September 10

The 3DNC aftermath

By In Competitions, Thoughts

So, I did it. Somehow, I did it. I survived. I crafted an entire novella in 72 hours – well, actually probably around 30 hours, if I’m being honest, if you take out the procrastination and the sleep (yes, I actually slept). I find that when I’m up against such a tight deadline, and the story is flowing, I can really knock it out quite quickly. I guess I’m lucky in that way. Actually, it doesn’t even matter if it’s a deadline or not; if I’m in the groove, the story leads me, not the other way around. And that’s the way it should be. I write better in long bursts than chipping away at it. I guess it’s that knowledge that has stopped me really getting into the writing thus far; I want to make sure I have a good chunk of time free, and I just never do. Not between work and commuting and trying to see friends every now and again (and I’ve gotten REALLY bad at the latter, so I do apologise to everyone expecting an email from me!!).

So anyways… the 3DNC thing. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do. I emailed all my workmates to tell them I was doing it, knowing they would ask me on Tuesday how I went, and if I failed there’d be trouble. I didn’t plan much (could’ve been part of my procrastination problem during the comp), but thought I knew how to tackle it. But then I sat at my computer early on Saturday morning, and just couldn’t get there. All Saturday, I wrote about 100 words. It was really, really, really bad. I was ready to give in. I sketched an outline in a notepad and watched trashy TV to take my mind off things. I woke up late on Sunday morning (did I mention I was exhausted before I started?) and by lunchtime things weren’t looking much better. But then, inspiration hit. I stayed up til about 2am Sunday, powering through.Got some shut eye and picked it back up on Monday. Again, a lot of procrastination, but at about 5pm (ironically, around the time my boyfriend left the flat bound for The Norf for work) I hit it again and finished up around 10pm. The story led me. I like it when that happens.

…that doesn’t mean the story is any good. The story, if I recall correctly, is a bunch of pretentious wank and makes no sense whatsoever. But that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that I finished a novel, a long coherent narrative that has a beginning, middle and end. Maybe I can do this thing after all…

And then something weird happened yesterday. A few workmates had asked to see it, and I very bravely shared with the massive proviso that they’d probably hate it and with profuse apologies for what was to follow. And then last night, as I was leaving, someone quoted my work back to me. In a good way. And they said they were actually really enjoying it. And that they were intrigued. And that they gave a shit about the characters. And they thought they knew where it was going.

And that? That was pretty fucking cool. I left the office with a massive grin.

Written by LJ McMenemy

Thinker of random thoughts. Writer of random dreams.
  1. […] McMenemy – The 3DNC Aftermath Share this:EmailPrintFacebookTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was […]

  2. Tamara Paulin September 10

    That’s awesome! I’ve had the same experience, with people wanting to read my 3-day novella. Strangely, they don’t show the same interest in the work I labor over for months … how’s that work?

    Must be the novelty, or perhaps in this world of machine-finished things, people enjoy something that feels home-made and unpolished. And lord knows I love “pretentious wank” that dares admit itself. 🙂

  3. Tamara Paulin September 10

    p.s. I’ve been collecting links to other 3DNCers and have added yours to my post:

  4. Kristin September 14

    Well done Loz – I’d love to read it…maybe you can bring it with you at Christmas time? 🙂


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