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Three-day weekend? Write a three-day novel.
August 27, 2010 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Labor Day Weekend is coming up. You could have a barbecue. Or you could write a novel. Previous winners of the International 3-Day Novel Contest, which has been running since 1977.
posted by escabeche (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I did that, twice. Highly recommended. Even got a novel out of it, eventually.
posted by ecourbanist at 5:55 AM on August 27, 2010


Novel Writing, Live from Dorset, by our friends at Monty Python.
posted by Vindaloo at 6:08 AM on August 27, 2010


If I actually write the novel, what will I have to talk and fret about?
posted by nomadicink at 6:12 AM on August 27, 2010


nomadicink - you think, talk and fret about how much better you could have done :) Which then sets you up for another.

3 Days? I'll stick with NaNoWriMo. That is intense enough for me.
posted by markx2 at 6:21 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I actually write the novel, what will I have to talk and fret about?

Getting it published. Then the reviews. Then the publisher's statements (and sales). Then writing the next one. Eventually, you get to start complaining about how unfair it is that someone else gets more acclaim than you. Eventually, you may start writing high-profile reviews where you try, unsuccessfully, to hide your neuroses.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:23 AM on August 27, 2010


Novel Writing, Live from Dorset, by our friends at Monty Python.

"...as he acknowledges this very good-natured bank holiday crowd."
posted by pracowity at 6:24 AM on August 27, 2010


Screw reading. Off to Dragoncon I go.
posted by stormpooper at 6:26 AM on August 27, 2010


It's like NANOWRIMO on [insert name of favorite high-dosage stimulant here].
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:28 AM on August 27, 2010


The International 3-Day Novel Contest is sponsored by...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:30 AM on August 27, 2010


Unlike NaNoWriMo, there is no length requirement -- entries average 100 pages, which I guess is about 25,000 words.

Also, you pay a $50 fee.
posted by swift at 6:38 AM on August 27, 2010


Have anyone read any of these novels?

This from their survival guide made me smile:

As a novelist you are forced to simply remember more as the plot invariably lengthens and new characters are introduced. It is not uncommon for a character to die at the beginning of a 3-Day Novel only to attend the tension-filled wedding climax in a much later chapter.
posted by Harald74 at 6:43 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or you could edit 23 separate task order responses for the Department of the $*&^! Interior. It's kind of like writing a novel. A really shitty post modernist novel that repeats the same chapter over and over again with subtle, but crucial, differences.

About IT support.
posted by Naberius at 7:11 AM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Man, I fail miserably at NaNoWriMo. Doing this is three freakin' days? No way. But kidos to those who can hack it.
posted by aclevername at 7:28 AM on August 27, 2010


It's doable if you're on a roll. I've never done that, but my personal best was almost 17000 words over 2 days, which is a similar sort of pace from swift's length estimates. Hardly slept or ate. I think maybe four hours the whole time?

It was a blast.

(Re: NanoWriMo - who can do that for a month and then put it away for the rest of the year? It's addictive.)
posted by mordax at 7:48 AM on August 27, 2010


I've had success doing 2-day weekend contests like this for screenplays -- but with assigned genres and places. It's like writing improv and have had a few great ideas come from the pressure. But also under the perssure 'm stumped for a day and a half and then throw out something in the last 6 hours (which is the one I won) or have a great idea and no way to fit it under the five page limit.

I've tried to do the 3 Day Novel in the past but not had much luck. I'd actually be really psyched to do 3 Day novel this week, as I have no Labor Day plans, but the entry fee is a little steep for me this year. (Being broke is, of course, also why I have no Labor Day plans; what a vicious cycle.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:02 AM on August 27, 2010


Also, you pay a $50 fee.

WTF? For what?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:13 AM on August 27, 2010


Have anyone read any of these novels?

I have read three, as my wife has entered and was a finalist once. One was awful and pretentious, two were excellent and as good a quality as you'd find from independent publishers or in independent bookstores.

I guess the $50.00 fee is to cover the cost of moving through the slag heap and managing the contest. I don't necessarily think that is out of line, but as I am not a writer, I don't know what is normal.
posted by xetere at 8:39 AM on August 27, 2010


Yes, that kind of fee for contests, especially if you actually get any sort of judging of your material isn't really that odd. I'm not saying it's ever worth it (except possibly as a motivator for you to actually finish what you start) but it's pretty standard.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:19 AM on August 27, 2010


I've written a tad over 20k in 72 hours during NaNo - usually right after the Ohio State/Michigan game, or occasionally over Thanksgiving weekend. Definitely doable, assuming you have nothing else to accomplish or type fast.
posted by SMPA at 10:27 AM on August 27, 2010


What if I write a novel about having a barbecue? Or grill books I don't want any more?
posted by madcaptenor at 11:29 AM on August 27, 2010


Alas, I work at a private college that doesn't celebrate any holidays except Thanksgiving and Xmas. No 3 day weekend to write a novel for me :(
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:32 AM on August 28, 2010


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