Friday, November 18

Exams: A break, but not really

It's easier to write a story about a student, than to be one myself. His life is now on hold, since it is time for some exams of my own. However, I am not going anywhere without my notepad, where I keep track of my ideas, plot points, character development and so on. 

So, it will be some time away from the keyboard, but I believe that this could be good for the writing process as a whole. I can't write all day, every day. As long as I use the time in between exams on the many ideas that I want to develop for my book, I am confident that progress will be made soon after the final exam of this semester is over. 

Since I'm writing a book about the death penalty, its effects on people, and the principles behind it, I tend to read more and more news items on the issue. Today, Idaho executed Paul Rhoades after 25 years on death row. That is 8 more than the 17 years that has gone since Idaho last executed someone. 

A comment on an article by The Idaho Statesman has bothered me much. It reads: "May his punishment be carried out swiftly, without any further delay ...and my God have mercy on his soul. Amen." (Source)

It led to a Twitter update still left unanswered. How is it that Christians are able to put themselves as a judge on who to live and who to die? How is state-supported murder any different from non-sanctioned murder? Does God, if one choose to believe in him, make a difference between state and non-state actors? It's hard to go into the theological matter, but the question raised last night on Twitter has always left me without an answer. 

My book will try to dig into this, but also from a more ideological angle. How can people who support a smaller state allow state-sanctioned deaths? These are tough topics, but they need further enlightenment. I hope that I could make a difference. My book will not only go at this from an abolitionist's point of view, which you've probably figured out, I am an advocate for. My character, Jack Colson, will be tested, his thoughts on how the world ought to be will be tried, and nothing will seem to be straight forward again, especially not the issue of the death penalty.

Thursday, November 3

Moving on from introduction

As this is my first novel that I'm trying to put together, everything is new. Nothing I've ever written has come close to this. Then, it is important to manage the different phases in a good way. That's the trick I'm focusing on right now.

I have a draft of my introduction quite ready, and I'm ready to start punching down those plot points that create the story. What’s the point with my characters if they don't do something, right? The transformation, however, seems hard, and I'm kind of in a rut. I'm trying to compensate for that by just writing down the plot points that have developed the most inside my head, and go from there. To patch it all together will be a task for a later day. I thought I could write the novel from A to B, but it just isn't possible. Does anyone really do that? 

I'm glad that I've come to this conclusion, because it's the plot points that I am writing on right now that is going to define my novel. It is exciting to move on from the introductory phase, and start the plot, drive the story, engage in the dilemmas and the moral dilemmas. Well, I'm off to the writing again!

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