Tag Archive | novel

Project 1 finished!

Project 1 Finished

When I worked on Project 1 yesterday I reached 100 000 words and thought “I am nowhere near done!” I had over 20 000 words left to rewrite and that still only accounted for half the novel. But publishing a YA novel with over 200k words is impossible for someone like me. Then, while pondering, I re-read what I had just written and realized I had the end. The scene I had just written was a  perfect ending. The problem was that it was supposed to end a minor story-arch and lacked a climactic resolution. So I grabbed a scene from later in the novel and placed it right above the 100k ending. Perfect fit! All of a sudden it was done. Project 1 was complete. It needs a sequel, no doubt, but it’s a full circle. Even if I die tomorrow my work could stand alone. And guess what? It’s a happy ending. I’ve never written a happy ending before. All because I had to turn Project 1 into two novels.

Now I’ll take a break, write some poetry, hopefully a few short stories, and then edit Project 1 when I get back from America. I am feeling very positive overall. While I am still waiting for 3/4 of the agents I queried to get back to me a few who replied stated Project 2 seemed good and well crafted but they wished it was YA (why ever would people stop reading Science Fiction when they grow up?). Well here you go YA agents! I’ll query you on project 1 in 5 months or so. Hope you like it!

- F H Hakansson

Today

Today I rewrote over 40 pages… I hope you can see why I haven’t been able to come up with a lot of stuff to post here. It feels like a squid resides in my skull. But as least I’m working diligently!

- F H Hakansson

Project 1 & 2 update

Human robot

In two hours I will receive the last phone call from my beta readers with feedback on Project 2. I will then proceed to edit the text once more before sending it to my tutor (when he becomes available. He’s in the USA at the moment).

I also resumed Project 1! This is very exciting news (for myself at least) since it is the first real novel I worked on and it means a lot to me. There’s so much anxiety embedded in the text that I am simply amazed at how my 15 year old self could deal with it all. Even though the language is flawed, at times, I am surprised by the text’s (and the protagonist’s) honesty. I can so accurately recall the feelings which made me write the text in the first place now when I’m re-reading it. Still – I can see how many who were beta readers for both projects feel that Project 2 is stronger both in terms of content and presentation (I guess that’s why I’m reworking Project 1 from the ground).

For you guys this means that I’m back in front of the cam nearly every day!

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this robot (click the link to watch the clip).

It was built with the notion that true artificial intelligence cannot be created if the AI does not have a physical body to work with. The result is an anthropogenic robot with a human inspired skeleton. I remember seeing this about a year ago. Since then – the project has been revised and thus BBC went to see how the robot’s faring.

Still, if they are trying to get machines think for themselves I would give him two eyes instead of one. No wonder machines will turn on us if they are unable to see Titanic in 3D.

- F H Hakansson

Finished

Vesuvius in Eruption, by Joseph Wright of Derby

A few minutes ago I shed a tear. Two in fact. Tears of joy. I honestly cannot recall the last time that happened. Was it something wonderful I ate? Or maybe I cried when laughing with a friend? The first draft of my novel is finished. 124 873 words. I can finally play Battlefield 3 (and what do you know – the game was released today! Coincidence? I think not!).

Even though it is a momentous achievement, not only personally, but for science fiction readers as well, there is much to be done. Starting tomorrow I will read the whole thing quickly to iron out some plot changes I made along to way (i.e. for consistency). That will hopefully only take a few days. Once I’m done with that I won’t touch it for 6 weeks. After those weeks I’ll start my first thorough edit.

- F H Hakansson

99% Complete

99% Complete

So, it finally happened. I have written over 400 pages. Even though it feels like a momentous achievement there is more to be done! Four more major events need to happen so it might, unfortunately, be up to another 100 pages before I call the first draft complete. That would bring me back to 80% complete – but I won’t change the target. Instead I’ll just stay at 99%, keep working, and write the best post-apocalyptic novel since Mccarthy’s The Road.

Meanwhile I’ll actually provide you with an extract foreshadowing some of the events and themes of the novel:

I stared at the hologram of my young father with widened eyes. He flashed a smile. The interviewer leaned in and whispered in his ear. My father laughed, his body jerking back violently. Holding his hand on his stomach, he dried his watering eyes and apologized for his crude sense of humour. The interview then resumed.

