#10 – The Sorcitor’s Test

July 7, 2008

First off, a bit of housekeeping: it’s becoming clear I’m not going to be keeping up near the pace of my reading from last summer.  Funny how full-time employment will do that to a person.  Additionally, since my last post I also got my first study manual for the Bar Exam (which should be occupying all my time, but isn’t) and an Xbox 360 (which I can’t let occupy all of my time, but do).  Until I fall into a more solid pattern, updates are probably going to be sporadic and infrequent.  Bear with us.

Now then: The Sorcitor’s Test by Chris Samuel is not an ordinary novel for this blog.  I’m not going to recommend it, because it’s not available to read even if you wanted to.  I’m mostly talking about it because I’m so impressed by the fact that it exists.  My friend Chris wrote this book as part of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which is usually in November but his school does in May instead.  If you’re not familiar with it, the idea is to challenge yourself to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  That’s about 1670 words a day (or if you prefer, 70 words an hour) for a month.  Chris said that he’d tried before to pull it off, but always lacked motivation, so he decided to create a stronger incentive this time.  He started a Facebook group, promising to pay every member $10 if he failed to finish $50,000 words in May.  Word got out, and people started signing up by the hundreds.

One month later, and with thousands of dollars on the line, Chris finished The Sorcitor’s Test, clocking in at something like 50,004 words.  Which does sound a bit suspicious, true, but the bible of NaNoWriMo is the book No Plot? No Problem!, which says that the important thing in a project like this is to just get words on the page at first – it doesn’t matter how good they are, that’s what the editing stage is for.  So when I offered my services as a makeshift editor, Chris warned me up and down about his book going off the rails at the end, as the deadline grew near.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that the expected drop in quality never came.  It’s a solid effort the whole way through, made all the more impressive by the conditions it was written under.  It’s a fantasy novel, which is not my forte at all, but with a wizard school as law school theme, it was easy to relate to and enjoyable.  I’ve already given Chris my praise and criticism, so I won’t go into all that again here, but I hope he continues to work on drafts of The Sorcitor’s Test, or other works, and someday I’ll be recommending a wide release by him to you here.


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