Here, Syd clears stuff up that Rosie pointed out about the contest, covers the rules one more time, & shares briefly about EDITING boundaries.

Also, she apologises for something she should not have done.

Yes, that is me with a chicken. I live in the South, and was at our friends’ farm.
And yes, I know how to hypnotise chickens.
(BTW, Rosie, I think you are superawesome, and want to read your work as well, and you should friend me on Facebook & check out my blogs. :) Your inkpop profile is a dead link, also.)
Here is what Rosie caught in THIS POST:
1. The contest sounds like something fun and I might enter it. However, I was extremely put off by the rule about one and two syllable words counting against us. It seems like you’re trying to encourage purple prose, which in my experience is painful to read, let alone write. I would worry that this would discourage minimalists from entering the contest and instead of letting people use their own inner vocab, encouraging them to abuse their thesauruses. If I might suggest a few alternatives– maybe inverse the rule and instead of deducting points, add points for longer words, that way at least it doesn’t discourage people from writing true to themselves. Another idea would be to be more specific about it– if a long word isn’t integrated into the prose well or doesn’t seem natural, maybe take points off for that as well, that way it would encourage people to use a more extensive vocabulary, but also discourage them from substituting unpronounceable words for perfectly legitimate shorter words.

Rosie hit the nail on the head right here. Let me explain what I meant:

I did not mean strictly that we would count off points if you used only 1/2 syllable words. What I meant by that sort of was a subtopic of the ‘boring-ness’ bullet. Example: using the word ‘said’ instead of ‘declared.’ Or using ‘shouted’ instead of ‘fumed’ or ‘squalled’ or ‘hollered.’ Or ‘slowly’ instead of ‘sluggishly.’ Or simply not using more COLOURFUL words at all. What I truly meant was that, if you neglect to use colourful words, you will lose points in our judging book. Exciting words are out there, so use them, and be CREATIVE. Even if the words aren’t fancy, just switching them up refreshes the reader’s mind. Example: using ‘know’ instead of ‘comprehend.’
Also, I am not encouraging purple prose (being excessively wordy, not getting to the point, etc.) – you only have 500 words, so use them wisely. After about 200 or 250, they go QUICKLY! No one likes purple prose, as it is difficult to understand.

Another thing Rosie caught:

2. For the record, Detente is pronounced like “day-taaaaaaahnt”

Thank you. I stink at pronouncing words, especially those of French, for some reason. I just don’t get it. I can do Latin and German and Spanish just fine, but English and French…I don’t get it.
Yet another:
3. Do you mean Acosmism? I’m pretty sure Acosism isn’t a word (I’m guess a typo– or whatever you call those when you write by hand)

ACOSMISM is what I meant, but I DID mean ACOSMIST. Click HERE to see the definition.
Truth to be told, I really got that from my ‘word of the day’ app on my Mac, so it was obviously a typo right there. Like I said, I am very bad with pronouncing words, and I was more looking for definitions of words than the word itself, so I never thought to look it up, because I am stupid.
4. In the rules, did you mean to put sentence variation under things that will count against us? My understanding of good writing is that varied and interesting sentence structure is preferred over repetitive structure…

One of the biggest problems writers have is either TOO MUCH variation or not enough. More so the latter than the former.

One more thing, Rosie posted this at 2 in the morrow, so please Rosie, if it is near that time now as you read this, do get some sleep. I promise your day will be much more energy-filled and saturated with good vibes.
Dunno where that came from.
So people, HERE ARE THE OFFICIAL RULES for the 500 word contest.
– Email your 500 word entries to . INCLUDE: your NAME, typical genre(s), genre of your submission, and if you were recruited to the EP/who did so.
– Have your submissions sent in by AUGUST 31. (changed concretely)
– Have your work PERFECTED. Pretend like you are sending it to a publisher, like Random House.
– KEYWORDS: Acosmism/Acosmist, Detente, and Dysphoria. You need not use all three, but if you can manage to put all 3 of them in to where it doesn’t sound awkward…that is wonderful, and you will score high. No easy task, that.
Judging will take place after, and the winner will be announced September 18 (Sunday).
KEY THING TO REMEMBER: The goal of this challenge is to get you out of your comfort zone. Watch my Vlog #2 video on the sidebar to get all the details about going out of your comfort zone with this.