“Why are you so obsessed with this?” The interviewer asked.

“Why shouldn’t I be? Babylon thought it possible – so it should be! He, I mean it, hasn’t been wrong about a single theory so far, why would this be the first? Just because we can’t get it to work doesn’t mean it’s flawed.”

“Still, I can’t see your obsession. How can such an invention benefit us? There is so much space to explore all around us, what good would it do to suddenly build a colony at the far end of the universe?”

“It’s not about the colonisation, we are doing fine as we are, it’s the other possibilities, the new opportunities, this device would give us!”

“Such as?”

“Well, first of all, have man not always dreamed of meeting other intelligent life? Chances are with us. In fact, I am certain there are other intelligent species out there, but we would never be able to get to them. They are too far away and the universe is expanding too fast. We’d all turn to ice before ever making contact. Completing this machine would enrich us in so many ways that I can’t even begin to describe!”

“So your employer, Xevhraholt, pays you to complete this device so you can make contact with aliens?”

“No, that was only an example. As to why he wants me to finish it, I cannot even guess at, but the man is smart. He’s always had a plan so I doubt he’s simply paying me for the sake of it. But for me, it’s different, and it’s not about aliens. Another possible use would be time-travel, or rather, travel to a parallel universe nearly identical to this. Imagine that! Being back in the 10th Century or even earlier! Think of what one could see, and learn!”

“Meeting aliens and travelling through time… Fascinating. Anything else?”

“Well, yes, but I’d hate to dwell on the past and in beliefs that are since long gone. But imagine this, if we could go into other planes of existence, planes ruled by intelligence far different from the one we know, in a world where there is no matter, we could find anything! Even something as ridiculous as God suddenly becomes possible.”

- F H Hakansson

Project 2 update!

The FHHakansson logo

I wanted to publish a post about Mass Effect 2 today but since that would make five non-literature posts in a row I decided to give you a brief update instead. The work on Project 2, my debut novel, is going really well. Though I am afraid I will go beyond the 400 page limited I had predicted (I actually thought I would end up at around 350 pages if I’m honest). Somehow I am there now. 349 pages and there’s still a lot that needs to happen. I am afraid the novel will be around 450 pages in its current format, and even dare I say, maybe up to as much as 500 pages. Counting editing the end result will still be around 400 – 450 since a lot has to go (otherwise I would consider it a bad edit). The main reason for the increase in volume is because I underestimated how much room I needed to make the world vivid and alive. When you have to show the reader a world instead of just telling him or her about it you all of a sudden end up with a vast amount of text. But there is no need to worry. I will make sure this novel becomes a unique and interesting science fiction page turner!

- F H Hakansson

Re-watching Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Aki Ross

It had been ten years since I saw this movie last time. It was at the Cinema in Ystad, Sweden, 2001. Like everyone else I was expecting a great movie closely related to the Final fantasy franchise. The two projects had the same father and shared the same name. Of course the movie was greatly related to the franchise I love!

Turns out it was not.

As a child I remember watching Doctor Aki Ross scouring the post-apocalyptic and fallen Earth for spirits, hoping she would come across some object that would summon a creature, such as Odin, from Final Fantasy, and kill all the phantoms. She never did and I walked out of the cinema confused. This was not a Final fantasy film. It was just a science fiction film.

Despite feeling down about the fact that I did not see any references to my favourite video game franchise I liked the movie. Or perhaps even loved it. I cannot remember. The CGI was astonishing, the world and landscape immersive, and magical. Combining that with the wonderful music by Goldenthal left me sitting in wonder at the impressive and transcendental world before me. I know a lot of critics at the time found the artificial actors to be uncanny and life-lacking. I did not think so. Aki Ross and her team were as real as you and I.

That is at least how I remember it. Then I watched the movie a few days ago on Blu-Ray. The animations and characters models were almost plain ugly. Games like Uncharted and Killezone 2 have better and more fluid animations. I can see now how the critics thought the actors of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within fell into the uncanny valley. Even though they looked real – on screenshots – there was just something off when they moved. The scripts was also very weak, weaker than I remembered. While watching the movie I found myself slightly unfocused, checking my blog, and typing notes into my phone.

