I did it. I started writing a novel on Friday night (Saturday morning, technically) and finished it last night. Three crazy days of creative writing have produced 96 pages,
which are currently sitting in an envelope on my desk. I will mail them in to Anvil Press tomorrow as proof of my participation in the 3-Day Novel Contest and eagerly await the certificate in the mail that acknowledges my effort, if not my talent.
Two things I learned:
1) Writing a novel does not need to take years. In fact, it is probably easier to keep the facts straight if you don’t wait six months between chapters and forget that a character who has a broken leg in chapter 2 is unlikely to be snowboarding the next day in chapter 5.
2) If you try to write a novel in three days you really shouldn’t expect to be in the same state of mind at the end as at the start. With very little sleep and Oreo cookies as the main staple of your diet you are going to find that the ending is trite, overly-sentimental, and maybe even incoherent because you were racing the clock and semi-conscious when you finally pounded it out.
Anyway, I’m glad I did it, and now I suppose I can cross another item off my list. Though I’m far from feeling that I no longer need to think about creative writing anymore. This experience was just an appetizer really. A first attempt. The practice round. Now I want to try to write a novel that is worthy of submitting for publication. Something that I can see one day on a shelf in Chapters. For the next one I think I’m going to need more than three days.