16
Feb
09

First Stab

The thought of writing a novel combining contemporary fantasy with Norse mythology first occurred to me a long time ago, way back in the 1990’s, when Netscape was cool.  I would spend many a lunch hour walking the blazing sidewalks of Scottsdale, Arizona, talking out my ideas into a little tape recorder. In retrospect, it was probably more about trying to get away from my co-workers and desk than about trying to write a book.

And I never did write that novel (quite a bit later, I wrote a different novel combining contemporary fantasy with North mythology instead) because novels were too big and complicated and scary for me to tackle. In fact, they still are, but now I write them anyway, because I haven’t figured out how to get them written without writing them. I wish I had a robot that would compose my novels for me, like a Roomba that writes books instead of vacuuming floors. Or better yet, one that writes books and vacuums floors, because housework sucks.

Anyway.

I did at least get a short story out of those shoe-melting suburban hikes, Wolves Till the World Goes Down, and I even managed to sell it to the anthology, Starlight 3, my first professional sale.

Wolves Till the World Goes Down features some situations and characters that eventually ended up in Norse Code, but they’re rather different stories, with different versions of characters and different outcomes.

So, Wolves Till the World Goes Down isn’t a shorter or compressed or alternate version of Norse Code, but the story might deliver a taste of something that came from the same kitchen.

Ideomancer reprinted Wolves online, and if you’d like, you can read it here: Wolves Till the World Goes Down.

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5 Responses to “First Stab”


  1. 1 Ken McConnell
    February 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I used to have a long commute from Boise to Mountain Home and I would often talk into a tape player about my novel. I wonder if I even have those old tapes anymore? Well, off to read you story now.

  2. February 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Interesting that you talked out your book like that. Or the stab at the book.

    Am I old and is that why I can’t see the teenytiny font in this comment box? Yikes.

    Yesterday The M and I walked downtown together and I talked through that plot problem, and lo, this morning I woke up knowing how to resolve it.

    So talking must do different things in the brain than writing, is my guess.

  3. February 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Talking does seem to require a different way of organizing thoughts, and if you’re talking out a plot snag with another person, I’d imagine it forces you to organize those thoughts sufficiently that you can explain the cause and effect mechanisms of your plot without having to do too much fudging.

  4. 4 mlronald
    February 18, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I agree that there’s a different way of organizing thoughts when talking out a plot. But I think there’s another level to it — I do a lot of working out plot by talking to myself (which gets me strange looks sometimes when I’m walking and wrestling with a plot problem), and what refuses to budge then may change when I’m trying to describe the plot to someone else, or vice versa. Talking out loud is, for me, better for brainstorming, but talking to someone is better for finding the right groove for a plot.

    Do you ever worry about talking about a plot point too much? I’ve lost stories after telling someone about them, and I suspect it’s because I essentially brought it up too quickly.

  5. 5 Terri
    February 20, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Oh, Greg–will you never learn? Robots SEEM like a good idea, but the moment your back is turned–WHAM! They’ll get you. 🙂

    I talk plot to myself all the time. Verbalizing is awesome. I usually do my best thinking in the shower. I’ve unravelled dozens of plottish knots while letting the hot water hit me in the head. Epiphany by water-sprites…yeah, that’s right. Water sprites.


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