Friday, December 22, 2006


So, I won NaNoWriMo - again. What next?

Well, this year I took the unprecedented and slightly scary step of actually telling my dad what I'd done. It's scary because he's a writer for real. But He's been really positive about it - he even wanted to see what I'd written. Now that's a REALLY scary prospect ... a bit like inviting Heston Blumenthal round for dinner.

Also, someone on NaNoWriMo mentioned Miss Snark's Crapometer, so just for fun, I wrote and posted a "hook" for my creation. As, apparently, did everyone else who did NaNo: she's currently busy reading through 600 of them - poor thing. When she gets on to it, mine's #359 - it'll be interesting to see what she says.

Why did I send it in? Well, when I think back on what I wrote during NaNo, there's a part of me that really wants to believe that there's a half decent book in there. Now I'm trying to work out whether it's worth the time and effort to sit down and write it (properly). If I'm honest, I know the answer. Anyone who's read this blog can see I'm not a writer. Or maybe the fact that no-one reads this shows it ... But hey, it's always nice to see what other people think of something you've done.

Anyhow. If there's anyone out there who really can write, check out her site. By the time you've read through 600 hooks and her comments on each of them, you'll have a pretty good idea how at least one little part of the publishing business works. You'll also understand the lot of anyone who spends all day responding to letters from hopeful but pathetic would-be writers. Respect.

In case anyone is interested, this is what I wrote about my "novel", Cheese:

“Only the European Union could send an English health and safety inspector to the heart of Rural Italy.” So says Lorenzo Campagno, patriarch of the family-run village restaurant in remote Santo Stefano. For years he and his children have kept the restaurant open against the prevailing forces of globalization and depopulation, and the restaurant remains at the centre of village life.

Enter restaurant inspector Philip Shuttleworth: fussy, eccentric, and very English. His inspection is picky, but highly critical, and the restaurant is given two months to reform or face a fine that would put them out of business.

Stunned, the family set about revamping the restaurant and its menu to meet the requirements of the report. But the clinical approach demanded by the inspector does not go down well with the customers. As the villagers start to abandon the restaurant, their own communal life falls into decline. To make matters worse, Lorenzo discovers that the inspector has befriended his daughter when he catches them together in the restaurant kitchen.

With the restaurant struggling to attract customers, the return of the inspector imminent, and the village’s very soul under threat, Lorenzo and his family urgently need to find a way to keep the restaurant and the village alive.