Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I'm back!

Okay, so now most things are in place in our new apartment and I can write again! Wohoo! I've had like three full-writing days in a row now because of bad weather and stuff. I still, however, can't seem to make the story go very much forward. I have the outline still in mind, but I just can't put it the way I want to on paper; I just can't. It's like something's stopping me - like there's some wall I have to pass before I can make it flow. You know what I mean?

Anyway, I talked to my boyfriend about some ideas yesterday, and he confirmed what I already knew; that I had to make some changes to the story to make it more realistic. On the other hand, he also gave me an idea, so I'm starting to derive from the original idea a little bit, but on the whole it's the same, don't worry! I'm just trying to make it work better! To make it a little more intriguing... At first, it was just a story of eternal love and they were their own enemies, but the idea yesterday changed that - now, it's forbidden love.

I'm struggling with a new title, though, and it frustrates me. I don't like the current title, The Angel of Faith, because it's not very chatching and it doesn't apply as much with the new idea as it did before. I've tried to come up with something using themes, colours, etc, but it's just not working. A friend of mine tried to help, but after thinking about it I figured I don't want something too symbolic, or people won't understand the title without me explaining it first. I'd like something perfect in just one or maximum two words, like Twilight (I know what you're thinking, but no, I'm not trying to copy Twilight in any way, I just see it as an inspiration). I mean, what does Twilight really have to do with love between a human and a vampire? I get the other titles in her series, but not the first, actually (maybe it's just me ^^'). However, the title is catchy and easy to remember, and the word Twilight is just so beautiful... I don't know if you get my point, but anyway ^^'

Progress is slow on my part. I've edited my first chapter like five times and only just finished the second chapter (trying not to edit any more before I've written the whole story now, but we'll see about that. As soon as I'm stuck, I go back and read everything through, and that's usually when I edit a lot).

So here's a question for you guys: how much should you edit before you've written everything, even if you know where the story is heading?You'll probably say, 'just write for now and edit later', but that's not always the way to go. What if something needs to be cut or put into the first chapters to make it work, and you have to change something major? Then you have to write the whole thing over from scratch, won't you?

Well, keep checking in, folks!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sorry everyone!

I've not have time to blog or do any writing for a while now. :( I have the cravings to write all the time, but I just don't have the time right now. Me and my boyfriend are moving to the UK tomorrow so there have been much packing and such stuff going on for a while. I'm so nervous, but at the same time excited, of course. I don't start the Creative Writing course until September 19th so I have decided to finish my novel by that time - I have about a month to do it (going to be tough!).

I'll update the progress as soon as I've settled down in the new apartment and started writing again! So keep checking in please! :) I appreciate anyone who reads my rantings. :P

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Surprise, surprise for me

I've just found out - I've got serious grammar problems!
When I think about it, I feel all hollow inside... I've dedicated my life to the English language by going to the International English School (here in my country) and I've finished the International Baccaleaureate course and I only read books in English and I only write novels in English and I never have subtitles when watching movies and no one around has ever said I have grammar problems, etc, etc, and suddenly the thing most commenters on my newest novel have said is that I HAVE GRAMMAR PROBLEMS and pointed out every little grammar problem in the text and some things I've agreed on and some I've not, and here comes the question - why haven't anybody ever told me about this and why haven't any teachers taught me to spot these things?!


Now I'm sad... I'm going to stop blogging now so I don't upset more people...

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Love critiques, but they hurt

I planned and wrote on my new novel for the whole day yesterday! From the afternoon to 2am at night, and I was so tired that it felt like my head would just melt. I managed to finish the first chapter and half of the second chapter. I'm not very satisfied, but I can always edit later. At least I have the entire story outlined on post-it notes now (subplots included!). 
*Somewhat proud* 
I'm not really sure how to proceed with the character development, though. I just hope it fixes itself as I go along...

The Angel of Faith is the only post to have been critiqued on inkpop.com thus far. Either The Spirit Pipe-chapter isn't as interesting or it's too long for people to bother reading it. I don't know which I hope for...

