Twenty-One Thousand and some odd words... That's it. I could blame it on a crazy, busy month. I could blame it on having five kids. I could blame it on a poorly conceived plot with no advance planning whatsoever.
But in the end, I have to accept the fact that it just wasn't much fun this year. I really really tried to get myself excited about it, but it just didn't happen.
It's that time again! National Novel Writing Month, the time of year when I can pretend I am a real author working against a ridiculous deadline with an editor who really doesn't care if I am spelling words right, or if they are even words as long as my manuscript is over fifty-thousand words and is done by midnight November 30th.
I don't plan to update this blog much for the next thirty days, unless I manage to write something I am particularly proud of. Or ashamed of. I just might post some of that just to show you how lenient my NaNoEditor really is. Either way, I need to save all the keystrokes I can for my novel.
Meanwhile, here is my Writer's Round Table assignment from last week. It was to write a review of my finished novel. I chose to follow the lead of the RT leader who wrote a negative (scathing really...) review in the voice of a certain troll we had all been feeding recently. I tried to get all of my ideas for the plot in here, but those very ideas are pretty scarce in the first place so the review is quite necessarily vague. No matter. It gets the point across, right?
Here it is:
Schroeder’s Mother-In-Law's Cat – and Tyler Willson’s mess Review by Richard N. N. Raton
What might have been a very interesting concept has been horribly mangled by an utter lack of imagination and the disorganized thinking of a sadly arrogant and sloppy author.
Even the title displays the author's attempt at infantile humor. Schroeder’s Mother-In-Law's Cat is a ripoff of the famous quantum physics thought experiment postulated by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. In it, a cat is placed into a sealed box with a device that may at any random moment, kill the cat. His exercise postulates that while the box remains sealed and the cat remains unobserved, that we are faced with a situation in which we must consider the cat both alive and dead and that two different cats now exist: one alive and one dead. As soon as the box is opened and we observe the results of the experiment, the other cat simply ceases to exist and the one we find in the box becomes the only real cat.
This concept has been extended by others to explain the possibility of multiple universes. With Schrodinger’s cat, we have two possible outcomes which will continue to exist in parallel until we open the box. According to the “Many Worlds” concept, each choice we make results in one or more boxes which will forever remain unopened as we can never really know the outcome of any choice but the one we have made. Due to our inability to observe them, those other outcomes must then continue to exist inside their sealed boxes. Each possible outcome therefore becomes another universe in which we have made that different choice and experienced the corresponding outcome.
Willson takes this fascinating concept and tries to wrap his tiny intellect around it. Unfortunately, he fails and does so rather miserably. The result of this failure is a muddled mess of humorless jokes, inconceivably impossible situations, and confusing subplots. Not to mention grammar and spelling errors that would make the most hardened high-school English teacher have an instant conniption fit. In fact, it is this reviewer's opinion that Mr. Willson has attempted to purposely commit literary crime with a gleeful sense of willful abandon!
The title character is a man named Will Schroeder. His mother-in-law has a cat which has become the bane of his existence. Will attempts to kill the cat by locking it in a box with a dish of poisoned food. What results is described by the title character as a ‘cat’astrophe. (This is only a sample of one of the very sad attempts at humor in this very sad collection of attempts at humor.)
I will make no further attempt here to describe the plot, as there is really not one to describe. I cannot describe any memorable scenes, as there are not any. Characters? Likewise. As I sit here attempting to think back and remember this book I am reminded of the uncomfortable sensation of trying to recall a night of reckless drinking. The headache it gives me is no less painful and annoying than the hangover one experiences as a result of too much soju!
The worst part is that I will never get those two hours back. I have literally sent a bill to Mr. Willson’s agent demanding that I be reimbursed for the time I spent enduring his confusing and pointless drivel.
Some people tell stories that inspire. Others tell stories that entertain, or frighten, or educate. This particular story confuses, frustrates, and wastes precious moments of your life. If I could become the supreme ruler of the universe for but a moment, my first act as supreme sovereign would be to hunt down and destroy every copy of this book in existence, and institute a penalty of instant death for any person guilty of even remembering that it had existed.