Friday, 31 October 2014

Shutting down for November

If you're a long-time reader of our magazine, I'm sure you can guess what I'll be starting tomorrow. Yes, a new novel. And this is going to be my first good one. I'm so confident this time. There are going to be themes, and characters, and descriptions, and all the sorts of things that you might expect to see in a novel by a proper novelist.

So things may be quieter than usual on the blog for the next month, but never fear, there will still be something to read on here: a selection of my Interzone reviews from 2012 and 2013 will appear on Mondays, with reviews from recent issues of Theaker's Quarterly Fiction probably appearing on Fridays. And we'll have a blog post within the next week or so announcing TQF49.

Have a good month in my absence, and wish me luck!

If you are taking part in the event, here are links to some of the fascinating things I've written about it in the past:

Fifteen tips for completing NaNoWriMo

Thirteen things I learned (or was reminded of) during Nanowrimo 2013

Twelve things I didn’t like about doing Nanowrimo in 2013

Twelve things I liked about doing Nanowrimo in 2013

Back when John and I were the Birmingham MLs, long, long ago, we created a handout for our local writers, with achievements, graphs to fill in, bits of advice, useful websites, etc. We haven’t updated it for a while, but it’s still available to download and print out on our old website.

Someone new seems to be in charge of the Nanowrimo website this year, and the FAQs have been changed to say it's okay for participants to carry on with works-in-progress and co-write their novels. Madness! I think we can safely ignore such nonsense!

The challenge, as it still (at least for now) says on the front page of the website, is to "Write a novel in a month!" Not half a novel, or the beginning of a novel, or the middle of a novel, or the end of a novel, but a novel. A 50,000-word novel in a month, start to finish. Writing any old 50,000 words isn't the same thing.

Writing a novel in a month is a goal with cachet, something non-participants understand clearly as a worthwhile thing to do. Being challenged to do it licenses us to be selfish for a month. To stop doing the dishes, or overtime, or being an good friend, or an attentive spouse, or a top-notch parent. Being challenged to write any old 50,000 words doesn't give people the same licence.

Anyway, that's what I reckon. Bye!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck!

    I'm having my first go in a couple of years here, hopefully my first completion as well.