The critique I've got on Angel have all said it's a good and unique idea, but some say I have grammar problems and some say that the title isn't interesting enough for people to flock around it... I'd rather not change the title because it has two meanings in this novel and I think it's perfect, but what can I say when people give honest opinions. :/

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Not much writing done this weekend...

It's now two weeks left until me and my boyfriend move to the UK! Excited and nervous! That means, however, that I've not had time to write much this weekend. Saturday we went to a friend to sell the computer and today we've cleaned the apartment, packed, sold a lot of other stuff, and will soon book our flying tickets. So there's a lot on my mind right now... I just wish I'd have someone to spend my time with in the UK while my boyfriend is working. I'll have a whole month there until I start university.
Well, anyway, I'll keep you guys updated with the writing tomorrow! :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Okay, so today I signed up on inkspot.com which is a community for writers where you can give each other comments on your works. Two novels have actually even been recognised there by agents and become published! Further, the top five (highest rated) novels each month get to be edited by an actual professional literary agency, for free!
This far, I've critiqued two very good novels which I'll continue to follow. The problem is that reading other's works always gets me jealous... :/ I don't want to be, but they are just so good writers and have such good ideas that I start to wonder what's wrong with me? Why I am not as good? What they do that I don't?
I know it's normal for a young, unpublished author to have periods of low self-confidence, but still, I wish it didn't have to be that way. I wish I could say, I have written something that I am really proud of! - But I can't.

Right now I really look forward to starting my Creative Writing course. My hopes are high that I'll improve there and learn things that will help me accomplish what I want to. Of course, I'm equally scared that everyone in class will be so much better than me, especially since I'm not even a native english speaker which they will be. It will be so much tougher for me...

Well, I'll stop my ranting before you get too bored.
As always, please leave a comment (doesn't have to be anything specific, I'm just curious to know who actually reads this)! And if that's too tiring, please at least check one of the answers to who you are at the question poll to the right. Thanks!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Summer sunbathing

Today has been a truly beautiful day outside! I've sat by our pool and sunbathed with pen and paper in my hands, coming up with subplots for The Angel of Faith. So together with a more tanned skin, I've got some new ideas!
Later tonight, I've planned on doing some character development. I'm going to test the old "Invite your character for a coffe interview"-method and see what I can find out about my darlings.
Maybe I'll be able to post the first chapter soon (I've already written it but is not quite satisfied with it)!

So stay tuned (or something like that) for more updates!

Imagination at night

The time is 2am and I have just finished a basic outline for my newest novel, based on yesterday night's brainstorming. I'm pleasantly surprised that it has developed this quickly (I got the basic idea maybe a week ago), because usually it takes me many weeks - or more likely months - to finish an outline. Of course, that's been due to me having school and other things to focus on (which I haven't now that it's summer). 

Anyway, I just wanted to post to say that I'm working full time on the new novel. Take care, whoever reads this!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My newest novel - The Angel of Faith

When I awoke that morning, seeing the usual drizzle of rain shatter against my window through a mist of sleepiness, I had no idea that there would be anything special about that day. That my life was about to change and that every hour of my life had waited for this moment to come. Somewhere deep in my mind I now realise, when looking back, that I’d never really forgotten him. He’d existed as a shadow in my dreams throughout my whole life, and I just never noticed. It may seem strange. I know. I didn’t believe it either at first. But let’s just say that when I tried to rise from my bed, half-asleep, fumbling with the annoying alarm clock on my bedside table, I couldn’t even imagine a stranger walking up to me in class in three hours and tell me that he’s loved me since the first time we met - in heaven.

