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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
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problems that I solve or questions that I ponder may be introduced, reports from my travels on research missions
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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!

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