Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Jun 12, 2007

A Contest for Literatrix

I stumbled on this contest by visiting the Randex, and I quite frankly can't think of anything better-suited to my personal interests, so I emailed the contest sponsor immediately. It really is funny what you find if you look around.

I'm not absolutely certain that my current novel is what they're looking for: I will know more when I get a response. However, I'm sure that there are a number of authors out there working on books that involve freedom on some fundamental level, and any author can certainly use some money and extra incentive to get cracking!

My novel is thematically more about volition than freedom, but the functioning of man's volitional consciousness is the underlying reason why freedom (especially of the political sort) is of such absolute importance. So I think I will probably qualify for this contest, and I urge anyone else that is working on a similar novel to do so as well.

What I don't urge, however, is that you attempt to write a novel for this purpose if you weren't already in the process of doing so. Nothing will turn your writing into miserable hacky second-hand dreck than trying to write to someone else's theme. Writing depends on integration of conscious thought with subconscious automatizations, it doesn't work if you try to ignore what's going on in your subconscious and keep everything on a conscious level. In order to fulfil someone else's desires, that is pretty much what you have to do.

I don't know if the contest operator is an Objectivist, and I suppose it's not really that important unless he intends to exert editorial control. Even then, it's still probably not that important because the kind of fiction I write is not about listing a bunch of explicit ideas, but about leading the reader to make the kind of conclusion I want . . . in other words, "show, don't tell". Here's to freedom!


Toiler said...

Go for it!

You're right. Having a "boss" can be a huge motivator. My boss is a stuffed penguin, and unfortunately he has very low expectations. He is, however, a patient listener. He's also cuter than most bosses.

I don't know what aspect of volition interests you, but I know that the question of free will versus predestination is a great, classic theme of literature. If that's your angle, promise you'll handle it better than Gandalf did. (Just kidding; of course you will.)

Happy writing!

Jennifer Snow said...

Well, I'm planning on writing a trilogy at least (possibly a series) . . . the first book is pretty much about determinism-by-upbringing (the idea that how you were brought up determines how you will act). The second book is going to be more determinism-by-environment and the third determinism-by-society.

At least, that's the plan right now. I have no idea if I even really have a shot at this contest, but having a deadline is a good thing.