Sunday, 19 June 2011

Write-a-Thon: Day #1

About Clarion West
My Write-a-Thon Profile

Objective: +30,000

A great man once said, ‘I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.’ Good one, Douglas. I, on the other hand, love that I can’t avoid meeting them. The bigger, the bolder, the frankly sillier the deadline, in fact, the more and better I work. Come rain, shine and actual canine & feline downpours, I will re-write the Great Library of Alexandria if I have so promised. So you can imagine my heart’s double-take when I heard about the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. I have never been athletic enough to dedicate my running/climbing/[insert physical exertion here] to a good cause. But a six-week writing marathon, in aid of an organisation dedicated to supporting speculative fiction writers on the cusp of their career – where do I sign up? Oh right, I already have.

As per my profile, my slightly deranged personal goal is to get the novel (wordcount: 80,636) past the 100,000 mark by July 29th – 12,000 word dissertation or no 12,000 word dissertation. My finger-flexing regime for the next 41 days will look something like this::

Mon-Fri (a.m.) - write for 3 hours (1,000+)
Sat-Sun (a.m.) - edit for 3 hours (2,000+)
Mon-Sun (p.m.) - blog on my progress (500)

To make things more interesting (to say nothing of fact that I simply cannot resist a bet), I have set myself the further challenge of raising a minimum of $100 dollars in aid of Clarion West’s valuable work. In the name of a beautiful yet sadly stigmatised genre, for the sake of my colleagues and my own, I hereby pledge: if I reach my fundraising aim, I will reward each sponsor with a 4,000 word tailored short story, written to specification e.g. around an idea, scene, character, line, etc. I haven’t written stories on commission for over a decade – they take time and all time is time away from own imagination – so get yours while adrenaline fills me gleeful madness.

You may ask why you should sponsor mine of all tales; I shall let my idea speak for itself.

Of Men and Misfits follows a cast of monsters and other outcasts as they flee from human and divine persecution. A parable of racial and religious intolerance, it documents the escalation of hate crime culminating in an inevitable holy war. Monsters, humans and gods all get their say, demonstrating how no one is above prejudice and conflict – and no one, for that matter, is below love and friendship.

I must confess that I’ve been writing, re-writing, editing and fine-tuning versions of this story across different mediums and languages for the past thirteen years, i.e. half as long as I’ve been alive. I have always felt that the subject matter was too important to leave a single word to chance. While that still stands, it has dawned on me that an unfinished novel will never communicate much to anyone. Therefore, I am in need of a good hard kick up the backside.

Won’t you kick with me?

1 comment:

  1. *Gives a kick to the backside* There, did that. Happy?