Welcome to Alphaday 11, Season XIII. We’re slowly winding down now and can begin to look back on a busy and eventful season with a focus on all things writerly. Did it live up to expectations? I’ll be asking for your feedback and overall impressions soon. As writers I believe we’re only too aware that perfection is the elusive goal we all aim at, knowing that we can always improve. Excellence is different, quality is achievable, and mediocrity is an unknown commodity. You’ve all helped shape this season into the experience it’s been for us; an enjoyable one on the whole, but we’re open to new ideas; we need to evolve and introduce changes to make Alpha even more enjoyable and stimulating for us and for our writing.
More of that later. For now let’s make the most of this Alphaday. You will notice that there’s one item missing from the agenda. The next challenge brief won’t be revealed till the first Alphaday of next season. That gives you ample time to devote to your personal writing… depending of course on all sorts of factors of which I know nothing!
Today’s agenda is as follows:
- This Bulletin from me
- The results of the Scenery challenge from Suzanne
- The collated entries for the Quotation challenge from Zena
- A Writers’ Reads prompt from Morgen
- Log News compiled by Sally
- A Showcase piece presented by Suzanne (would be nice!)
That looks like a very promising Alphaday full of stimulating treats that will keep us busy thinking and commenting for a while.
I have no particular Alpha news to share with you. Olaf has been busy recruiting new members for next season and he’s been contacted by some interesting applicants who will undoubtedly impress us all with their fresh and original input.
I have mentioned previously that Olaf needs a helping hand with his Alpha task of recruiting. It’s a simple routine procedure that anyone with an interest in Alpha and a kind thought for Olaf could offer to help out with. Hands up, volunteers!
Elections all over the place. Democratic. Manipulative. How easy is it to manipulate people these days? Still, there is no other way, so let them get on with it.
I noticed that Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train has just published her second novel Into the Water. The reviews aren’t flattering. Apparently she has 11 characters, some in the first person, some in the third person. The result, they claim, is confusing as it’s hard to distinguish between them. (Reminds me that we had 11 candidates for the first round in the French presidential elections. Hard to distinguish between all that lot – well, sometimes!) Most reviewers consider it a disappointing novel (poor woman!) but they still expect sales to be massive because of what one person described as ‘Residual name recognition’. Now that’s an interesting concept. I’m afraid I’m sometimes guilty of ‘Residual name recognition’ when I absent-mindedly skim through Amazon lists of books recommended ‘for me’. Now I suddenly feel very guilty about looking more closely at a title because there’s something familiar about the writer’s name. I think I’m easily manipulated and I resent that.