Category Archives: English

JO NESBO’S GUIDE TO WRITING A BESTSELLER

Jo Nesbo

First it was Swedish chiller Let The Right One In. Then came Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. Now there’s a new literary phenomenon burning through Scandinavia and on to the big screen. Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo’s bestselling novels — 11 so far — became a sensation in his frosty homeland. And it’s easy to see why.Headhunters, the first film adaptation of his work, tells the story of Roger Brown, a headhunter who supplements his income with art theft before running into trouble. With killers, thieves, twists and tension, has the 52-year-old cracked the secret formula for writing a bestselling crime novel? Can he teach us? This is the advice he gave us…

1. WRITE FOR YOURSELF

“When I’m writing, I’m imagining an audience of one — myself. To me, writing is not about visiting people, it’s about inviting people to where you are. And that means you must know where you are. When you reach a crossroads, if you think, ‘Where would the reader like me to go?’ then you’re lost. You have to ask yourself, ‘What would make me want to get up tomorrow and finish this story?’ Sometimes the story will point the direction all by itself. Of course, it’s you as the writer who decides, but sometimes you feel like there’s a sort of gravity in the book.”

2. USE YOUR LIFE

“It’s good to draw on real-life experiences. When I’m writing a book like Headhunters, I use the crime genre but I also use myself. I’ve done a lot of different things. I was an officer in the air force. I make music. I worked as a stockbroker for many years. That’s how I had the inspiration for Headhunters. When I worked as a financial analyst, I was interviewed by headhunters. What helps my books is that I have a life, therefore I can relate to people’s lives.”

3. PULL LITERARY HEISTS

“Do I steal from other books? Definitely. And if I’m a thief, I can tell you I’m stealing but I can’t tell you who I have robbed. Well, OK, Mark Twain. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn — those were great books. For me, writing is a reaction to reading. It’s the same reflex you have around a table of friends. Somebody will tell a story, then the next person will tell a story, then the next. Then you have to bring something new to the table. I grew up in a home where I had so many great experiences being the listener or the reader. Now it’s my turn.”

4. HAVE A PERFECT PLAN

“If you have a good story to begin with, it will be great no matter how you write it. I like to have confidence that I know the story — that when I start writing, I have worked it over and over, so I don’t have the feeling after page one that I’m a story-maker. I’m a storyteller. The story is already there, I’m not making it up as I go along. That’s when you have the confidence to tell your readers, ‘Come and sit closer, because I have this great story. So just relax, lean back and trust me.’ That’s the way I feel when I’m reading work by the great storytellers.”

5. GO IN STRONG

“Americans are best at introducing their stories. In the first pages of a book they have a shameless way of hyping their own tale. It’s a tradition. John Irving does it, and Frank Miller, the graphic novelist, has the same way of manipulating you into turning the page. I love that. And it could be anything that makes your readers want to keep going — you can’t think in terms of rules. Just go with gut feeling. If the idea of an opening fascinates you and it sounds challenging, you’re on the right track.”

6. WORK WHEREVER YOU ARE

“I write everywhere, but the best place is in airports and on trains. When you’re sitting on a train or waiting for a plane, you only have a limited time to write. It makes you feel that time is precious. If you wake up in the morning and say, ‘OK, today I’m going to write for 12 hours,’ you don’t feel that. I like to know I’m going to do as much as I can in just one or two hours.”

7. WATCH CRIME FILMS

“My generation of writers has probably seen more movies than read books. In one of his books on screenwriting, Syd Field says, ‘Action is character.’ And you can adapt that in novels: it’s all about show, don’t tell. And to do that, you need action. People doing things, like in Seven, for example, the crime scenes tell a story. These tableaux are intensely effective in movies and in novels. If you consider No Country For Old Men, I can’t see anything in the book that’s not in the film. The language of the novel works perfectly when translated to film. Novels are borrowing the language of films, and novels are essentially doing what films do.”

8. LET THE TITLE CHOOSE ITSELF

“There are no rules when it comes to the title of a novel. Ideas come in all different ways. With The Snowman, the novel started with the title. I thought, ‘That sounds like a great title!’ And then I started thinking about what the title implied in terms of the story. So that was the start. In other cases, it’s the last thing I do. Sometimes it comes midway through the book. Like I said, no rules. Headhunters was obvious, because of the double meaning. That came quite quickly — it was a no-brainer.”

9. BE THE PSYCHOPATH

“Writers work similarly to actors; you have to be able to identify with a character. Even if you’re writing a psychopath, you have to find that little piece of psychopath that you have within yourself, and then you have to enlarge them a bit. Scary? Well, that’s what you have to do. Most humans are complex — we’re so full of different ingredients that we’ll be able to find most things within ourselves. Just use your imagination. Crime writing can be a dark universe, so, mentally, it’s tiring to write. I’m writing children’s books at the moment, my first was called Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder. It makes me feel better.”

