me a maximum of three days. Ok, maybe a week, just for the sake of it.

I am not a carpenter, whose tools can be observed. It just does not work that way. My authorship in general and BRENT in particular, are not based on my fantasy alone, BRENT is also based on an enormous amount of retrieval of insight and knowledge, even analysis. And meticulus construction of a complex plot where more than 100 central characters run in and out of pages like ants. Which is why I spend very, very little time writing.

My distinguished Norwegian-Czech colleague Mikael Konupek once said, when asked what he considered the most difficult thing about being an author. He answered: "Having my family understand on a daily basis that when I sit in a sofa with my hands behind my head, I am actually working."

Maybe struggling with something the carpenter would display quite visibly as a problem. The house must stand. The board must be 100 % even in order to fit, and in level at that.

After two years, I am still not happy with the end of volume two. I have tried ten different versions, like a film editor doing Editor's Cut, and still I am dissatisfied. It follows me when I watch football, when I play "Starcraft", when I eat, and when I sleep. Not the text, it is the logic that is fawlty. I could write it a million times, and it would still suck.

It will come to me. It always does. It's part of the process. The only difference between my previous books and BRENT, is that while the others contained a handfull of problems, BRENT is stuffed with problems.

Why are so many books crap? Because authors cut corners and choose simple solutions and bland depictions of people and places they don't really have any idea about, pages upon pages of stuff that belongs in a tourist brochure, or can be found on Wikipedia. But I for one, do not rehash Wikipedia articles, I go looking for the unique or something that gets the unique out in me.

So know this, my oh so impatient ones: This author spends most of his time in his mind, not by the keyboard. And he has still 800 pages to go before you can read about Beijing.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

AUTHOR'S DIARY 01: Scriptus prematurus.

(For my most dedicated Followers. Not of interest to the general public. Aspiring writers and writers lesser experienced than myself may, however, and of course, find it stimulating to follow the progress of my forthcoming two-volume novel BRENT. If they would like to see how an experienced novelist actually does it, BRENTBLOG is the place to be.)

At five o'clock on a Sunday morning I find myself writing on my novel BRENT, not just editing, for the first time in a year. My one year sabbathical in the middle of the process has lead to a pre-avalanche stage of writing. Containment has gradually become difficult, now as I am en route to Beijing on research. I can no longer control the impulse to write, I can no longer repress it. At least not this morning, sleep-walking as I sitt down to write.

Not good. I have stuff to do before I board the plane. Lotsa stuff.

On the other hand, the distance in time, and one full year's constant brain-chewing of the previous partial draft, has led to a new and better understanding of what improvements I need to make in the text, as I was not at all happy with the four or five last chapters I wrote around New Year 2010.

I was expecting this by-product of abstainance and abstinence, so it is confidence-building to see it manifest, even prematurely at that, somewhat beyond my control. As it means raising the bar just a little bit more. I am happy to see my own semantic ambitions growing; I'm absoluetly fine with that. I mean, I'm not the dryest of writers, so why write so barrenly and boring like I did at the time I went sabbathical?

This morning, I have written what may become a whole chapter. It's a full chapter sequence, at least. Five pages, mostly dialogue, and five pages is OK, it's good, it means I would have a full draft in 100 days. However, when I write at maximum speed, which I will do in a few weeks, maybe already in Beijing, I can write 20-30 pages a day, sometimes more. If I am ready to read lotsa proof and rewrite most of it, that is.

I can - naturally - not go too much into details, but this morning I have written about the future of space exploration and space travel, mostly in the form of an all-Scottish dialogue, and I have let the aspiring Captain tell F-Crew how they are going to change the history of Space, but without being killed or jailed, at least not in the Near Earth Orbit zone.

Five pages and the sun is shining. Some novelists have most problems with writing. They need "inspiration", as they call it. Some are content with a paragraph or a page a day. I don't, and I'm not. My problems are of a different order. I have problems with details, that is, I spend so much time on details that one paragraph can take me weeks and months to get right. I'm extremely pedantic. I'm a slow thinker and a slow mover, trapped in the body of a manic speed-writer. The draft for BANK, my previous novel, took me just six weeks to write. But BANK was a piece of cake. BRENT is an author's nightmare in a certain sense. No sleep for the wicked.

As I go stark raving mad if anyone disturbs me while I am writing, I prefer the night and the early mornings. Also because I do not want my friends to hate me.

So I can't start now, absolutyely not, or people who consider me reasonably sane, will find me ranting and/or raging if they should be so unfortunate, as to call me while I'm in writing mode. Not all the time, but often enough.

I need calm and space to write. Or sense-numbing zeal on the border of momentary fixation. Plus time. Lotsa time.

Anyway - and fortunately - I can not, not, not continue writing to-day, I have other things to do.
But me toes tickle. Now for some news and breakfast. Discipline!


This is the Dassault Vehra, a compact small spacecraft of great versalitity and flexibility. An impressive machine, indeed.