Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Five Days Novel – I can’t do it, but…

Based on my current wordcount (32.000), it is plain to see that I cannot write and edit a novel, from conception to finished draft, in five days. Granted, I had a few time-wasting accidents along the way, and will end up with a solid fill-length novella, still needing a thorough review.
But 50.000-words worth of novel ready for upload on Amazon in 5 days?
No.

For me, the limit for that sort of feat is seven days, and in this I find myself more in line with Dean Wesley Smith’s Writing a Novel in Seven Days. One full week is more my sort of thing – five days are too tight if you can’t fully isolate from the outer world.

But while more hangups loom over the weekend (including a deadline for a submission I want to hit), crippling the final mile of my marathon, there are still a few takeaways from the whole experience, and this is good. Let’s see…

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5 Days Novel – the boring parts

So we have passed the 25.000 words mark, and we are coming to the end of the middle and the beginning of the end. Or something.
And the middle is always a problem. That’s where the story sags, where the excitement of the start is gone, and the excitement of the finish is yet to come.
I have no figures about this, but I think this is where most people drop their writing and move on to another story, or another job altogether.

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5 Days Novel, day two

As Styx used to sing, nothing ever goes as planned, and it really is worth saying. The wasted morning turned into a confused afternoon. But now, after six hours of intensive writing, six quarter-hour walks and a light dinner, we are cruising decisively towards 20,000 words in two days, which is not the expected 30,000, but what the heck, who am I to complain?

Meanwhile, things are happening – as it always does in these cases.

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Day 2 will be a night

We woke up without the announced downpour (that happened last night) and floating in thick fog – autumn is finally here. And we wasted much of the morning doing useless chores and wondering around public offices.
So, here I am, and I have not written a single word of my 5 Days Novel.
Which means I’ll start around 2 pm and I will go on long into the night because – lucky me – insomnia is back (as it usually happens when the going gets rough, to make it rougher).

And counting my small blessings, I am also lucky enough to have lost my access password to the Open University web site where, I just discovered, there is a free online course about the moons of our solar system.
The lost password means I will do that part of my research after I finish the novel.
Good.

So here we go – large pot of hot tea, one short walk break every hour, and on we go into the night.


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5 Days Novel – Day 1

Today was a slow day – I started writing at 10 am, and I stopped at 6.30 pm. I take a break every hour, more or less – and I also had a long talk with a contact for a prospect job, so I was not able to do as much as I wanted.
The balance for today is 10.000 words – which is at least 5.000 words short of what I planned.

Writing science fiction comes with the complication of having to check out science facts. In this sense, the web is a life saver and a time waster.
Today I checked out the details of the Saturn system (eighty-two moons!) and a few videos on the nature of gravitational waves.

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Getting ready

The good thing about announcing a demented project on my blog is, when I come back to sanity, it’s too late and I can’t back down. So here I am, trying to get ready for this wild idea of writing a novel in five days.
And mind you, it’s a scary idea.

But on the other hand, should I fail, what am I losing?
I might end up with a good start for a novel to finish at leisure, or I might nail a solid novella – that would be a good result, anyway.
And it would be a morale-booster, anyway.

Right now, I am juggling three possible ideas – because ideas are everywhere, and tomorrow I’ll see which one comes alive during the set-up phase.

Meanwhile I’ve collected resources, and stuff that might come in handy.
Like this – that I will not probably use, but is interesting…

Tomorrow I’ll start posting brief updates – and more extra stuff on my Patreon.
Keep an eye out for updates, and if you feel like, buy me a coffee.