Writing

Hello there, stranger. Welcome to this part of my site!

I’ve been writing since I was 12 with the ambition of one day being a published author. Here I have collected some of my written works – and works that contain my writing. A bit of warning though – This part is about creative writing. For more on my scientific writing – my bachelor’s thesis – check out my [resume].

In narratives I particularly enjoy stories that tackle the absurd. Watching characters struggle with accepting the inevitable heat death of life as we know it, make futile attempts to control their life and perhaps find solace in others seems to be a recurring theme in my stories.

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Still, my ideal project would perhaps be to work on a children’s book with bright and beautiful illustrations, or an escapist visual novel-style game – things that make us enjoy life just a little bit more and create lasting emotional impressions.

I mostly write in Swedish and English, since they are my primary reading languages.

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month

igelkottsEvery year in November writers from around the world gather on the internet to usher each other into the magnificent abandon of writing a 50 000 word novel in thirty days. I joined the project in 2008 – at the age of 16 – and wrote a novel heavily inspired by Neil Gaiman and other favourite writers of that time. The experience was exhilarating, just the right amount of stressful, and very much driven by caffeine-fueled determination. On the first of December I printed the first draft and promptly found a typo on the first page.

I  have so far taken part in NaNoWriMo nine times – in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The only year I did not finish 50 000 words was 2016, when I decided to work on a comic instead since my story idea was not good enough.

The genres of my novels are a fairly good cross section of modern fantasy and science fiction genres. The novel of 2008, titled Samtal, could be described as magical realism with a mythological time travel twist. My 2009 novel again is a steampunk murder mystery, titled Memento Mori. In 2010 I wrote down the story that made me want to be a writer, a high fantasy story of world-saving adventure and magic. It, perhaps not too surprisingly, turned out to not be a very inventive or very good read.

In 2011, fresh out of high school, I wrote my first novel in English. The Distance Between Stars is, strictly speaking, perhaps not a novel, but a collection of short stories that intertwine in strange ways. It is mostly set in a not-too-distant future of space exploration and colonization, and it deals with themes of loneliness and human hybris, and that big question of and then what? If you choose to read any of these excerpts, read [this short story, titled Comet Born] that deals with the aftermath of a breakup in a non-linear way, or, for something more conventional, [this short story, titled Tinker’s Belle], which deals with robotics and AI in relation to humanity.

2012 I decided to try my hand at writing for children. Berättelser om Kärnan is a planetary romance about friendship and growing up, connecting children around their shared experiences of abandonment. You can read a sample here. My 2013 novel The Astronomer’s Apprentice, also in English, again, connects people in time around a strange observatory. In 2014 I chose to write a young adult time travel romance set in Helsinki, called Räls.

My 2015 NaNoWriMo project, Espresso Comfort, was one of short stories, 50 of them. You can find them all online here – in Swedish – [Espresso Comfort].

You can connect with me on NaNoWriMo.org [here].

Writing for games

I would very much like to work with writing for games in the future, and have been trying my hand at it through a few game jam games and with the html-based interactive narrative tool Twine. (You can try it out on twinery.org – it’s free and very easy to learn)

Here is a text-based scifi game I created in one night to learn the ropes of Twine, and to be able to teach it to my students, titled SpaceAdventure. Download the HTML-file [here] and open it in a browser of your choosing.

In the 2017 Aalto Games Now! Game Jam I wrote a branching narrative for the game I helped create. The game itself is unfortunately not playable in its present state, but I will add a text version of it soon.

Comics

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Sequential art is, to me, a wonderful marriage of narrative and art, and one I wish to master one day. Comics have been on the back burner for me for a while now, but I used to run two webcomics a few years ago:

  • Jump, Jump! – [here]
  • His Royal Master’s Loyal Scavengers – [link]