10. WRITE WHAT’S THERE

“It’s not a matter of trying to write a bestseller. It’s writing what you have. And if you are lucky, you may share your taste of storytelling with a broad audience. I had no idea my stories would reach a wide audience. I thought they were more for a small audience. So I was surprised when I realised that I had so many people in my home.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Day Sets For the Gallows

One day sets for the gallows.
One day for rests we fear.
One shriek to shun all mellows.
One path to a farther near.

Sail away on many a memory,
seeking a lost time’s seal.
Folding consciousness into reverie.
Numbing wounds that never heal.

Wander a last forsaken earth,
shelter it is for falling gods.
Lonelier again by a willful girth,
mightier be your failing odds.

One day sets for the gallows.
One day for rests we fear.
One laugh against all hallows.
One spit to drown all dears.

Tagged , , , , , ,

SOME EVIL, EVIL QUOTES FROM LITERATURE.

Titus Andronicus

TITUS ANDRONICUS (WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE)

“If one good Deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very Soul”

Aaron the Moor

 

Paradise Lost

PARADISE LOST (JOHN MILTON)

“Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n.”

Satan

 

 

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (THOMAS HARRIS)

“A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone.”

Hannibal Lecter

AMERICAN PSYCHO (BRET EASTON ELLIS)

“My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape.”

Patrick Bateman

1984 (GEORGE ORWELL)

“Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

O’Brien

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck.

John Steinbeck, the author of masterpieces such as Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden… shares with people 6 tips on writing from Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.

  1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.4

  2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

  3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

  4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

  5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

  6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

And he adds finally:

  • If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.”

Tagged , , , , ,

Analysis of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Here are some random thoughts about the themes and the meaning of the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Metamorphosis of Gregor Semsa

 

1

Gregor Semsa wakes up to find himself transformed into an insect, which is a very unlikely thing to happen, a rather supernatural occurrence, but the absurdity of this world lies in that there’s nothing certain at all, that there’s a possibility that Gregor Semsa really could change into an insect, or anybody else.

2

Gregor Semsa, and his family show little surprise or a rather negligible one at the transformation of Gregor, more than that, they never try to cure him (they even dismiss the idea of calling a doctor which occurred to them before they knew what happened.), and they never wonder why and how this happened in the first place, including Gregor, they all try to adapt to the situation which gives startle a range of thoughts:

The Metamorphosis of Gregor was not surprising, meaning that it was possible and anticipated and there were indications for it prior to its happening, and the metaphor of the metamorphosis here is the key to understanding how the family reacted in that sense.

–          Maybe the metaphor here is the automated, alienated life that Gregor led, which is void of any humane appreciation, cold emotions and failed communication and which had turned him already into an insect, a working vermin to satisfy basic and material needs, just to provide to himself and his family, disregarding important emotional sides of his life. I quote his mother at the earliest page of the novel giving excuses to his boss for him being late at work “ He’s not well sir, believe me. Why else would Gregor miss a train! All that boy think about is work. It almost makes me mad the way he never goes out in the evening.”

–          A very important observations is how Gregor keeps denying his metamorphosis in the beginning, again I will repeat, Gregor almost never wonders why it happened to him trying relentlessly to adapt to this mishap. Which may suggest that the metaphor that he was already a vermin, or rather an android, inhumane person from way before the metamorphosis, the metamorphosis here is psychological, is that he started to notice the failure of communication (the failure of communication is another motif repeated in a variety of situation) and the rather purposeless life he’s leading, only then everything began to fall apart.

3

An important motif and essential to the shaping of the story is money and the way the family is – including Gregor – horrified at the possibility that he would lose his work, and after they find out about his transformation, money still the main issue they take into account while making decisions. Another motif is how they glorify their employers, the way they deal with the clerk from the beginning, the boarders from near the end of the story, the way the father never gets out of his uniform!

4

Another absurd theme is the “metamorphosis” that happened to the family after Gregor’s transformation, Although Gregor was providing to them and he was successful to the degree that they ceased to be surprised by his success and started dealing with it as a normality (adaptability again), they never showed how grateful they were to Gregor as if they were never aware of it. And when Gregor was unable to do anything every one of them started to get out of his hibernation and try to find work, only then they didn’t only care less about Gregor but it seemed that they were transformed into an earlier Gregor, alienated and cold, clouded by materialistic and absurd endeavors, and only then they started finding the existence of Gregor as a great burden that must be ended.

5

Investigating further the almost unconditional adaptability of humans and their very little effort of questioning how their world shape up let alone change it. Gregor denies his transformation at first then try to find the best way to walk, the best place to sit and sleep, the best food to devour. Not once he wonders why he became what he is now. The family does not seek by any means to cure Gregor or find a solution to what happened to him and again, almost never question the sense beyond this incident.  Does this suggest that we humans, only deal with suffering with embedding more suffering in our lives? How absurd could that be?

—–

I am sure there are a lot more than that to it, maybe after another reading I will be changing this or adding more to it, but one sure thing is that the metamorphosis is a very cruel and harsh critique of human existence and how we run our lives meaninglessly.

