Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nine Lives, Six Days

Caught napping! Ted has posted up the results of the Utusan Group Literature Prize 2005, which he got from Nisah. (I just should retire, haha!)

Biggest congrats to all the winners. Hope the win leads to great opportunities for you. Congrats too to Utusan for taking the intitiative to promote local writing.

I'm particularly happy for third prize winner in the English novel section, Teoh Choon Ean who writes under the pen-name Cean and has had several short stories published. (The Fan was in Silverfish New Writing 1 and we ended up doing readings together, so we know each other from back then.)

I got a very excited e-mail from her a few days ago. She knew that she had won one of the prizes for her novel Nine Lives, but not at that point which one. She says that she had had an idea for a novel which she had "outlined to death" and got bored with. Then, she says:
I threw it away and decided to sit down with a one-liner idea and write from the heart. ... with only a week left of the contest I got desperate, sat down in front of the computer and typed nonstop almost for six days keeping an eye on the page counter and promptly stopped at 150 pages (minimum number of pages in the rules) after adjusting margins a bit. Being an incorrigible procastinator, I learnt to survive under pressure. ... However I have never written a novel and decided to do a kind of transition from a short story writer. So I strung together 9 people's stories with a linking idea and voila the novel called Nine Lives. I liked my story so much that if I had not won I would have endeavoured to get it published.
I'm so happy for you, Cean, and I hope that you will get this book published (though having written it in six days, you might want time to erm ... revise it just a little!)

I'd be very interested to know about the other winners ...

(And see, Ted, you got the story first, but I got the human interest angle. Maybe I won't retire!)

Related Posts

Writers! Dont Say No-one Ever Does Nuffink for You! (30/5/05)
Recognising Local Writers (18/8/05)

11 comments:

Lydia Teh said...

Now, that's a juicy titbit. I was contemplating whether to enter or not, but in the end got so caught up with THAT novel that I never tried.

Writing a novel in 6 days is absolutely great. Having it win a prize is even greater. Congrats Choon Ean!

Jane Sunshine said...

Sharon, don't even say things like you should retire in the passing/ in jest. You have a public, you know.

Ted Mahsun said...

hehehe... *basks in limelight*

But really, Sharon, I'd be lost if I didn't have your blog to read in the mornings when I get into the office! I'd be really, really distressed! And not just because I'd be getting all sorts of hate-mail from your groupies...

With that said... I'd also be interested in knowing about the other winners. I hope they pop by and say hello!

bibliobibuli said...

jane, ted - don't worry i'm too addicted to retire and i'm thrilled to bits that young ted is keeping me on my toes ...

Cean said...

Sharon, do you know every story I have written and won or published has always been a first draft. I always say do it right first time.I usually get an idea and a short story would take maybe 4 hours and now I know I can write a short 12-chapter 150-page novel in 6 days. Seing that I have won about 16 contests over the years can I safely say that sending in the first draft is a tried and tested formula? Hahaha, figure that out.

bibliobibuli said...

there's tremendous energy in a first draft ... apparently jack keroac believed in going with first drafts too for that reason, and toby litt talks about writing as improvisation

me? something has to leap out at me in the first draft for me to know i have something there. but generally my first draft is a dog's breakfast and it comes together with the second. but then i spend a lot of time tinkering with small things ... word choice etc.

i think every writer has to learn for themselves how they do things best - there's no "one size fits all" formula

you've found what works for you and i hope it isn't long before we see your novel in the shops sitting next to your collection of short stories!

Lydia Teh said...

Cean, wow, winning 16 contests is great. Maybe you should write a book on how to win writing contests :)

Cean said...

Haha perhaps I should do that...however if only I knew what I have been doing. Sometimes I feel I must have a spirit guide. I have an idea and then the words come...I don't know from where! But it only works with er....deadlines, so my book will be titled "How to win writing contests by adrenalin charge from deadlines..." I even wrote this book last year, pressured by an "do it or else" pressure date ("Thinking Smart" by Khaw Choon Ean www.pelanduk.com.Explaining a theory in fiction form)

Cean said...

Folks more excitement. Found out I have been amazoned...yayyy!http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9679789187/102-7913664-0317721?redirect=true&v=glance&n=283155

bibliobibuli said...

deadlines are wonderfully focussing things. how great to be amazoned! hope your fiction is on there too before too long.

Su Ann said...

Hi!
It's finally sunk in. I had been in a dreamlike state ever since i got the call from Utusan about my novel.
It was great meeting you, Ms Teoh, er, Cean. Wow, I doubt I could ever write a 150-page novel in just 6 days! A miraculous feat really!
"The Curse" took me about 6 years to complete. And it's the first draft too. A part of me wishes to make major changes to it and another part wants it to stay just as it is...
Oh, hi there Lydia! Nice to find you here and still actively writing.