Monday, April 30, 2007

And the winners are...

So woke up, checked excitedly and … nope I didn’t win The Clarity of Night short Fiction Contest, but click on the link in the side bar and find out who did. I also visited quite a few other blogs this morning who also didn’t win, but hey ho.

But what is it that makes a winner?

If it was up to me it would be something that was completely different, original. It would be something that spoke to the bottom of my heart, a voice in my head. It would be outstanding writing; sentences that flowed and sang through careful crafting rather than being crippled by punctuation.

But that’s just it, isn’t it? When I started writing again seriously (goddamn is it already almost two years!) a friend of mine kept telling me to check the judges out when I entered competitions; find out what the the judges were looking for. In the end it’s all perspective. It’s what makes me pick that book up from the shelf and you turn around and say: ‘No, not my cup of tea really.’

So do you know what I think? I think we’re all winners really because at least we are putting ourselves out there and having a go.

Tomorrow the GBA(s)FC#2 over at Moon Topples starts. Skint Writer is also running a competition that closes on the 30th June. And here is a link for a bunch more competitions if competition be your thing.

Right I’m going to go and have breakfast. The only problem with sustained writing periods is that I forget to eat and ended up swaying all over the place last night and having to watch TV instead of write and take one of those awful turbofart tablets.


suzanabrams said...

I think these things ie. writing competitions or art, even drama, script etc are subjective, V. Especially when you say outstanding writing...but in major competitions, there are brilliant novels pitted furiously against each other.
Each may be outstanding differently.
Unless we're back to talking simply about a blogging experience.
It always depends on the desires of the chosen judges.
A different set of judges would choose a completely different book.
That's evident in other writing competitions from the views peceived after a winner is chosen.
There's hardly ever a total rousing cheer of aye, aye, for a declared winner.

Verilion said...

Yeah, perspective, subjective. I think we agree.
The main thing I was saying was that we need to keep on writing really. I'm don't think that a blogging competition is any less valid than the Booker (or whatever it's called nowadays) Prize, the point is that we write and we need to write and we're putting ourselves out there. We are driven by the same thing as published authors and winners in the end, so we keep on doing what we need to do.

The Moon Topples said...

Sorry to see your name was not among the winners. Perhaps you'll fare better in the GBA(s)FC, which you were kind enough to plug.

suzanabrams said...

Hi again V.

You sound a little impatient & defensive but it was simply my view.

I think a blogging writing experience is completely different from a Man Booker Prize (that's what it's called now) experience & so is the degree of universal validation accorded to each of these media competitions.

Frankly, I have been told so many times that as a writer, I have to do the noble thing and keep writing in the face of all dismal failures. I feel like a child being forced to finish my beans. You're a child. That's what you do. You eat your beans. :-)

But as a writer, there may be years when I want to consciously pack it in & soak up different experiences & I have done that. Such an extraordinary experience when put to the test, didn't make me any less the writer, then I am now.

What you say over here:

the point is that we write and we need to write and we're putting ourselves out there. We are driven by the same thing as published authors and winners in the end, so we keep on doing what we need to do.

Yes, it's all entirely true. But such lines have become so politically correct to me personally that I dread hearing it & want to rebel.

And when you say this:
We are driven by the same thing as published authors and winners in the end,

I found it quite surprising because I have never played a poor relation to a published author. I have never seen my writing separate from the work of one already published. If I make efforts to find a publisher I probably could, but I still haven't lifted a finger. For that alone, I'm glad I've always been confident about my ability & never afforded my work that kind of segregation.

But look, this is just my view. cheers.

Canterbury Soul said...

every writer is a winner in his/her individual unique way, as long as he/she has set out the purpose of writing clearly right from the beginning and continues going about in achieving it.

we are all different, hence our purposes in writing could perhaps be different too.

Verilion said...

Aw thanks Maht, well I will definitely be having a go at your contest, especially as I have finally managed to put the badge in my side bar - huzzah!
And Susan sorry if I sounded defensive or impatient, I have to admit that I often knock off these comments with a little less thought then they perhaps deserve; nevertheless, I don't think that our points of view are a million miles apart. Now eat your beans ( ; (I'm joking!)
Lee at Lowebrow linked to an interesting article from one of the 2006 Man Booker prize judges. If you don't want to read the whole article she pulled out a wee snippet.
And CS we are indeed all different, otherwise I guess one book would be enough for everybody hey?

Anonymous said...

You are a gifted writer, Verilion, with or without having won a contest or two (or three).

Verilion said...

Thank you GT, I wasn't fishing for compliments honestly. ( ;

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