My 3-Day Novel Contest Experience Day 1

Three Day Logo

End of Saturday note:
I blogged far more than I ever thought I would to document my 3-Day Novel Contest so I will make this post into three posts, one for each day of the contest. During each day, I will “grow” each post, adding notes as I go. Hey, adaptation and flexibility is part of this contest. Why not the blog posts that accompany it? This is the link to the Day 2 post. Below was the start of this post.

Start of Day 1 Post

In a few minutes at time of writing this sentence on Friday night before the Labour Day weekend, I will start the 3-Day Novel Contest. I want to document some of that experience, and share it while doing so for anybody who cares. However, I don’t want to overwhelm my followers with a whole bunch of microblogging style posts. As a result, I’ll just “grow” this post as this weekend goes along. Anybody who cares to see how things are going can revisit this post at their convenience and see. Thank you!

Final Day Prep

I took Friday afternoon off to take care of some errands, fill up my fridge, and do final preparations for the contest. Preparation is far more than just writing out my game plan, as I noted in a previous post. I also got about an hour and a half of shut eye, but no sleep, so I could start at midnight going into Saturday morning. It sure is strange to get up at 11:30 to shower, eat breakfast and shave. I won’t be shaving till done, just like hockey players don’t for the playoffs, by the way. I am Canadian! 🙂

Detailed game plan ended up at almost 3200 words! Not sure if that means things will go easy with so much detail already put out, or if I’m still over ambitious as last time. I did make sure nothing I wrote for it will be repeated word for word in the novel I’ll be writing, of course.

OK. It’s time to go!

First session, Saturday midnight to 1:50-ish

I got some shut eye earlier to try to steal a couple of hours of sleep during contest time without losing sleep. In other words, sleep the few hours starting a midnight, before midnight, so I could write at midnight when the contest started officially.

I stopped after the first chapter, which had been planned as the first two chapters in my game plan, though it might still go back to being two chapters upon edit. Word count is 1597. I’m aiming for 30,000 that’s the average, though it’s not a technical aim as much as a time management aim. I have a variety of sections where I can expand or contract in my game plan to try and write this novel in time, with time for editing.

I’m not going to put on the alarm for Saturday morning to make sure I get a good night’s sleep to start. If I find myself rushed for time, I’ll then sleep less Sat and/or Sun nights. But I’ll have a little reserve from this Fri night/Sat AM “regular” sleep to fall back on. Of course, I’m assuming I’ll sleep well tonight. 🙂

Sat morning, 9 AM ish

I got my sleep in all right, which was good. Unfortunately, I also got my usual 7 hours without the alarm turned on so I didn’t really end up saving any time by sleeping the evening before and starting at midnight. It seemed my body and mind needed that 7 hours, though, so it’s a done deal. We’ll see how sleep is required later tonight and Sunday night.

This morning, I start really easy by filling out a character profile to really introduce my main character. It was a planned tactic similar to the sewing psychology I use. I leave something easy to start my day, which then gives me momentum for the rest of it as I just go through the motions to get warmed up, but get something significant done.

Sat noon-ish

I got about 3700 words done in the past three hours, sitting at about 5300 words. I went the opposite as last night, with one chapter now broken into two rather than two chapters merged into one. I’m back on schedule, I guess, and doing quite well at over 1,000 words per hour. The hard part is still to come, though.

I’m breaking for lunch now with the noon cannon having gone off in Halifax and my stomach growling. I also broke for lunch in the novel in the middle of filling out my character profile at a clear point changing topics. I will have more to say about topic and content in a post after this weekend to recap what I don’t have time to discuss in detail here.

For lunch, I’m just going to get some McDonald’s in the mall near me. I’ll also buy a double lunch combo deal at Thai Express, to mix with my own rice and other ingredients, to turn into four meals. The mall is closed Sun and Mon so after that, I’ll have to find other quick food options. At the rate I’m going, I might actually have time to cook! 🙂

Oh, I also need to shower before lunch. I got up and started writing immediately after washing my face and using the bathroom, eating a bowl of cereal as I started.

Sat 5:20 pm

Lunch felt a bit big today for some reason so I struggled a bit to stay awake in the afternoon to write. I actually went to lay down for about 20 minutes. I hope that’s not an indication of things to come! Still, I got in about 2200 words in just under 2 hours’ worth of writing to 7500 words.

Then I went to a demo burlesque class for my sanity break! That definitely shook up some things, literally and figuratively! 🙂

So not a very productive afternoon. However, I just also got that Thai Express food that should last me for four meals so it’s time to dig in for the evening and night! First challenging writing part is about to come! 🙂

Sat 9:20 pm

Some time around 9:15, I passed the 10,000 word mark. I can feel some mental fatigue setting in, but I should be able to continue till at least midnight till a good stopping place. The word writing rate has also dropped, but that’s because I’m getting to the more challenging parts to write in terms of content and details.

While I was hoping to average 30,000 words like the average entry, I have no idea with my game plan how many words this novella will ultimately end up at. It’s only comforting to know I’m “on schedule”, needing more than 10,000 words a day if I were going to commit the last 6-12 hours on Monday editing. That means I would need 30,000 words in two and a half days, not three, unless I skipped sleep for a night. That would degrade my quality of writing in other ways, though. We’ll see.

I’ll also probably end up with about 3,000 words here on this post at the rate this is going!

I have also been writing without music, which I find terribly hard to do generally. For some reason, it’s working right now. We’ll see if it remains that way in the next few days.

Sun 12:12 AM

I’m finished for the night at about 5,000 words for the evening and late night. I’m at 12,500 words now and the end of Chapter 6. I have about 20 chapters planned, with some flexibility, but also shorter chapters coming, for the most part, compared to the initial ones. Interestingly enough, I end the day in my novel as well as in my real life. I just only have three days in real life to write this novel, and it takes place over a couple of hundred days. There was just a lot of premise to set up and understand before it all gets rolling, is all I can say. 🙂

I am feeling rather tired tonight. However, I will only take my usual 7 hours a night of sleep. I hope not to be too tired Sunday to be able write efficiently. If I run into progress trouble, then there won’t be a lot of sleep Sunday night. For now, though, there’s no need to be panicking and cutting myself short on sleep.

My actual biggest worry for Sunday is finding something fun to do outside, so I could get outside and just shake up my otherwise rather intense and sedentary day. If I weren’t injured from a tennis injury last week, I could do some ball hitting against a wall, or go for a run. Unfortunately, my right ribs are still sore from running into the court fences too many times Monday night playing against an excellent player who ran me all over the court with his precise ball placements. It didn’t hurt then, like some jabbing punches to the back and ribs. However, I definitely felt it the next day.

Other stats for the day and document of first 12,500 words or so:

  • Time spent in document, 781 minutes or 13 hours. Some of it was left open while I did other things, though.
  • Average sentences per paragraph – 7.8
  • Average words per sentence – 15.9
  • Average characters per word – 4.3
  • Flesh-Kincaid Grade Reading Level – 7.4

Good night for now!


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