- Is anyone in this forum planning to take part in National Novel-Writing Month
Three years ago I challenged people in Inklings forums to take part and try
to write a novel of the same genre as Charles Williams.
That's because I like Charles Williams's novels, and though he's dead and so
can't write any more, I've hoped that others would write novels in the same
genre, and Inklings fans would be among the people most likely to do that.
For a while I hoped that Phil Rickman would develop into the kind of writer
like Charles Williams, but the trend of his writing is now more towards
conventional whodunits with a little ecclesiastical intrigue thrown in --
Ruth Rendell meets Susan Howatch. My take on his latest book is at:
I was thinking of reissuing the challenge this year, and taking part in
NaNoWriMo myself, even though inspiration has been mostly absent, and I'm
still trying to revise the one I wrote three years ago in answer to my own
But I won't be able to do that this year, as something else has come up. A
couple of years ago I was struck by the way in which the charismatic renewal
movement had been written out of South African church history, to the extent
that much of what was published was a distortion of history. I began to
collect material with the idea of documenting some of the vanished and
vanishing history, before everyone who remembered it was dead. Someone
pointed out that a church historian had actually written something 25 years
ago, but was told by colleagues that he would ruin his academic reputation if
he published it. I managed to locate him, and he kindly sent me his
unpublished MS, which I read, and found as gripping as a page-turner novel.
But it also killed my project, because he had written the book I wanted to
write. I'd simply be trying to reinvent the wheel.
But then he suggested to me that I edit it and rewrite it, to bring it up to
date and add my material, and that we try to find someone who will publish it
under both our names. So that will keep me out of NaNoWriMo this year.
But I still wish that someone will be moved to write something in the Charles
Williams genre (which includes C.S. Lewis's "That hideous strength").
If you have even the slightest urge in that direction, sign up with NaNoWriMo
now and get writing!
- NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins on 1 November.
Is anyone planning to participate?
Is anyone planning to write a novel in the genre of Charles Williams (hope