Copyright © Sabina S. Ostman

The Spirit Pipe - Chapter 1

A Day to Remember

Maybe it wasn’t so strange that Kai felt like crying; he was an infant, after all.
When he lay there in the woman’s arms, wrapped in rawhide, and thought back on the day that had been, he didn’t really know what to believe. Maybe it had just been a truly horrifying dream that he’d soon awaken from?
Earlier that morning he woke with the sun in his face, the light seeping in through the small gaps in the wigwam. His father had already gone out to hunt. Kai called for his mother, who’d been sitting in front of a cooking-utensil hanging over the fire. She hurried to let him feed on her breast. While eating, Kai examined the wigwam, making sure it looked the same as when he’d closed his eyes the preceding evening. A fire surrounded by rocks lay in the middle, with the smoke erupting from it escaping through a small hole in the roof. On the four solid walls made of wooden frames and sheets of birch bark hung decorated quivers and bows, tomahawks, knives, beaded bags, and painted wooden shields. On the floor were several furs in brown, grey, and even one the crimson red of a fox. Further along the walls lay more hides in a mess - beds belonging to Kai’s parents and his older brother. Kai always slept in a moss bag. His mother often used a V-shaped board to secure his bag upon, so that when she left the wigwam she could carry him with her on her back.
When Kai was finally fed she continued with the breakfast. Kai observed her every move. Her long buckskin dress had loads of beads, and the fringed endings danced around her wrists as she stirred the food in circles. Her raven hair parted by her neck and long strips of red-coloured hide was wrapped around them. Around her neck hung a long necklace out of coloured porcupine spikes that she had made herself as a child.
Soon, Kai’s father returned from the hunt. He had two grey hares dangling in one hand, which he gently laid beside his wife for cooking. His naked chest was muscular and as dark as the feathers of a golden eagle. On his long legs he wore leggings out of buckskin, laced at the sides with leather ties so tight that his legs appeared even longer. In a belt at his waist he carried weapons and necessities; medicine bags and pouches that Kai had seen to contain loads of strange things. His hair was long and black, and as was common in his tribe, it was braided on one side. He ruffled Kai’s short hair as a greeting, chuckling somewhat as if glad to be home, and sat down beside his wife to tell her about his adventurous morning.
Kai could do nothing but watch the fire for the coming hour. As he began to feel sleepy, the noises around him faded until he could almost not hear them anymore. Everything sounded farther away; the music of drums from the town centre, the mumbling of the village people, the subtle movements of his parents, the wind in the trees that surrounded the camp, and the lonely owl he could hear hooting from somewhere in the distance.
Kai frowned when his eyes fell on his brother’s bed; although it took him some time, he came to realise it had been quite a while since he’d last seen him. The bed must’ve been empty for several moons...
It was while thinking about this that he heard something from outside the wigwam; something low and sounding like footsteps – but just barely. Kai had never heard anything like it before, but whatever it was, he was afraid of it.
Kai shrieked loudly to warn his parents. His mother appeared at his side, trying to sooth him, but Kai just shrieked louder – he didn’t know how to make them understand.
A high-pitched scream suddenly echoed throughout the camp.
His parents stiffened. Kai stopped crying to listen. He could hear something crackle. Heat had slowly crept up his cheeks. The air was no longer clear, but blurred in a cloud of haze. The light from outside had intensified, but it didn’t look like sunlight – it moved like some kind of serpent...
Suddenly there were more screams, and some yells and roars. Kai’s father rose and hurried out of the wigwam. His mother stared after him for a moment, but soon they could hear more screams, and Kai felt himself was carefully lifted from the spot. The air thickened and now Kai could hardly breathe. He coughed desperately for fresh air. His mother forced him gently against her chest, where he could hear her fastened heartbeat. This frightened him more than anything else.
