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Monday, October 31, 2005

Chapter Fifty-Two, in which our first Winner is announced

Well, the competition was fierce. Creative reasoning was thin, so ultimately the selection must be made on who will benefit most. Your Bibliothecary assembled a panel of four unknown judges to review the applications, and the selection was made following a three hour deliberation, and a Twinkie break. The envelope please...

And the winner is...


[Aside]:Please email your mailing address so that we can post your prize promptly.

Though this was not a unilateral choice, Stefanie clearly made an attempt to appeal (which was part of the criteria) to your Bibliothecary, by reading his blog and coming to understand him as fair-minded, kind, and generous. She was also able to discern his appreciation of humility and honesty. She already possesses the other of what works well as a pair of books on writing, and together they should be. And she did skirt the creativity condition by stating "My artistic future just might be in your hands."

All judging aside, your Bibliothecary has been stirred to thoughts on Stefanie's comment. When is one a novelist? If you read a book, you are a reader. If you write a novel, you are a novelist. We who write should not need validation of who we are from anyone.

Or does one only become a novelist when one's novel is read? This harks back to my earlier musings in the action-packed Chapter Forty-Seven. Is it a novel if it is merely written but never read, or does it fully become a novel only when read?

What if you self-publish? Unless one is also a successful promoter, one's novel might still remain unread. What if one's novel is published by a small press? Or does it truly require the acceptance by a major publishing house for one to finally congratulate oneself for being a novelist?

When one begins to think in terms of novel-length fiction, to conjure characters and ponder plots, to envision scenes and tinker with titles, one is already becoming a novelist. When one puts pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and begins the writing process, one is a novelist. Perhaps one will cross the finish line of NaNoWriMo but never write again, and then one will be a former novelist. Perhaps one may never finish the novel that is begun, and then one will be a failed novelist. Perhaps one will earn a $400,000 advance from Random House, and then one will be a successful novelist. But the very fact of writing the novel gives one the title.

For your Bibliothecary, reading about writing, its rules and craft, fascilitates inspiration. Writing is a craft and requires practice. Stefanie has already been published, making her work public on the internet. She is already a competent essayist. And it would seem she has become a novelist, too.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, I feel so overwhelmed.I won a book and became a novelist all in one fell swoop! Thank you!

    Seriously though, calling oneself a writer is, at least for me, a thing filled with fear--what if no one ever reads what I write? What if someone who is a real writer scoffs at me? So much self doubt. Even though the definition of a writer is one who writes, it is a difficult title to claim for oneself especially since those who aren't writers will immediately ask what you have published.

    I'm at work. I'll send along my address later :) Thanks again!