While NaNoWriMo is approaching like an angry bull (which you must tame and take by the horns and ride till sunset!), I’m thinking up new titles for my next book, as a source of inspiration. Here are some ideas. See if you can draw any inspiration!
Icon of Ignorance
Green Day Cradle
A Walk Through Casket Options
Too Late To Be Good
Symbol of Hope
House of Innocence
Pure Dark Wisdom
Pure Evil Form
Last Sign of Peace
Farewell to Disarmament
Absence of Evidence
Clowns in Suits
Blizzard of Lies
Condemned to Live
Cloak of Winter
Crossed Out Names
In Tears Revealed
Without a Whisper of Hope
Art of Chaos
You are Coming with Me
Edge of Sanity
Fear, Pity, Katharsis
My Brand of Justice
Into the Hail of Bullets
It’s time to catapult civilization into new heights! My mind-bending sci-fi thriller Antler Plan is ready to be Launched. But before that, I’m looking for anyone who would like to read the book in advance. I can send the file in any format in return for an honest review.
Don’t cry. Don’t pout… the jolly one’s watching.
Rovaniemi, Finland, is a town dedicated to Santa Claus with the jolly one’s village at its heart. This is a place for children. A ground zero for Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer, not terrorism. But for Christmas this year a madman wants to give an
unspeakable biological weapon to re-engineer the world’s children.
Konrad Loki is a charismatic professor with a book of unfathomable secrets.
Ruut Stark, his former student turned military police, can’t even hug her teenage son.
Can this pair survive long enough to stop the unstoppable?
A sci-fi terrorism thriller set in Santa’s village in Lapland. A 400-year old book bound by human skin and mysteries. A biological weapon poised to infect the
Be good. The ‘Antler Plan’ is coming to town…
The cover will be revealed soon.
STOP RIGHT THERE!
What do you think you’re doing? Naming and killing fictional people without any moral quarrel with yourself?
What? You’re not even sure if your hero’s name is final?
You’re begging to get Mirandized! Hands were I can see them!
You have right to be uncertain. Anything you write can be misheard, misunderstood and misinterpreted. You have the right to overcome your fear of failure. Chances are that you’re a poor wanna-be-a-writer hobo and you can’t afford an attorney, so I can take care of you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
Writing fictional stories where fictional people are killing off fictional characters, makes your head sometimes spin like an insane cuckoo clock. E.L. Doctorow sums up writing the best:
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
Jehaw! Let me divide my personality and paint this white canvas with my writer brain juice:
(All character names are up for grabs)
Jacob Grover Phoenix
Mette Le Pen
Eric Van Bokhoven
Eino Tor Id
OK. There’s some inspiration. Remember, sometimes too many made-up names can bore your readers to death. Simple names are better for balance. But if your left brain dominance is all about fantasy and über-weird names, a few familiar names here and there can make you a bit more believable. (Or not.)
Here are a few examples of satisfying character names that send subliminal messages about their temper/profession/interests/hobbies etc.
Franck Dotzler – The special Investigator in Taken 3. Connecting odds and dots…
Jack Joyce – The main protagonist of Quantum Break. Joyce = Choice.
Max Payne – The main badass and pain in the ass in Max Payne. Pain!
Madison Paige – The reporter in Heavy Rain. Gotta write more pages!
Robert Langdon – The static character. Speaks the language of symbology.
Darth Vader – Some creep who breathes too noisily. All about death and invading and being a bad bad father.
Your turn. What’s your favorite character name ever?
One of the perks of being a writer is that even a waste/recycling container can make your day. There I was, shivering in the cold winter morning with a garbage truck backing up on me (beep beep beep!), shoving newspapers into the recycling container and cursing at its inhumanely small slot. I noticed the container bore a familiar name:
Well, I’ll be damned. My old pal, Mr. Moloch! The ancient pagan deity statue to whom the Aboriginals sacrificed their newborn babies in the Eastern Islands*. I happen to know all about you, dude.
Because writing a book produces a heap of interesting information, AKA notes. You might think that people would like to dig into those stories… But just like it is with the news today where people don’t dig for the details, but rather fill in the gaps and take shortcuts. Lots of brilliant stuff need to be omitted. People live in a bubble where they choose the news and stories that sustain their bubble. They have the attention span of a squirrel and everybody is tuned to what’s-in-it-for-me? FM.
That’s our speedy, materialistic society in a nutshell. We are practically all Thelma and Louiseing ourselves off the cliff while navel-gazing and chasing the selfie of the year.
It’s a status symbol to be busy… and sloppy. Forcing propaganda down the throat is becoming increasingly easier. I could write a new history for Moloch with inviting logic, and not many would bother to check the facts. We just love to be entertained, no matter if we’re lied to. Thus, whether we admit it or not, our world is virtually in a state where only children can offer heart-to-heart discussions and slow us down.
The Modern Moloch is our materialistic society, especially its twisted sister expansion—the social media. On that altar, we sacrifice education, care, and wellbeing, only for the sake of productivity, superficial happiness, and skewed notion of success. All channels and arenas are prowled by self-motivated ninjas in slick suits and skirts. You feel like slapping their first ‘hello’ right off their smirking faces before they manage to promise you fortunes and fame in the style of AXE deodorant commercials: “Are u a loser in the game of love? DON’T worry. Spray the Death to Ozone in your hairy ass crack and we give you 110% guarantee that after that all the girls will know your name”.
Back to writing, and to the Holy Trinity of ME, MYSELF, and I.
Speaking of toxic shocks… you know you are a writer when you begin to suspect that your own search history could bring the police knocking down your door with a search warrant. I bet Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, didn’t need to worry about these things when she studied the effects of poisons and plotted creative methods for murder. Anyway, a writer can never let go of comparisonitis, self-doubt, and fear of failure. Even success doesn’t allow you the luxury of self-confidence and emotional stability. Check Agatha on Google and see how uncertain personality even she was.