Despite the aged animations and odd conversations, the music and landscape were still impressive. In fact I went back to the movie again and re-watched some of the scenes. Despite being ten years old the CGI looks fantastic in places. Even today there are not many movies that can parallel it in terms of immersion into another magical world. What is sad, I think, is that people cannot appreciate what the movie offers because of its artificial actors. It is understandable seeing as they have aged considerably in ten years time.

But I think that is how we will see Avatar in ten years time as well. Even while watching Avatar in a massive IMAX cinema I was never convinced the Na’vi’s were real. They looked like CGI – and so did the actors of Final Fantasy. Yet Avatar performed extremely well (the highest grossing movie of all time to date). This is despite Final Fantasy having better scenery, better music, and a better plot (though weak). Then why did Final Fantasy perform so “badly” at the box office? It must be because the audience was not ready for a fully animated movie. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was ahead of its time.

Now, one could argue that while Final Fantasy is completely animated whereas Avatar has real actors as well. Yes – but the majority of the movie contains high-end, uncanny valley, CGI creatures. The main reason the audience can accept the Na’vi and not the actors of Final Fantasy is because they are not human and thus it is acceptable that they don’t seem real in behaviour and appearance.

Ten years after the premiere of Final FantasyI am saddened to see that Square Pictures had to close down and Aki Ross, who would appear in many other movies and be the first artificial actress, died. Aki, despite being animated, is beautiful and even though her movement and appearance is a bit off I still felt her humanity while watching the movie. She is real.

The truth is that she will never grace the screen again and will remain on harddrives stacked somewhere in one of Square Enix’s storage areas. I would give everything to see her again, watch her talk and act human, listening to Goldenthal’s “The Dream Within.”

That is why I hereby make a promise, a woke, a prophecy I will fulfil. One day I will write a book to include the character of Aki Ross. That book will sell well and be turned into a movie. Thus Aki will be brought back to life. If I succeed – not only will I prove that one man can change the world if he puts his mind into it – but also that I can fulfil my wishes and desires and bring back that which had been long lost and dead. I will bring a dead actor back to life. The dream within never dies.

 – F H Hakansson

Over 75% complete!

Mentats and Caps!

It is done. Over 75% of my novel completed if everything goes as planned. For a few days I was afraid that I would go way beyond the 400 page limit I set myself but now it seems as if everything is back on track. Not sure what more to tell you. Everything is coming along nicely. At this stage in the writing process I had to write several important scenes (of course) that were key events in the overall planning of the plot. Every time I write, finish, and then move from one of those points I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Do you know what I mean? Probably not. What I am trying to say is that it feels good to write and see the novel shaping itself nicely according to the initial plan. When will it reach 100%? The first date I had in mind was by the end of October but we will have to see. Might be sooner might be later. All I know now for sure is that you, my readers, are in for one heck of a complex post-apocalyptic, intriguing, and unique multi-layered journey together with an anti-heroic time travelling protagonist!

- F H Hakansson

Update, and what’s to come!

Tunnel

I would first of all like to thank all those who took their time to answer the post-apocalyptic survey! I’ll keep it online for a bit longer in case there’s anyone who chickened out the first time and would still like to give it a go!

I would also like to tell you a bit about what’s coming up on this site. What I have done so far is re-post entries from an old website of mine. Most of those entries are related to Project 1, but some are also related to my own life, to some minor extent.

Now that all of those entries have been posted here I will, first of all, keep you updated on the progress of Project 2 (currently at 42%) and also have some minor entries about the events in my life and what’s going on. But I would also like to put texts, or short extracts, directly related to the current project I’m working on up here. Most of those would be unique material for people to read in addition to the novel. Of course, the novel is only 42% completed, and even when I reach 100%, there’s editing, and the very long and time consuming (but vital) process of finding an agent and a publisher. Even if the novel makes the hypothetical completion at the end of this year, as planned, it will take another year, at least, to have it out in stores. So making a lot of posts related to a book that won’t be out for another 18 months seems quite pointless.

So what I will do instead, at least for now, is to publish some of my old texts, most of which were written for educational purposes at the university. The first one of these will be posted online tomorrow.
I will also make a small note where I talk about the text, what I tried to do, and what the exercise and purpose of writing it was.

If there is anything else you would like to see from me (have me write, or maybe take a look at) just drop a comment below!

It’s time to play some Fallout: New Vegas now!

- F H Hakansson

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