A Life Of Fiction XLII

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

Plans, plans, plans: There are always novels which I am planning to write. I have to have several projects on the go at any one time; and at least one idea just kicking around inside my mind.

Currently the idea kicking around my mind is the idea of setting a survival horror in Norway. This is something which I haven’t written a single word for. But, before I even make a start, I want to know that this is not some idea which will peter out once I begin writing. I want to be sure that there is a whole novel there. Then, once I have decided that it is something worth devoting time to, I will write a few thousand words, sketching out the first couple of chapters. But I won’t begin those chapters until I have decided just how the novel is going to end.

Why Norway? Well, one of the things which horror needs is isolation – for the heroes or protagonists of the story to not be able to easily get to somewhere safe. You could not do a survival horror in the south of England, for example, where if something horrible happened in one place you could simply walk to the next town.

I thought about Scotland – the setting for the movie Dog Soldiers, of course. But I decided that it was still not isolated enough. And it had been done in the above-mentioned film. I have no desire to mimic something which has already been done.

So Norway it was, in the end, after I considered all the possibilities – America, Scandinavia, Scotland, and so on.

Norway offered all that I was looking for: it had isolated communities; it had bad weather, in the form of snow, so that those isolated communities could be cut off; and it had long, long nights during the winter, if you go far enough north. There is another reason, as well, which will hopefully segue well into the tale, and that is some of the music which Norway has produced in the recent past.

There have been some horror movies set in Scandinavia, and at least one set in Norway, as well. I am aware of those films. But I intend that my novel should be different from all those films.

But how do you make horror movies or novels different from ones which have already been done? Well, you can make the villains different. If somebody has done zombies then do vampires. If both of those have been done then pick ghouls. Whatever you do with your story make it original, so that people reading your work do not feel that they already know the story, and know how it is going to end. I hope that, with the story which I have planned, that I will manage to achieve that. But I guess that the truth will only come out when the story is finally written and published.

I still have a lot of planning to do for this novel. I have not even decided on a title for it yet. I need further research on all things to do with Norway, having picked it as a location, so that my novel does not have any glaring errors in it. The name of where the novel will be set will be invented – some town or village of my creation. But just about everything else needs to be real.

That means researching anything which might be mentioned in the novel, to make sure that there is not some glaring error. I need to read up on Norwegian food and drink; on the transport system; on television channels; on popular brands; and on the sort of guns which a person might be able to get his hands on. After all, you can’t really have survival horror without weapons with which to fight the enemy.

The planning, really, although time-consuming, is the easy bit. The hard bit is writing the novel.

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