Monday, 29 July 2013

Prepping for Three Days of Novel



Hey all,

It’s the weekend, I’ve been lazy, and haven’t really done much since Friday. Even then, it was just more editing, and you probably don’t want to hear me yammer about fixing grammatical errors. A lot of what I do is rather boring, and you tend to get the abridged, slightly more interesting bits. When everything is boring, though, that’s when I talk about other stuff—which is what I’m doing today.

The 3 Day Novel Contest is coming up in about a month, and I’ve only given it a bit of thought. I’ve run through a few short ideas for things to write about—mysteries, comedies, tragedies, other genres that don’t end in –ies. There are pretty much unlimited options, but a week or two out from the contest, I’m going to need to buckle down and figure everything out.

The website says that you’re allowed to have up to an outline of the book written down before the contest begins. Pretty much as long as you don’t write any actual content, it’s alright; and I like to go into these things as prepared as I can be. There is, or at least was, a section of the site that suggested that it was more fun to go in with nothing written down at all (no ideas). This, to me, sounds like madness. I had a pretty solid idea of the direction that I was going to go with the book I wrote last year, From Ash, and it was still borderline insanity. I slept for maybe 4 or 5 hours a night (tops) and was putting out at least 10,000 words a day. I took some breaks, to let my mind unfurl a little bit, and when Charlotte made me eat food, but for the most part, I worked non-stop. I can only imagine what it would be like if I hadn’t already figured out the spine of the story that I was working on beforehand. Going in blind would have probably killed me dead.

That’s not to say that there aren’t people who do figure it out as they go. I’m sure that many of the people who placed quite highly did so—I’m just not one of those people. Obviously things change as I’m going, but the general direction is pretty consistent from what I set it out to be. I’d suggest at least some level of prep work be done for new competitors as well, you want the process to be as fun as possible and to avoid any extra stress (there’s plenty of that as it is).

Oh, also, if anyone out there decides to try their hand at the 3 Day Novel Contest, make sure you have food and ample amounts of coffee stocked up in your house. There comes a point where going outside, or doing anything else besides writing seems like it would only cause the world to end. Your brain is going to flip into obsession mode, and you’ll get weird, and tired, and all sorts of strange—but it’s fun, and only for a few days; give it a shot. I’ll be live tweeting my whole descent into insanity with an undetermined hashtag (details coming at a date closer to the competition). If I get ambitious, I might even livestream it, just for fun.

-Trevor

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