Many thanks to Rosie, who caught all of this. I must apologise though, for making all of those mistakes (except I have no apology for the misspelling of Acosmism and the mispronunciation of detente). When I posted that, I had company at my house – awholenother family, actually, and with at least two or three people craning over my shoulder every second, I was a little rattled. It was difficult to concentrate, and I have no problem blocking out noise. But THAT was hard.
I had also worked eight hours that day, and was dead tired. It was earlier than I usually post – about 8 or 8:30, but having hardly gotten sleep the night before, I was irritable, especially since I was having to CONSTANTLY entertain two other people (not the mother and the baby). It was not a good time for me to be posting as I was not into it, and I was absentminded ad frustrated and wanted to take up a rag doll and tear its head off and peel the skin off carrots with my teeth. Basically, do something destructive, since I couldn’t get on my own and had been around people 24 hours a day except when getting my 5 – 6 hours of sleep per night.
So, I apologise, and I assure you, I will not post again unless I am feeling into it. EP is too important to make these mistakes, and I can only thank Rosie for being so nice about all of this and not getting upset.


Currently, I am editing what I have so far of my 2010 NaNo Novel, The Cold Room.
It is quite difficult.
Why? Because I was feeling so awfully DEEP while writing this that I go to the depths of psychology, or what I know at this point as a pre-psych student, of the MC.
Where does the boundary talk come in?
Because it is HARD STUFF, editing your works that are so deep.
Now, part of it is easy because some of the psychology I have absolutely NO clue where I got it or what I was trying to point out/accomplish by telling it – a lot of the problem with this novel is that I was writing PURPLE PROSE (aha!). Could it be because I was literally 80% asleep when all of this was written? Or I was contemplating other things, or having an inner-turmoil battle? Who knows…
It’s HARD because part of it I DO know what I was trying to accomplish. I DO know where I got the psychology. I DO relate to the character – THIS is the hardest part. Where I got the part of the psych that I DO understand is me venting onto my novel, making the character me, just in the form of fictional Willow Syele Thorne. So, naturally, since I have put myself out there for everyone to read, I do not want to get rid of it. But I have to, because – since it is so deep in my thoughts and emotions – no one else will understand, even if they know everything about me. There are some things which cannot be explained.
That’s why it’s hard. Because, whether your writing is deeply YOU or has nothing to do with you, you do not want to get rid of it. But you have to look at it from the view of a reader who has never met you or knows nothing about you. They won’t know you have felt shunned or hated, by yourself or others. They don’t know if you have struggled with self confidence, or continue to struggle, or what emotional issues you have dealt with or continue to deal with. They don’t know if you have/still do feel boxed in or trapped, or if you feel too free and need some accountability. Et cetera.
For me, editing a lot of times is getting out of my boundaries, because no matter how much I want to put something in my book or elaborate on something, or even sometimes take a word/passage out, it simply will not fit. Your book, depending on how you edit, will either be lacking something or have too much of something. The latter is much more difficult to correct than the former, because you have to take your writings out of your writings.
Does any of this make any sense? Please comment.
I am listening to ‘Darkness Descends’ by Laura Marling right now.
Please excuse the 11pm post again. I work every day now, 8 hours a day, so I am not expecting to post earlier in the day unless I am off.
I love ALL of you!! And I hope to read your wonderful words in the contest. Writing is such a lovely thing, and I am proud of you for doing it, whether anyone likes your material or not – including yourself. (Yet another thing I struggle with. A post for another time?)
– s

One thought on “Here, Syd clears stuff up that Rosie pointed out about the contest, covers the rules one more time, & shares briefly about EDITING boundaries.

  1. Oh good! I'm glad my comment was helpful (and actually made sense). I'm usually hilariously not eloquent at 2:00 AM (and, oh golly, look at the time), so that's a relief!I actually wound up writing an entry last night (or should I say morning? It was around 4) but I might try to crank out a few more before I choose one to enter.I'll totes add you on fb! I'm assuming you're friends with Mariella over there, am I right? Also, a working inkpop profile link: Editing is ALWAYS hard. I find it's much easier to edit other people's work than to edit your own, though, so I'll throw out a few suggestions that might help you with your editing: For the psychology, I'd suggest doing some research– even if you already did some. I find, especially with nano, that I'm in a hurry to get the first draft done and I sometimes skimp on the research or get the facts wrong. Double check everything just to make sure– plus, reading up on it might give you an idea of what you were trying to convey through it all etc. As for the purple prose– well, don't we all have that problem? I'm about to start the process of line-editing my book to get rid of all that lovely stuff. There are some amazing blog posts and podcasts out there on line editing (I HIGHLY recommend the podcast on it over at writingexcuses) that really helped me. Good luck with it and definitely keep us posted!~Rosiee

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