Write a novel in 3 more days- the sequel

On Labour Day of 2013 I competed in the International 3-day novel contest. I wrote 33,000 words in 72 hours, abused my body and my mind, and was shortlisted by the generous literary adjudicators for the big prize. Top ten! But I didn’t win.
On Labour Day last -2014, it strikes me as I slowly regain functional synapses- I did it again. This time I put 40,000 words (or 200 standard novel-esque pages for those not inclined to do the math) in the books for the weekend. Not a bad haul.
I am pretty sure I’ve not done permanent damage to myself or the English language, and so I’m calling it a success. Whether I win or not, well, I’ve already won, haven’t I?
Some people ask me why I do this? I respect those people. Others just say I’m nuts. I can’t deny their insight.
Writers write because we can. Because we think we have something to say.
Novelists write because we have lots to say.
3-day novelists write because we have lots to say quickly.
I’ll concede that the logic is not water-tight. But I learned many things from this year’s contest.
1- It takes a community to support a writer.
2- There’s no substitute for a thoughtful looking dog.
3- Thinking still takes more time than typing (a repeat realization).
4- If I could sing and dance and tell jokes, I’d be talented.
5- There is a reason that some old jokes are still around.
6- For most people, writing a novel is a bad idea. For the rest of us, writing a novel in 3 days is a bad idea. For those who write a novel in 3 days notwithstanding that it is a bad idea, there is little hope of redemption.
I did it. I’m glad I did. I hope I win.
Check out the 3daynovel.com website and maybe try it yourself next year. And watch for announcements. You know, just in case…

6 thoughts on “Write a novel in 3 more days- the sequel

  1. The t-shirt we didn’t get you said “Avoid cliches like the plague”

    Shel…you are a true original, about as far from cliche as it gets, and you can store your bike here anytime….

    The novel is, I’m sure, a masterpiece….how could it be otherwise?


    Ian Miller, RPF
    Resource Practices Branch

  2. Awesome achievement, whatever the result – the journey and all that. Keep on truckin’ and we’ll keep on rootin’ for you, XXXX

  3. Congratulation Sheldon! Your first attempt and success is just a harbinger of superlative things to come. (I thought I’d dust off a couple of big fancy words to make myself look shallow and pedantic).

    Well done!


  4. Congrats!!! WOW a whole novel in 3 days?! Did you just hide yourself away in a room with protein bars and water …and your thoughtful dog for 3 days? Really enjoyed reading your list of what you learned in the process. It’s not really about the awards and whatnot…is it?…its really about the process. : )

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