Behind the Story

More Than Words: Writing Chapter 1-3

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Chapter 1, 2 and 3 make up the first part of the novel. The first 15K. They were easy to write, even though the lads’ new story was so different from the old one. I like this one a heck of a lot better though. I read through the old one as I wrote this, and it was so full of cliches all around. I’m glad I’ve given these characters new life and a new story to tell, because they sure deserve it.

As an outline worked so great for More Than Anything, I also outlined this story. Whereas MTA spans a little over a year, this one will take place over 4-5 years. A lot is going to happen in those five years too, and the first part ended with quite the heartbreaking cliffhanger.

This part takes place over a couple of months, where the lads meet, fall in lust and into a relationship. I wrote these three chapters knowing the event that what was going to end the part, and it is quite a cliffhanger. Every part will be ended on one, to make it just that much more interesting to turn over to the next part.

Still, it’s not easy to write, because I am hurting my characters. I know how it’s all going to end, but it’s not an easy road getting them there.

More Than Anything: Writing Chapter 17-20

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Another blog post about four chapters at the same time. What can I say? They flowed so nicely. I was starting chapter seventeen and suddenly I was finishing chapter twenty. I wrote 20K in four days. I was on fire, the story was on fire, the characters were dying to reach the end of their story.

They still aren’t done, because there’s many short one shots to write about them. They will take place before they met, as well as after. The ones taking place before this story will probably be posted before it is released, but the ones taking place after … well, can’t have any spoilers, now, can we?

I love the last four chapters. They came so easily and everything was wrapped up with a nice little bow. Not literally, but you know, it went smoothly. It’s a bit sad to leave these two, but they’ve had their story now. Besides, it’s not like I won’t visit them later, in one shots. Because you can bet there’ll be lots of one shots about these two! They have so much more to tell.

Yesterday’s Tears: London, UK

yesterdaystearsWhen I first started writing this series, back when it was one huge 130K novel called Scarred Souls, it was set in an unnamed American town. I never went into specifics about it, because I’m not exactly an expert on American geography. When I dusted these characters off and brought them back to life, I decided to set it a bit closer to home. I debated setting it in Norway, but then I’d have to change all the names and I was set on their names, darn it.

So I decided to set the series in one of my favourite cities, London, which I visited for the first time in 2010. See, I went there to visit my cousin, who was studying over there, and I simply fell in love. London is so big, I didn’t see one tenth of what there is to see, but I still love it. I didn’t even go to all the touristy stuff (except Oxford Street, obviously!), yet I still fell head over heels in love. I’m going to live there one day, if I can ever manage it.

The tube was an awesome way to get around quickly, and I was a master at taking it for those ten days. I loved the British way of speaking. The British people are a lot nicer and more forthcoming than Norwegian, and I became nicer while there too. (This changed once I was back in Norway, because let’s face it, Norwegian’s are rude).

I did see the Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. We went to see a musical, though I don’t remember it’s name. Went out to eat most every day. Shopped on Oxford Street and Regent Street. I shopped so much clothes I had to buy a new suitcase. It was a wonderful ten days and I will always remember them. It was my first time vacationing all alone, without family or mates, and it was silly wonderful. I love London. I love the UK. I need to move there.

And that is why the Their Circumstances series is set there.

Yesterday’s Tears will be released on November 20th, from Less Than Three Press.

More Than Anything: Writing Chapter 13-16

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These chapters were extremely easy to write. They flowed so nicely, which is why I’ve written 4 chapters before doing another blog post about them. The first two chapters were from Jørgen’s POV, and they headed off in a direction that was not planned at all, but that actually worked great with the story and him as a character. It shows how deep down in that black hole he is, and what the consequences is for doing something that he hadn’t really meant to do.

Jørgen’s closest family is introduced, and Jørgen grows close with someone else. They have a lot of things in common, and Jørgen finally manages to open up a bit more than he has so far in the story.

The last two chapters are from Geir’s POV. He got some bad news again, and it once again drives a wedge between him and his dad. His chapters went basically as planned, and they came just as easily as Jørgen’s chapters did.

I think I wrote these four chapters in the time-span of about a week or so. With chapter sixteen finished, there’s only four more chapters left to write, before the novel will wrap up.

Yesterday’s Tears: Playlist

yesterdaystearsYesterday’s Tears is a book filled with sadness, as the inciting event is the death of not only one, but two, loved ones. The whole series, in fact, is a sad one as it deals with a lot of heavy issues.

I thus have a playlist particularly for this series. It’s filled with songs that puts me in the right mood to write about deep-lying issues, puts me in a sad mode, or in a hopeful one if that’s what the story needs next. I thought, for this post, I should list some of the songs on my playlist, the ones I feel featured most heavily in the writing of this book.

