Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Here's to you - Mann

Many writers do not intentionally write with flaws and then enter the work in a contest, unless they were exceptional writers. It is noted that Jeanne Villa was thrilled to receive the news that she had won the romance category in the Lytton Fiction 2008 award for the worst writing. She submitted a manuscript with this confusing and awkward opening: "Bill swore the affair had ended, but Louise knew he was lying, after discovering Tupperware containers under the seat of his car, which were not the off-brand containers that she bought to save money, but authentic, burpable, lidded Tupperware;. . . “It goes on interminably to describe Louise’s, or is it Bill’s viewpoint, or are we really learning about the Tupperware containers. At any rate, the sentence is sixty-nine words in length, which tells me she worked extremely hard writing the worst opening she could write.

I don’t know about you, but it takes all my energy and stamina to write. I could probably begin to think about this award with any of my worst sentences, and I could find a few options without looking far. After smiling and wondering which I’d like to spend my energy on, writing the worst or the best story, I have to admit I still attempt to write right.

While Jeanne is celebrating her badness, I’m going to wish her well realizing that to win the award, her badness had to be the best. I guess that’s the best oxymoron that I could come up with. I often talk about the last being first and the concept of inside out and upside down, but it’s difficult to wrap one’s mind around the worst being the best.

Today, I will do my best to write my way. And somehow, I think that will be easier than to write to win a Lytton Fiction award for the worst writing. Way to go, Jeanne!

Donna Mann
Take Time to Make Memories: memoirs
WinterGrief: a personal response to grief

Aggie's Storms (2007)
Aggie Dream - coming in 2009
Faithful Choices: a workbook for small-membership church working towards renewal (2009)

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