Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Runner-Up Posts

I've just spent another pleasant half-hour trying to wade through all the nominations. We're closing in on a "reader favorite" list, but the volume of nominations is making this tricky. Just to give you some insight, the list of nominees was 14 pages long, single-spaced, in its first incarnation. That was just a list of titles, though some titles appeared more than once, thanks to my awesome powers of organization. *cough*

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to revisit a few nominees that won't make the final cut.

The Nose Knows

There were a couple of nominations for the "Fixing Your Nasal Passages" posts from all the way back in this blog's infancy. (Post I here. Post II here.) One of you commented that when you first found this blog and read those posts, you knew you were in for something more entertaining than a bunch of lectures. Thank you for that. I don't remember now the exact impetus for those posts, but I do remember thinking that, if we were going to blog, we might as well have some fun with it. Next thing you know, we have cavalries charging nostrils. Ah, good times. Thanks for the nostalgia, and thanks especially to those of you who have stuck with us from the beginning.

Comfort Posts

A number of you nominated posts because they contained something that made you feel cheered about your own writing process. You tell us there's some comfort in learning that others might see it your way, or do it your way, or recognize that your way can work. This is one of the beautiful things about the internet. It makes it so easy for us to come together and compare notes. Writing used to be a much more isolated pursuit.

What I found interesting was that you took this kind of comfort from posts that didn't necessarily intend it. But the pattern seems to be that, whatever the main thrust of the post, sometimes you hear also something relevant to your own process. Rather nifty, isn't it?

In any case, the most frequently mentioned comfort posts were these:
-- This year's NaNo posts (stars in the margin, setting lists, timed writing)
-- The one with the dirty bushes
-- The ones about negotiating edits (Alicia's here, and mine here and here)
-- This Is Crap.

A Giggle or Two

Several of you nominated posts simply because they made you laugh. We're glad of that. But neither the Mantasy nor Fakery and Fuckery are making the final list, which will be slanted toward the helpful and informative. (See n.b. below) I was astonished at how many of you nominated F&F, by the way. Honestly, I really was just venting as a result of a wild goose chase after a nonexistent agent. I guess Annoyed Theresa is giggleworthy, and not, as I would prefer to imagine, The Wielder of the Flaming Sword of Justice. *sigh*

Hi, Knitters (and Other Self-Promoters)

None of the posts on self-promotion will make the final cut, including the one about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee which drew the knitting hordes to this little blog. A lot of you nominated a lot of different posts related to self-promo and other business aspects, but in almost all cases, these were one-off nominations. Also, we don't really think of ourselves as experts on this topic, but just as people who have learned a few tricks along the way. When we blog about that sort of thing, we think of it as a change from the steady diet of participles, structure, participles, commas, participles, semicolons, and participles.

Nota Bene

Weeding through the nominations, and sifting out the ones in categories unrelated to actual writing technique, was a powerful reminder to me of why we're doing this blog. If you're better writers, then our editing job becomes easier. We might, along the way, share our thoughts about managing your public persona (another post that won't make the cut) and other similar topics.

But what we want to teach you is how to write a sentence. How to write a paragraph. How to write a scene. And, ultimately, how to write a book.


4 comments: said...

I love the last sentence in your post, especially as I've just dusted off a novel in progress that I haven't touched in a year.

MrsMusic said...

Thanks for drawing my attention to the post about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - I had completely missed that one. Knitting rocks! And it's perfect to recover from brain-racking writing sessions... ;-)

Leona said...

You guys are too awesome. I had a tough time deciding the best as there was something relevant in every post. Thanks again!

kanishk said...

. Its main redeeming feature was Nimoy beating on Shatner - er, I mean, Spock beating on Kirk. >;-)

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