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Welcome To The Rabbit Hole

I can tell you The Rabbit Hole is not a movie with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart or a song by The Temper Trap, but it has strong connection to the arts.

While The Rabbit Hole has definite caffeinated elements and won’t be happening at home… it’s not an organic tea bar in Australia, a café in Brooklyn or the ‘coffice’ just down the road me in West End.

Performance is a key aspect of the Rabbit Hole, but it’s not a porn platform, a play or a theatre ensemble.

While it begins with an initial page, a clue/idea and leads to a fictional world, I won’t be disappearing into alternate reality game as part of The Rabbit Hole (though you could probably strongly argue this point.)

Down the rabbit hold is slang for a psychedelic experience. It’s also a metaphor for a potentially weird and unknown adventure…

These two best sums up the next three days for me and I’m not ruling out the possibility of being a bit psychotic or seeing Carrollesque characters by Sunday evening.

Rabbit Hole à la Queensland Writers’ Centre

“There is only writing, and lots of it.”
~ Peter Ball (QLD Team Captain)

The Rabbit Hole is the brain-child of Queensland Writer’s Centre CEO Kate Eltham and provides an opportunity for time poor writers to put lots of words down in short space of time. It’s like NaNoWriMo on speed across a single weekend.

The QWC say: It’s not a marathon, it’s an all-out, limbs-flying mad sprint. There will be no editing, no pondering, no careful placing of the right word. In the Rabbit Hole, there is absolutely no good writing. There is only writing, and lots of it. Patrick O’Duffy likens it to Fight Club!

This incarnation (the fourth sponsored by the QWC) is part of the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne. It not only pits writers against the page in the quest for 30,000 words (or the goal of their choosing) but against teams of writers in four locations (Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart and online). The winning team on Sunday night will be the one with the greatest collective word count.

I’m Late… but totally on Time

You say (voice dripping with sarcasm): when you rang the QWC a month ago and said you wanted to be part of it all, they said yes, pull up a seat Jodi. They couldn’t wait to have you.

Yeah yeah, I know. I ditched NaNoWriMo last year and the assumption would be if I couldn’t hack the pace of 2000 words/day then 1000 words/hour is totally out of my league.

Well I’ll take your assumptions and raise them a hackneyed amateur novelist, with stars in her eyes, starving to be there and write, and we’ll see who wins the hand. I should also point out today isn’t just Rabbit Hole Day; it’s also day one of penning my birthpunk novella BYRTHED (ah yes, a royal flush!)

How to Burn Through 30 Hours of Writing

I’ve set myself the goal of 30,000 words. Why not go the whole hog for a write-a-thon?

I won’t be dedicating all 30 hours to my novel. I’m not advanced enough in my planning to pull that off (and I’m determined to write a “tight” first draft, avoiding if possible, massive huge plot holes) Plus I’m also signed up for the Year of the Novel and putting down that kind of word count, roaring from the gates in my first month will undoubtedly skew my experience there.

Instead I’m going for the pick and mix approach and giving myself plenty of options. Penning the list I discover I have at my finger tips 42,000 potential words, including the five opening chapters of the novel, a series of articles on beta reading, multiple unfinished short stories and guest posts I’ve pledged and yet to come good on.

It all comes down to options, folks. And hard work. And lots of caffeine. And chocolate. And the joy of bashing out words with a room full of people, doing their best to have the largest word count in Brisbane Sunday evening. And a big bloody sleep on Monday.

Cheer Squads Welcome

Regardless of when you read this, I’ll have jumped the first hurdle… the 6pm to 8pm Friday block at the Queensland Writers Centre, written the opening chapter of BYRTHED and met the others on the Brisbane team. I may even be further along given the joy of time zones.

Tweet me @jodicleghorn or drop a comment of encouragement on my Facebook author page across the weekend and when I pop up for air, another block of chocolate and cup of tea I’ll let you know how my word count is going. I might even share a photo or two.

But before I go find a suitable Alice outfit, brush my hair into a shimmering cascade of keratin and summons a rabbit… tell me, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for writing?

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Jodi is an editor, publisher and long suffering mystress to the voices in her head, with stories tethered under the umbrella of ‘dark weird shit’ and published in anthologies in Australia, the UK, USA, Canada and Denmark. Founding partner of eMergent Publishing, Jodi is the creative spark behind the conceptual short story anthologies Chinese Whisperings, Literary Mix Tapes and Write Anything's Form and Genre Challenge. Jodi is the 2010 recipient of the Kris Hembury Encouragement Award in recognition of her contribution to the community and status as an emerging artist. She blogs at 1000 Pieces of Blue Sky and tweets (unoriginally) as @jodicleghorn.

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