There were certainly other songs than the ones listed here, but these are some of the ones on my current playlist titled ‘Their Circumstances’. Most songs’ lyrics does not reflect the theme of the book, but the lyrics and/or the melody gets me in the right mood to write this book:

  • 4AM Forever by Lost Prophets.
  • Everything I’m Not by the Veronicas
  • Rooftops by Lost Prophets.
  • The Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin.
  • The River by Bruce Springsteen.
  • Scream by Kill Hannah.
  • Untouched by the Veronicas.
  • What About Now by Chris Daughtry.

I have started making playlist for most stories. This list is for the entire series, but I’ve recently also started one for each book, as I don’t like to listen to all the songs for every story. Some doesn’t fit right, while others fit perfectly.

Yesterday’s Tears will be released on November 20th, from Less Than Three Press.

More Than Anything: Writing Chapter 11-12

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These two chapters came easily. Some surprises happened, with scenes not planned, such a very nice father-son moment in the beginning. It might just be one of my favourite scenes in the story so far, silly because it happened to unexpectedly, but fit so perfectly. One plan fell through, but it works out for the better, lest too many characters be introduced at once, which is not a good thing.

There is very little of Jørgen in these two chapters, so they’re not as riddled with his deep-rooted and heavy issues. These two chapters are Geir’s through and through and more hopeful in tone as to his life. He’s still only seventeen though, and though he doesn’t hate his new life as much as he could’ve, he’s still young and he can fly off the handle in a second, which was demonstrated once with his Dad here. Another father-son scene I’m quite fond off.

One of my favourite characters is introduced here. He’s also one of my most feminine and out there characters ever. He speaks his mind, is not afraid to show who he is, which I guess is what I like about him.

These chapters were easy. I think I only wrote the 10K in 4-5 days. Now it’s on to Jørgen’s next part, which will be filed with a lot more angst than these two, considering Jørgen is now starting to finally deal with his issues.

Yesterday’s Tears: British English


When I started writing Yesterday’s Tears, I was still writing in the American spelling. I wrote the entire book in the American spelling, but as I wrote the next book in the series it changed into the British spelling. Maybe because this series takes place in England? They use British expressions, and I found I really liked using them. So I went back and redid Yesterday’s Tears to match the British spelling as well.

Back when we were taught English in school (from about third grade or so), we were told we were learning the British spelling. It is quite possible, because looking back at old stories I see I have the spelling in correctly. However, I grew up with American soap operas and American films and I hardly watched anything British.

Now though I find I really do like to watch British dramas and films. It all started with Hollyoaks, which I’ve now stopped watching, but I followed their first gay storyline vigorously years ago. I went on to Skins and Doctor Who and Sherlock, and most recently I’ve been watching the reality show Geordie Shore.

After all this, I’ve come to realise I love the British way to speak. I simply love the tone, the expressions, the words they have that doesn’t exist in American. I love the British spelling and I went back to it. Most publishers seems to want American spelling, so I’m going to have to switch back at one time, but for now I’m quite happy writing with the British spelling and using British expressions.

Yesterday’s Tears will be released on November 20th, from Less Than Three Press.

More Than Anything: Writing Chapter 9-10

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This is where it starts go downhill. Geir got some news he did not consider good in the last chapter, and in this he gets quite a knockdown. I can’t say anything else without spoiling, but these two chapters have been very sad to write. They’ve also been hard to write, because not only were there one really sad thing happening, but there were two.

These two chapters were supposed to wrap up the first arch of the novel, but the more I wrote, the more the word count rose, the more worried I got. This is going to be too long, I kept thinking, I’m not going to be able to wrap it up. And yes, the last chapter is quite long, but there is a scene in there I’m not happy with and it might be scratched. The chapter will still be longer than any of the others, but at least it’s all wrapped up and ready to be taken into the second arc.

It was essential to end the arc in chapter ten, because the locations change drastically in the next chapter. There weren’t enough story to do two additional chapter, and I also needed for the last chapter in this arc to be from Jørgen’s POV. Geir’s the one who’s location changes from next chapter on, so he needed to start off the next arc.

The first arch of the story is about realising your feelings, about falling slowly in love with someone, yet also knowing that your issues are keeping you back. The second arc will dig deeper into Jørgen’s psyche and how his family fit into it all, while Geir will have to come to terms with his new life. He has to grow up, become more confident in himself and make new friends.

The second arc was planned on not being as long as the first, considering the first one took up about half the planned word count. Some things changed in the last chapter though, something I had not counted on. There might not be a third arch, because the second arch might just cover it all anyway.

The new changes doesn’t change the story particularly, there’s just more happening than what was originally planned. The ending result will be the same though—and it’ll be a good one.

Yesterday’s Tears: The Cover


Yesterday’s Tears will be out in under a month, and as a way of promoting it I thought I was going to do a weekly post about the novel every Tuesday. YT is a book in my Their Circumstances series (preceded by Scarred Souls, Skin Deep, Reunited), and it’s the first novel in the series.

