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Literary Blog Hop

A fellow writer at the Maple Ridge Writers Group, Tiana Warner, asked me if I would participate in a blog hop. The idea behind the blog hop is to answer four questions and then tag three other writers to do the same. So here goes. The questions are:

  1. What are you working on/writing?

    I am working on a number of projects. My main one at the moment is preparing for the annual 3 Day Novel Contest. This is an annual event that has been going for over thirty years. The details are on the linked website, but basically, the idea is to write a complete (albeit short) novel over the Labor Day weekend. As it happens, I am retiring at the end of August and my last day of work is the 29th. The contest runs from Aug. 30 - Sept. 1. So I will spend my first three days of retirement writing my novel. You are allowed to prepare an outline for the novel ahead of time and that is what I am working on right now. I had started on a utopian novel called Helleaven a while back. I am about five chapters into that one but intend to rewrite it extensively. The novel I will write for the contest is a prequel to that one. Called Jokk Vete's Diary, it is also a Utopian novel and tells the history, through his diary, of Jokk Vete, the genius scientist and inventor and founder of Harmony Corporation on the planet Fornuft. The story is introduced by an earth man recently returned from Fornuft. The diary itself was started the day after a nuclear war devastated the planet, killing about 80% of its inhabitants. Vete blames this destruction on the existence of governments and postulates a world without government, an anarchist utopia. Now several thousand years old, Vete's vision has come to fruition, largely through his own efforts.

  2. How does your work/writing differ from others in its genre?

    I have always been fascinated by utopia/dystopian novels. Others in the genre besides the original Utopia by Thomas Moore, include Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Erewhon by Samuel Butler, Anthem by Ayn Rand, 1984 by George Orwell, Animal Farm by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Interestingly, most are dystopian, portraying worlds which are less than ideal, and sometimes terrible worlds indeed. My novels differ from that in that I actually do want to present an ideal world, a real utopia. The novel will be quite political and hopefully, controversial enough to stir interest.

  3. Why do you write what you do?

    I am quite philosophical and political in my thinking. I like novels that present ideas, something to think about. Hence my interest in utopian novels. George Orwell, Victor Hugo and Ayn Rand were all masters of the philosophical novel. And their influence continues to this day. A pulp fiction novel, crime fiction say, is entertaining to read. But few are memorable. I like to express complex ideas on paper. On this website you'll find many examples of my non-fiction writing. I am hoping my foray into fiction writing will present some of my more challenging ideas in an interesting and engaging way.

  4. How does your writing process work?

    I must admit I am not a very disciplined writer. I write best when writing to a deadline. I churned out a lot of material on investing and the stock market when I was a writer for About.com and had to come up with an original article a week. And I wrote a monthly subscription newsletter on investing from 2002 - 2007 which, again, was deadline driven. When not writing to a deadline, I tend to procrastinate. This is very much the case with fiction writing. I have written four unpublished short stories so far and started on a couple of fiction novels. For this current project, I decided to enter the 3 Day Novel Competition because it would force me to write.
    With non-fiction, I generally research the topic and then just write it in one sitting. I hate re-writing and do little. I reread what I have written and fix minor things such as spelling or punctuation or maybe changing the odd sentence. But I find I am usually quite happy with my first draft. This is the same with the occasional attempts at fiction I have made. And that is why I think the 3 Day Novel Contest is an ideal venue for me to wet my feet. I won't have time for a re-write. What you see is what you get. In this case, however, I am preparing a plot outline ahead of time. That is actually more difficult than I realized, but it will help tremendously when I get to the actual writing.

The idea behind a Blog Hop is to pass this on to three other writers. I haven't done that yet, so if you are a writer and want to take up the challenge, send me an email.



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