She carried him out of the wigwam. It was worse outside. A fire, the biggest Kai had ever seen, was eating at the village. People ran in panic without knowing where to go. People in long animal robes, with hide masks covering their faces and long, black nails - most resembling claws - were sweeping over the ground as if they were soaring. Kai had never seen such people before. People were easily gripped by the throat and lifted high in the air, kicking and screaming, and the strange people clawed them so the ground coloured red.
Kai’s mother was desperately looking for a way to go, turning one way and the other, but unable to find one. Kai couldn’t see his father. Many people were already lying on the ground, still as rocks, but his father wasn’t there.
That’s when one of the strange men saw his mother. A lynx robe hung over a pair of broad shoulders, and covering his head was a lynx mask, where the eye sockets seemed almost empty as they stared into the distance. It made Kai shiver.
The strange man just stared at her for a moment, but then he turned the other way and disappeared. His mother didn’t hesitate to turn and run the other way. Around them the fires crackled loudly, along with screams of women and children, roars and yells of men, and whimpering of the four camp dogs, running around with their ears flattened backwards in fear. The wigwams had started to collapse from the eaten wooden stems, and the once so green and lively grass in the valley had turned black, with a layer of ashes and parched earth. The only colour left in the area was the still greenish leaves on the surrounding trees, which hadn’t yet experienced the fatal flames, and the cloudless blue sky, so innocently watching the doings of the masked men. Kai could smell the smoke and feel the stinging heat of the fire on his skin.
Still running desperately, with the horrible pictures of bodies and red earth around them, Kai’s mother started shouting her husband’s name, but no one answered. There were still too many people running and screaming in panic around them for her to be heard by anyone.
As she reached the outskirts of the village, she saw him suddenly stumble towards her. He firmly clutched a bleeding wound in his shoulder with a painful expression on his grimy face.
His parents embraced with Kai between them, and he could hear his mother sob quietly against his father’s chest, but as soon as they let go Kai realised they weren’t alone anymore. Another one of the strange men was watching them from beyond the smoke. He wore a polar bear robe, thick and white, and his mask was put on his forehead to show them his face. Kai, however, couldn’t see anything. His mother shielded him from view so that he could only catch a glimpse of the man’s legs, but he heard his parents struggle for breath.
“No!” his mother shrieked, tears falling on Kai’s cheek. “Anyone but you!”
“How can you do this?” his father asked with trembling voice.
Kai saw in the corner of his eyes how the man approached them.
“Don’t sound so surprised”, he said darkly, but with a kind of hidden laughter as if filled with excitement. “It was to be expected, and now I’m here – me and my friends.”
Kai knew that voice…
”But why?”
There was a moment of silence when Kai heard more screams and the fire eating its way towards the ground.
“Because I hate you all”, said the man with simple disgust. “I’ve always hated you. Despised you. Been disgusted by your presence. My friends share my hatred for your kind. They’ve helped me to realise my worth. They support me when I say that you, unlike us, don’t deserve life. Like your god, you treat your equals unjustly.”
”What do you mean?” Kai’s father uttered weakly.
”I’m sure you already know. But let’s not spend time on details, just give me the boy.”
Kai felt his mother’s arms tighten around him.
                      “You’ll never get him! Leave now!” she shouted.       
“Don’t sound so melodramatic”, the man sniggered. “If you just hand him over, maybe we’ll even leave some of you alive. It’s your choice.”
Kai’s father stepped in front of them with his arms outstretched and whispered to Kai’s mother to run. ”I’ll take care of him! Leave now!”
Kai’s mother didn’t move nor speak – Kai could sense she didn’t even breathe.
”Come on, quick!”
She took a step back – her tears falling rapidly onto Kai’s face – and cast her husband a last glance before she turned and ran up the valley, into the forest, away from the burning village and the screams that still echoed all around them.
The heat from the fire disappeared at once. His mother ran through bushes and stepped over streams, struggled up hillsides, through clustered trees and on traders’ pathways, with high grass swaying around her knees just before trampled down by her moccasins. A woodpecker sounded above their heads. A thicket of cranberry sprigs spread amongst a bunch of birch trees.