Albeit the story’s premise may seem supernatural, the extreme handling of the topic that Kafka chose only helps more dissecting our lives. I look everywhere and see Gregor and his family. Even in my life

Tagged , , , , , , ,

A Slight Glimpse On Suffering

(Suffering In Rage)

I suffer and always have suffered.
Why? The reasons don’t seem to cease existing.
Every single day there is a new reason to suffer.
Will it come to an end someday? I don’t think so.

I Believe some people exist to endure suffering in their whole lifetime.
Not because they want it of course, and it’s naive to think that people really craves suffering.
Bullshit, yes we have a masochist inside, and that’s everyone speaking ( scientific fuckin’ truth )

But speaking of the normal/average man, ( I don’t who the fuck is he or who the fuck normalized/averagized him )
We are not masochists and we don’t want to suffer.
Some people cannot avoid it, cannot delude themselves to escape it.
Suffering exists as long as their brains do.

Now I am not going to speak of the ups and downs and how the existence of “downs” make what we perceive as “ups”.
I am speaking of a relatively constant state of suffering that some may have to live with.
These are not pessimists by desire, but maybe they are the Defacto pessimists.

Well let’s say that a suffering is gap, a gap between the current state of affairs and a desired state of affairs!
and it’s fuckin’ obvious that the current state of affairs is fucked up and the desired is not.

now let me tell you about those, who have what I call ..
Hyper Consciousness.
Unfortunately, they are piercing analyzers, they see through things, they deconstruct that current state of affairs to the bones.
They sharply perceive everything at large, like a mind of a paranoid except they are not!
Their sharpness sharpen their suffering with it.

They may be perfectionists, they may not be .. but .. they never manipulate that current state of affairs to make it look like the desired ones.

Suffering now is a gap .. that obviously can never be filled.
The gap is constantly changing place, from one point to another with constant distance between extremes, at best.
and Those extremes may change, to opposite directions, growing the gap and falling into deeper suffering.

so ..
let me say it instead of youd ..
Most probably you didn’t benefit shit from that shit you’re reading
and here I must say …

It’s Good To Be Dumb.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Daybreak – Mubarak Is Down

We were bound to a reality and compelled to accept it.
We stopped dreaming, stopped aspiring for the better tomorrow, because it wasn’t possible.
We had a life of a walking dead. everything was gray ! shady .. vague .. irritating .. suffocating, but that dark thick smothering cloud is gone now.

I don’t feel any sympathy or empathy towards you. I don’t forgive you, you caused a lot of destruction and grief.
I wish, with all the hate for you in my heart, that you live in pain you and your dynasty, and that you suffer underground, when you meet the God that made you.

Now, we should celebrate, open our arms to a life with possibilities !
Dream! and do nothing but dreaming
and embrace

The Daybreak …

Daybreak .. At last.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Pseudo-Reality: Fragments.

It’s really tiresome .. being in doubt and in confusion.

It’s very hard to explain my existential status or my existential feeling but I feel that something doesn’t fit .. something is not where it is supposed to be..

And it seems that I can’t let go my senses of nihilism, and its destructive questions like, so what? ( why bother and all the series ), and what’s after?

Questions that really make sense!

The fact that I can’t answer these question is overbearing! I feel, aimless? no that’s not the word, I might feel a bit like Sisyphus but in a reciprocal way.

I might feel a bit like Sisyphus but in a reciprocal way.

What consulates me a bit, that I am ignorant and I acknowledge my ignorance.

Doing that it leaves me wondering if my question got any answer at all, and my ignorance always leaves the possibility that there might be one, which comes contradicting to my intuition ..

Still I won’t stop looking .. because I am ignorant!

One last question .. to people who find life all purple and easy ! why?
Why do you find it like that? what makes you think it is all purple and easy?!
Enlighten my spotless mind please.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Tormented ..

In the sores of our mores
The shores ..
The truth that keeps us bound, and keep us binding
The tears that keeps us finding ..
The trembling, the fear .. of our mazes .. of our gazes
Of our sorrows blossoms our seals
Seals
Seals on our walls .. and halls
As we seek …

redemption
redemption
redemption

Tagged , , ,

Somebody to Love.

I love it, I love Jefferson Airplane … Amazing !

Somebody to Love

When the truth is found to be lies
and all the joy within you dies
don’t you want somebody to love
don’t you need somebody to love
wouldn’t you love somebody to love
you better find somebody to love

When the garden flowers baby are dead yes
and your mind [, your mind] is [so] full of BREAD
don’t you want somebody to love
don’t you need somebody to love
wouldn’t you love somebody to love
you better find somebody to love

your eyes, I say your eyes may look like his [yeah]
but in your head baby I’m afraid you don’t know where it is
don’t you want somebody to love
don’t you need somebody to love
wouldn’t you love somebody to love
you better find somebody to love

tears are running [ahhh, they’re all] running down your breast
and your friends baby they treat you like a guest.
don’t you want somebody to love
don’t you need somebody to love
wouldn’t you love somebody to love
you better find somebody to love

Tagged , , , ,