I'm back from the Imadjinn Book Fair & Expo and getting caught up on sleep, so that means I'm more or less back on track with my blog commitments, including this one. We'll see how long that lasts. Anyway, this week's prompt is on NANOWRIMO, the weird challenge to write an entire novel within the month of November.
Um ... no.
I'm not doing it. I've never done that. I won't ever do that.
My reasons for not doing so have nothing to do with whether the challenge is stressful or too challenging. It's simply that I don't work that way. I know my creative process (which isn't really a process) and I know how I best work. Forcing myself to write results in the generation of garbage content.
For a plotter, this type of challenge might work. I can see how it would work. After all, you've got the outline and character descriptions ready to guide your path. For a diehard pantser like me, that doesn't work.
Speaking of pantsers, at the Imadjinn Book Fair & Expo, a young woman wandered among the authors asking if they were plotters or pantsers. "I'm a pantser, why?" I replied. She said the event organizers needed to fill a slot in the program and thought a panel discussion of pantsing and plotting would interest attendees. Then she asked me to serve on the panel as the token pantser. I agreed.
She wandered by several minutes later to ask about great opening lines in novels. Apparently, the organizers were setting up another panel on that topic. I replied that I thought the first line of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice the best one: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." It sets the tone for an entire genre.
She opined that the use of an adverb was a hideous flaw in Auten's iconic sentence, then informed me that the session on pantsers and plotters had been canceled. Nice to be in the loop. Among the authors in the room, only three were pantsers, so the discussion probably wouldn't have gotten much of an audience.
Ah, well, easy come, easy go.
Anyway, I think she's wrong about the adverb in that opening line.
Week 41 - MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge Participants
-Sorry, folks, for missing last week's blog challenge! I even told my publicist on Thursday that I wouldn't forget. Well, she knows better now than to trust me when I spout nonsense like that.
Anyway, this week's blog prompt is about writing rituals and the truth behind them. I assume this is supposed to draw out participating authors' own writing rituals: what they are, why they do them, and the feelings they get from doing them. That, of course, presumes we have writing rituals.
I don't go through any little processes to get my mind in the groove or attract good fortune before I write. I don't do anything like that after I finish a manuscript or even when I publish. Perhaps some of the participating authors on this blog hop do. I have no beef with that. If it makes them feel comfortable or inspires them--and doesn't hurt anyone else in the process--then what they do doesn't bother me.
Perhaps the question ought to be do we or not have such rituals and, why so or why not. Unfortunately, I can't answer that one either.
Egad, I'm boring.
This blog is posted on the very day that I'm headed to Louisville, KY for the Imadjinn Book Fair & Expo held in conjunction with the Imaginarium at the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, October 11 - 13. I participated in the event back in 2017, and it was a bust. However, I heard that the event has really grown and is something quite special. So, I go with high hopes and every intention of hitting the Jim Beam store. (I'm out of bourbon.)
Enter the Imaginarium and stop by my table to chat (and maybe buy a book or three). Admission to the event is open and free to the public. There's plenty of (free) onsite parking. And, if you get hungry, there are some restaurants nearby.
MFRW Author 52-week blog challenge
This week's blog prompt asks whether epilogues are helpful or hurtful. Like many things, the honest answer is, "It depends."
I seldom use epilogues in my own stories. When I conclude that last chapter, the story has ended. Finis. Done. And ... cut! However, sometimes the end of the story begs for just a little more, especially when the characters insist upon it. At such times, I relent and write just a smidgen more to assure readers that what they think will happen does happen to the characters. The epilogue ties up all those remaining loose ends with a tidy bow. In romance, such epilogues often deal with the inevitable consequences of all that explicit intimacy: pregnancy and/or children and the joyous reception of such news.
Epilogues, like prologues, should not be necessary to the story: they are supplemental. Readers should not feel lost or left behind, respectively, if they don't read the prologue or epilogue. The epilogue should not be necessary to conclude the story; it's like an encore, the extension of the show to please the audience with a snippet more entertainment. If the epilogue is necessary to finish the story, then I prefer the author simply show it as a concluding chapter.
Many authors use epilogues to set up the next story in a series; therefore, the epilogue acts more like a prologue to the next book. I see and understand doing that; however, that's not what an epilogue is supposed to do--not if you're a purist.
Regardless, my feelings toward epilogues, in general, are ambivalent.
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