As night fell upon them, Kai thought he could see shadows between the branches. He pressed himself against his mother’s neck, turning his head away and closing his eyes.
They were on the run most of the night, because when his mother finally climbed a steep hill and reached the top, Kai could see the sun beyond the mountaintops in the east. His mother had only stopped a few times during the night to catch her breath; she was panting, exhausted, as she sat down against a pine tree. She looked down at Kai, her eyes still full of tears, and she stroked him over his smooth cheek and swept away his short fringe.
They sat there a while, looking out over the vast forest and the mountains rising above it, with several lakes mirroring the sun’s beauty. Kai watched his mother fall sleep. It made him tired, and soon he too dared close his eyes. Together they slept as the sun rose higher and higher in the sky.
Around noon Kai awakened with the sun in his face. He heard something move in the forest just below the hill... He shrieked to wake his mother, and she blinked with a pair of salty lines on her cheeks. She quickly rose from the rock. It had happened so fast that Kai hadn’t had time to recognise it, but they were now surrounded by the strange people from before – only now they were a total of seven!
“How did you -?” his mother began, bewildered.
“- find you so fast?” laughed the man with the polar bear robe – he’d put on his mask again. “You’re underestimating us. We’re not the same as we were before. We’re more powerful now, in ways you can’t possibly imagine.”
”Give us the boy”, ordered the man with the lynx robe, taking a step closer in frustration.
“No, you don’t get him! Please, kill me, but don’t hurt him!”
“Stupid woman”, laughed a man with a puma over his shoulders. His voice was vibrating, as if it was actually the growl of the puma he carried.
 “We don’t want to kill the boy”, said a woman somewhere among them.
“We want to kill the impure, but Kai”, said the man with the polar bear robe and shook his head, “he’s unique. He’s got more power than you can imagine. He can prove useful to us.”
“It’s a wonder you don’t know about it”, he continued. “You were there when it happened – when it showed. We could all see it, even from a distance. It was clear to us from that exact moment, and I thought you had seen it too... But I guess your mind doesn’t work as ours do. After all, we’re not unclean.”
Kai’s mother staggered backwards, but a huge boulder stood in her way. They were completely surrounded.
“I beg you! Please, kill me, but leave Kai!”
“Where would he go?” said a woman with the skin from a sea lion wrapped around herself as a quilt. “Your village is destroyed. It doesn’t exist anymore, and neither do the people. We’ve cleansed the village from the impure. You should be grateful. We even gave them a nice burial. Now their ashes can go to the Spirit World and their souls live where we don’t have to be fouled by them.”
“No... How could you!”
They all just laughed. It was a horrible sound, in some way almost numbing Kai’s ears.
”Just give us the boy!”
”You don’t get him!”
“You’re in no position to negotiate”, said a woman with a fox fur. “If you don’t hand him over, we’ll have to kill you.”
”Kill me, but leave Kai!”
“Step aside, woman! Give him to me!” roared a man, who wore clothing with eagle feathers and a grand beak pointing out from his mask.
”Don’t get any closer!”
She staggered sideways. Kai felt her panic, but could do nothing. He knew that something was horribly wrong. He wanted to scream, but couldn’t manage the smallest squeak.
The man with the polar bear robe closed upon them, letting his black nails extend into long, sharp claws - surely at least as long as his thumb - shooting out from his fingers as on a cougar.
Kai’s mother whispered that everything was going to be alright, but when the man was close enough, he gripped her arm firmly. In a second he’d shot his claws into her stomach and easily gripped Kai with his other hand. Kai’s mother fell to his feet, lifeless, and the man watched her with contempt.
“What a fool.”
Copyright © Sabina S. Ostman

New blog, new possibilities

Okay, this blog will be dedicated to my life as a writer and not much else. It is to get my pieces out there where you guys can read them and hopefully comment so that I can improve my writing skills. This is a blog for family, friends, book-lovers, agents, etc - so please, if you find this blog the least interesting, it would be great if you could share it with others that might find it interesting.

I'll try to post some writings of mine as soon as I can and keep you all updated on how it's going.

As soon as I start my Creative Writing course, I'll try to post what I've learnt here.
Happy reading! :)