In my last post I asked the question, “Can I write a novel in 3 days?” Well, the answer is yes. Over Labor Day weekend, from midnight on Friday to midnight on Monday I penned the rough draft of a novel and then revised it. It came in at about 90 pages – 20,000 words. Not a very large novel – more of a novella actually but it was about the average size of a 3 day novel per the contest instructions. After finishing, I printed it out and sent it in to the contest. The winner will be announced in January and the winning novel will be published by next Labor Day.
After sending, I read back through the manuscript and cringed to find many rough spots and grammatical errors. I guess that is to be expected though. Usually a novel takes me about 3-6 months to write the rough draft and then between 9-12 months to edit (sometimes more). That should give you an idea about how important the editting process is. A book is only as good as the revisions. It’s the tightening, restructuring, revising, cutting and adding that makes a good story turn into an exceptional story.
I won’t worry about that though, because I know in this contest they’re not looking for perfection. The important thing was the experience which was amazing. This was definitely the most rewarding writing exercise I’ve ever taken part in. It was exhilarating, fun, frustrating and nerve wracking all at the same time. I learned some interesting things about my writing process and I believe I will be a better author in the future.
Now, I’m working on fleshing out my 90 page novel into a 300 page novel, so in the event I don’t win this contest I will have another manuscript to submit to agents and publishers. Who knows? Maybe this fun writing exercise will turn into my first published novel.