As this is the first post to promote the novel, what’s more appropriate to talk about than the cover, that represent the entire book? I really like the cover, because it has a sort of gloomy, sad feel to it with the darkness at the edges, but it’s also more hopeful by being light in the centre.

The picture is actually one of mine. I took that picture this summer (or was it last summer?) when I was going for a walk. My favourite trail goes above the graveyard closest to my home, and I either go both down and up the graveyard on my trip or I take the long way around and go back up the graveyard to the road.

I don’t know what prompted me to stop and take this picture. I had my new camera with me, so it might’ve been the simple reason that I wanted to try it out yet again. The original picture is very bright and the colours seem kind of flat, but by darkening and using all those wonderful tools that can make an average or dull picture simply amazing.

When I wrote Yesterday’s Tears I knew I wanted this picture on the cover, because this is what the entire novel is about; the death of beloved family members and how to go on now that they don’t exist anymore. It’s an interesting premise, especially as I’ve never experienced anything like it before, and I really hope I’ve been able to do it justice in the novel.

While the picture was provided by me, the entire cover was designed by the lovely Megan Derr. I love it, I really do. The cover is perfect for the story within, and that’s exactly what a cover’s supposed to be.

Yesterday’s Tears will be released on November 20th, from Less Than Three Press. 

More Than Anything: Writing Chapter 1-8

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I started writing More Than Anything back in March. I wrote part of the first chapter before the Big Writer’s Block happened and I started working and being sociable. In shorter words; before I went AWOL all summer. I wrote half the first chapter at that time, and this was when the story was supposed to be told from only Jørgen’s POV. I wrote a bit more generally about the series here. Mentioned in that post was the fact that these characters were American for a couple of years. Are you curious about their English names? I shall tell you shortly.

After the four+ months I was AWOL, the characters started coming back to me. They revealed the fact that this couldn’t be told from only Jørgen’s POV, because Geir had a lot of story to tell as well. This is when I decided to switch POV every 10K. I divided the 10Ks into two chapter of 5K, to break it up. This is still the same, but now every 10K section is also a part. Jørgen’s first two chapters are part one, Geir’s next two chapters are part two, etc.

The story unfolded before me. I’ve known these character for so many years, and I know their stories. Still, some things have changed in this new version and I am happy about it. It makes the story better and more realistic, in my opinion. For instance, in the original almost all secondary characters were either gay or bisexual, as well. I think I only had one straight couple, and the girlfriend went lesbian after a while, while the boyfriend hooked up with another girl. Still, only one straight couple. Where’s the realism in that?

The characters changed and evolved in my head. They’re living in a small town, so now most secondary character are actually straight.  It wasn’t hard to change this, it happened naturally. They haven’t come into play much yet at this point in the story, because Jørgen is a recluse and Geir doesn’t have any friends, but they’ll play a bigger part once the second arc starts.

Jørgen suffered from panic attacks in the original version, but he normally had no issues being out and about or having sex. Now, however, not only does he have panic attacks, he’s also suffering from PTSD after some serious traumatic events that happened during his childhood (all the events are brought over from the original, to a realistic point). He has issues with touching, with crowds, with dark, enclosed rooms. He has issues with sexual intimacy and a difficult time dealing with his family. He has a hard life, and it’s not sugar-coated anymore like it used to be. Jørgen is damaged, and it’s not going to be magically repaired.

Geir, on the other hand, has epilepsy. He’s always had it. In the original he hid it from Jørgen, whilst in the new version an epileptic seizure is what causes them to meet in the first place. (Originally Jørgen saved Geir from bullies. Cliche and not very likely, at least not in a small town based on my hometown, so it had to go). Geir is a loner, he’s frozen out at school for being a “freak”, because his classmates doesn’t understand his condition. He’s bullied every day, but simply by name-calling and nothing that can be evidenced. This is hurting him, and he’s got issues because of it too, issues that won’t magically go away because he found love. As he has epilepsy, he’s also on medication, and medications have side-effects that Geir has to deal with.

Chapters 1-8 make up most of the first arc. This arc moves extremely slowly, as Jørgen and Geir get to know each other. The writing has mostly gone smoothly, because the scenes are laid out there and all I have to do it write them down. And all they have to do is contribute to the dialogue. They don’t jump right into bed, and they won’t, because their issues are so much greater than that and they need to work them out before their relationship can even think about progress.

The first arc is, for me, about them discovering that they can have happiness and they can have love and a relationship. They don’t quite know how to go about it, especially not with all the issues in the way. But they’re young and they’re trying their best. They’re taking it slow. As they should. 

And I do believe I promised to tell you their English names. Mind, their Norwegian names did come first, as they’re two characters from a very old, paranormal story I wrote in Norwegian. As an end-note to this rather lengthy post; Jørgen’s English name was Jayden and Geir was Gavin. I do like these names, but they live in Norway. In Norway we do not use English names, we have proper, good old Norwegian names. But that’s another blog post entirely.