Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Three Day Novel Contest

So here I go again. Biting at another challenge. Or is it an excuse to tell folks I've gone away - take the phone off the hook, lock the door and play 'pretend' for three days?

I did the Three Day Novel Contest (let's call it 3dnc from here on, ok) once before, a few years ago. I wrote Minerva's Letters - a literary masterpiece in the raw (imho) - a tale of two people falling for each other unaware of the implications (but Minerva knew!). The manuscript continues to gather dust somewhere, but the experience of the 3 cathartic days is still vivid in my mind.

So here I am, faced with the anticipation of putting ideas into words onto 'paper' starting at midnight tomorrow. It's exciting, thrilling in fact. By Monday I will have something that doesn't exist now. Characters will be born into situations and settings as yet non existent. My mouth will go dry as conflicts are resolved (or not), and maybe for lack of sustenance too, if my dear-heart forgets to feed and water me.

For it is a marathon write-in. Averaging 10,000 words a day. No time for research. No time for reading over, let alone editing. Sometimes characters accidentally have their names changed overnight. The blue-eyed blonde can become a tall brunette and the summer breezes can swiftly turn to the dead of winter. It matters not.

And that's what makes the 3dnc a wonderful experience, for if you had the time to 'correct' as you go, the spontaneity that comes with this type of writing would be lost. A well known poet once advised me to try writing 'without conscious thought' and that will be my approach.  If I'm still conscious, or even thinking by midnight Monday, it'll probably be thanks to the copious amounts of Red Bull and pizza with extra cheese - but I'll let you know.

In the meantime I'm looking for a quote to kick me off. Answers on a postcard please.

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