3-Day Novel Contest

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut]

Yes, I know. I’m crazy. The idea of the 3-Day Novel Contest is to start writing at midnight when the Labor Day weekend begins (five days from now), and finish and upload your novel for judging before midnight on September 3rd. It’s like writing a shorter novel for NaNoWriMo (at least 30,000 words instead of NaNo’s 50,000 or more), but you do it in a tenth of the time. Easy, right?

I haven’t done anything extensive to prepare for this. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks making lists of ideas for my characters, researching various drugs (it’s a supernatural medical mystery), reviewing the plot of Rashômon (I think it’s going to be told by a variety of characters from multiple points of view). I’m currently working on a scene-by-scene plot of what I want to write (one or two sentence descriptions of each scene, arranged chronologically – not too descriptive, just enough to let me know where my brain should go next once a scene is done). I have plot notes for the first third of the novel and a few notes for the last four scenes. I’ll continue to work on possible scenes for the middle of the book when (and if) I can find time before the contest starts.

I have a great support system in place. My wife has agreed to stay out of my way for the weekend if I will pause long enough to have meals and take an occasional shower. I have lots of water stockpiled, and coffee ready to brew. The pantry is full of chips and peanut butter, and cans of tuna if I decide I need extra protein, we have an assortment of chocolates stockpiled. I still need to decide on a probable word count per day, so I can make sure I stay ahead of that (and leave myself enough time for editing). The only other thing I hope to be able to do is to get some deeply intense rest on Friday.

I plan to be incommunicado beginning around 11:30 Friday night. I may keep my browser open in case I need to research something I hadn’t thought of before, but I won’t check my e-mail until after I submit my novel on Monday night.

That’s my plan. Have you ever tried writing anything under intense pressure? What was the experience like?


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