Monday, October 24, 2016


So I'm a hair late on this one, but I've decided to give NanoWrimo a go. Most of you are already familiar with National Novel Writing Month, but for those of you who aren't, it is a novel writing challenge in the month of November in which we will attempt to write a 50,000 word novel. To that end, here is what I'm going to try my hand at!

  1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea? 

    The idea is one I've had fairly recently, after I finished Dragon of Kveldmir, I looked back and started wondering where Farndrang came from. The sword itself I wrote into the story several years ago, and while it originally was forged by the stranger, that just didn't feel right. So, then, when it was determined to have come from Karik, I started to wonder what his story was.
    Something clicked while I was watching the most recent season of the History Channel show Vikings. Ragnar Lothbrook, to me, shares a lot with Macbeth and Turin from Tolkien's The Children of Hurin. All three are tangled in fate, are presented with impossible choices, and  trapped by their decisions. So I wanted to explore the idea of fate or, as the northmen would call it, Wyrd. Do we have a choice? Are our choices between success and failure, or failure and worse failure? What did Beowulf mean when he said "Fate often spares the undoomed man, but only if his courage holds". What if his courage holds? What if he IS doomed, and his courage still holds? Would that be better than if he was doomed and his courage did not hold?
  2. Describe what your novel is about!

    Vrania is a large, cold island not unlike Scandinavia with long winters and short harvests. After being sent out from their village due to famine, the young men of Ydnara go to make their own way in the world. One of them, Karik, has intentions far beyond surviving. For what happens next, I borrow from The Welsh Triads (lists of threes) and present the Triads of Karik:
    These are the three great deeds of Karik Haldsson,
    First the slaying of the dragon, for the renown it brought him
    Second the sailing of the underwaters, for the wealth it gave him
    Third the sailing of the Black Isles, for the destruction it brought about

    These are the three Great Ladies of Karik,
    First Elva, his mother, for the courage she gave him
    Second Ylmi, his wife, for the strength she nurtured in him
    And Third the lady Lysa, for the sons she bore him

    These are the three Great Warriors of Karik,
    Revik, whom none could withstand,
    Igil, whom none could outwit
    And Karik Kariksson, whom none could defeat.

    These are the three great tragedies of Karik
    First the Curse of the Dragon, for the doom it laid on him.
    Second the falling out he had with Ylmi
    And Third the Poisoning of Karik Kariksson

    These are the three great blades of Karik,
    Ulfbite, which was given him by his mother
    Farndrang which he took from the Dragon
    And Viper, the short sword he forged for himself.
    And before you ask, no I'm not entirely sure how all those are going to play out, but I've got a good idea on most. 
  3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

    My aesthetic....hmmm...very Viking with a hint of Dane. It will be in keeping with the style I used in Dragon of Kveldmir, but I've got a few new things I want to try out. Got to keep trying new things!
  4. Introduce us to each of your characters!

    There's too many to fully introduce (in the tried and true tradition of the Sagas), but I'll introduce the first three. Karik is a young man who has watched his family and settlement starving since he was old enough to notice. He believes that there is a way his people can live without death constantly hovering over them. Revik is a great fighter, he and his brother Igil were better off than Karik's family, but now all three are sent out with the young men of Ydnara to make their own way in the world. Karik has plans for this....Karik always has a plan.
  5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

    My writing preparation boils down to three things...Draw a map. Start the coffee. Re-draw the map. Plan. Drink all the coffee. Make a new plan. And on and on Ad Infinitum.
    Also lots of Youtube Playlists. You ever tried playing two videos at the same time? 4 hours of campfire noise over Light of the Seven for 4 hours? It's pretty relaxing and focusing. Though occasionally I'll get wrapped up in trying to create the perfect ambience and then...well...oh bother.
  6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

    I'm looking forward to having fun with Karik. I think he is going to be a really fun character to write, and I think that the adventures he's going to go on will be a challenge to really write properly.
  7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

    It's cold, except where it isn't. It's dangerous everywhere. And the whole thing takes place inside of one house. 
    Figure out that riddle if you can. 
  8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

    Karik wants to make a new life for his people, one of plenty without all this starving and fighting over food. There's three things that stand in his way in increasing order of difficulty. First, no one has sailed through the black Isles for hundreds of years, those who have tried got smashed to kindling in the ice, burned alive by lava, or smashed to kindling on the rocks. Second, there's a fair number of kings and jarls who are just fine with how things are in Vrania and would rather Karik didn't upset their rule by finding new lands and such. Third is fate, in the form of the Dragon curse (which some of you might remember being mentioned several times in The Dragon of Kveldmir). The Dragons do not like Karik. 
  9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

    This is something I'm working on. Not entirely sure how Karik will react to getting punched in the face by fate at a an alarming rate. I think part of it will depend on how his relationship with Igil and Ylmi shape up. 
  10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

    Adventurous. Defiant. Ready to go do great things. That's always been the point of a lot of my writing, I want people to get up from it thinking a little bit, encouraged to go do great things themselves. And also hopefully intrigued enough to read some of my other stories. 

    So...there you have it. The Tale of Karik Haldsson. If you haven't read The Dragon of Kveldmir, check it out for a few mentions of who Karik is and what he's done. There will be more allusions to the good Karik as well as new info on Vrania and the Black Isles coming soon...but that announcement is still a few days out...

    To make sure you don't miss this upcoming announcement, and to see my NanoWrimo updates and musings and encouragements, head over and like my Facebook Page! I am planning on doing a few short videos during NanoWrimo, might even give Facebook Live Streaming a try...we'll see. Any way, check it out, give me a like if you've got a spare one lying around, and have a wonderful day!


  1. I'm so glad you're giving this a shot! Your story sounds awesome! It's neat that it ties into "The Dragon of Kveldmir" and has a basis in verse already! I'll be very interested to see what comes of all of it. :)

  2. Thanks Abi, I'm pretty excited for it too. And It'll tie into another project that will be announced soon.

  3. I am trying the light of the seven and campfire noises and loving it!

    1. Good! Glad you like it, finding those ambient tracks on youtube is pretty good for studying (and editing). There are some from Harry Potter and LOTR as well, Hagrid's hut, three broomsticks, The green Dragon inn, that are relaxing as well.