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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Pastel Power

The late Paul Arden wrote in his bestselling book, 'Its not How Good You Are- Its How Good You Want to Be' that if you get stuck, draw with a different pen.

I stopped typing words on a screen and bought a set of oil pastels (36 shades). I wrote the entire short story in a sketch book and doodled some designs in the margins. Just for fun I considered sending it to a literary magazine....But please don't send agents and editors pastel sketches if you're serious about a literary career.

But no one has to read your first draft. Make it as messy and  as colourful as possible. Splatter away!
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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Don't Knock Nanowrimo

Sci-fi author John Scalzi has a fine riposte to all those Nanowrimo haters. You can read it here:
"Nanowrimo and Kvetching"

I used to think that Nanowrimo was a a waste of expended time and effort (and I failed to make the word count last year...) but the be-all and end-all goal of November is not to generate a 50 000 word draft of a novel. It is more of an extended exercise in willpower and perhaps better as a group activity. I do not see anything wrong if Nanowrimo anchors the backsides of writers in their chairs and helps to instill a firm writing discipline for 30 days (and more ) after November has passed. If you make some friends along the way then I salute you - writing is lonely.

The haters and knockers also mention the amount of shit manuscripts that get sent to agents and editors after Nanowrimo because apparently, all Nanowrimo seems to do is encourage people who delude themselves into thinking they are writers, to churn out shit.

I'm a freelance fiction editor and I can safely say that shit manuscripts are sent in all the time, regardless of Nanowrimo. Alas, extra encouragement is not required if the deluded are going to generate shit anyway.
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