Nanowrimo Eve, Meh

November ushers in the month long marathon writing session for tens of thousands of writers.  Tomorrow they will sit down with a blank page and end the month with a fifty- thousand-word novel.  A noble idea.  I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong.  Anything that promotes writing, I support.  The problem with the National Novel Writing Month is that it promotes bad writing.  I can’t tell you how many bloggers or podcasters who give tips to NNWM participants that they would never give to anyone else.  I’ve heard them say, ‘if you are behind in your word count, give longer descriptions of settings,’ or ‘don’t worry about plotting, just keep moving forward’.  And other asinine advice.

I’ve never participated in the ‘contest’ and I’m never going to try.  I’m a slow, methodical writer.  If I write five thousand words a month, it’s a good month.  I also don’t like what it does to my writing groups.  Last year if shut one board down for months.

Don’t tell me someone can write a good novel in four weeks.  Maybe a decent outline of a novel, but not the body of a novel.  Of course one can write a formulaic tale filled with clichés and one dimensional characters.  If that is what you yearn for, then go ahead.

Writing novels is like gardening.  Lots of hard work, plenty of cutting and weeding, and most importantly… time.


Janet Reid, Literary Agent Flash Contest

Anyone who knows me, knows I love flash fiction.  So when a friend posted a link to this contest I had to jump on it.


Ms. Reid is an agent, of course.  I’ve read her blog once or twice, unlike my friend Mary Bader Kaley who follows her.  I may have to add her to my short list of blogs I follow.  After reading a few more blogs I find her sense of humor engaging.

Anyhow, for the contest, I was to write a flash 100 words or less and include the words: Double, Bubble, Trouble, Twin and Spin.

The first thing that came to mind was the Shakespearean witches rhyme “Double, double, toil and trouble Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” Of course, everyone else would have the same thought.  Then I considered a story involving twins.  That would be the second most popular theme.  So I abandoned both.

I considered what the agent would have to read through.  Look at the link, you can see all the submissions in the comments section.  So I went the other direction and tried to go with one feeling, FEAR, and came up with a brief scene that tried to accomplish that.  My submission is listed under Theofan, I just changed that to AP Diggs, at least until I get the other blog ready to launch.

The things that surprised me more than anything was the amount of Fan Fic submitted.  It wasn’t a lot, but it was a lot more than I every expected.

I look forward to whichever flash Ms. Reid selects, I’ll have to follow the winner to see what agents like.  I’m also perusing her blog now.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll send her a query.