One might think, for example, that creating characters is easy. It’s far away from rocket science, yes, but it still can be quite an emotional journey. In order to make your characters dance the tune of your whistle, you must do each one a little Freudian psychoanalysis. After spending fifty hours naming them over and over and making their character arcs and transformation seem a touch more realistic, your future finally looks bright and profitable. You feel like a KING! Next moment you find yourself in the sea of beer and tears, feeling you’re the biggest loser and the punching bag of the universe. And you wake up weeks later snorkeling among unpaid bills and eviction orders. And you wake up again from that nightmare … this time in front your computer, choking on your own saliva which has perfectly ruined your keyboard while you were asleep.
And you have made no progress.
And in the corner of your room, the mini trash moloch gets to eat the keyboard that now bears a fist-sized crater in the middle.
Writing is much like slaving your guts out, like in any workplace. Most of us write alongside a day job with nobody there to say thank you. We all see around you how leaders and CEOs are cutting their staff to the bone and getting rich on the backs of the broken. It takes quite an effort to stay positive these days and retain the capability to write. Being a positive change agent requires a constant, conscious choice over the superficial world that is build to satisfy our primal needs and instincts.
This why I’m selling my soul to the devil. I’ll spend time in the Moloch-furnace for limited 40 days, my countdown to New Year 2017. I’m editing my book and need a little kick in the butt, so I’m going wake up early in morning, insert that butt to the chair and write—and tweet a wisecrack (#youknowyouareawriter).
My goal is to get the job done. I’ll not update my progress every day, not in NaNoWhineMo style. Having a scheduled routine and promise to myself helps me to be present to my wife and kids and concentrate on what’s truly valuable in life.
After forty days I’ll continue from here.
*Actually, the massacre of innocence happened in ancient Israel. Somehow you were on the wrong continent and island…
Throughout the global grid, war zones are almost exclusively men’s playgrounds. I believe war is basically the manifestation of the tragedy of our unrealized potential, both individually and collectively. But it’s testosterone which continues fights with gunpowder, and we still lack women in the ranks of power as moral leaders. Thus, I’ve come to my conclusion: men should only be given safety scissors with rounded tips they give you as a kid. Nothing sharper.
The world’s military expenditure is around $1.500 trillion a year. Wrapping our minds around that amount of money is not easy. But one way to do it is to compare the military toolbox and the education toolbox in size and quality. Of course, we can’t put all the bullets and pens side-by-side, but it’s estimated that less than one percent paid for the world’s weapons would be enough to put every child into school. Is it a wonder, then, that there is more instability, more war, and a greater likelihood of war in entire human history?
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” -Albert Einstein
Our generation is probably living the most challenging and divisive times, ever. For decades, there has been a nuclear mushroom cloud stamped in our backbones, thanks to the mass media. With all the international turmoil, spreading prejudices and defiances and lack of prospects, I can’t help thinking how war-prone species we are. But are we hard-wired for war?
War is basically an expression of the instinct. Those who have no problem with it think that killing doesn’t make us less human. On the contrary—they believe that war defines us. I partly understand this, because the animal kingdom fights with changes in chemical drives and signals, but we humans consciously plan and execute mass killings and cold blood murders. We know what we’re doing. Of course, we fight for many reasons, but more often than not out of fear for each other and competition over scarce becoming resources. The challenging the environments, the more we are ready to kill.
Our conception of sacrificial heroism is deeply flawed; the broken dreams of honor and glory make a huge disservice to humankind. When we think of war heroes and idols, obviously we don’t choose Stalin or Hitler, for their World Tour didn’t go as planned. We take Alexander the Great who did conquer the world, or we might pick up Caesar who was the example of boldness and braveness, a real tactical genius. Then we cherish the names of mythical legends and demigods like Achilles, Hercules, Beowulf, Xena (a fictional character with man attributes derived from the Demigods of Greek mythology), and a bunch of other blood-thirsty maniacs. Our role models in history, which is ‘his history’ (written by men), are most often all killing machines. Where are all the unsung heroes, those thanks to whom no battle had to be fought? Why don’t we cherish their memory?
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning… it smells like… victory.” -Colonel Bill Kilgore (Apocalypse Now)
Not only is the war a very intense experience, but it also produces adrenaline junkies. As a non-com officer in the military reserve force, I can tell from personal experience that the smell of gunpowder is very addictive. I think it works like opium. Because of that, and because men are so easily seduced by power and anything exploding, it’s easy to see our future deep in the toilet, only one flush away from becoming wasted. If I try to conceive war from the perspective of mothers, I can only imagine their pain. Every soldier running in the nightmare of the battlefields was once a baby.
How do we get people care? This is the question that sent me on the mission of solving it in my upcoming book. I had to find the answer to the following issues: What if you had the power to make people care? Would you end the war, ALL war? Would you do it, to save the people you love, even if enforcing morality upon men meant sacrificing innocent lives?
My book is titled Antler Plan. Because antlers symbolize spirituality, regeneration and non-ordinary awareness, power, strength, and virility, I chose them as the eternal symbol of hope for the future. It’s also the name of the reconstruction plan of my hometown Rovaniemi because after the devastation of Finnish Lapland in WWII the demolished city was laid out as a head of a reindeer.
The story will be about reaching higher as a species, catapulting civilization into new heights. There are greedy, powerful men who believe they hold keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and are striving to create a higher moral standard without caring about the sacrifices. The story combines George Orwell’s awareness of social injustice and Dan Brown’s suspense and surprising twists.
One of my main antagonists reveals the stakes when he lays the only two options on the table for my hero:
“Mankind—divided or redefined?”