The 3-Day Novel Contest is one of the coolest parts of my writing career. (It took a lot of effort not to put “career” in sarcastic quotation marks.) For those of you who’ve never heard about this awesome contest, it’s basically like running a marathon, just with way less physical exertion.
Every year on Labor Day Weekend, participants write a novel from scratch. They start at midnight on Friday and end at midnight on Monday. Within that time frame, you either finish a half-decent novel or give up in shame. Or option number three: type the same sentence over and over until your wife—played by a young Shelley Duvall—interrupts your writing process and starts screaming “You’re scaring me, Jack!” until you chase her through a hedge maze. It’s crazy-making; it really is.
Anyway, I’ve entered this contest for the last three years, and it’s been awesome. I wrote a haunted house book, a monster book, and (my favorite) a sci-fi fairy tale. Sadly, I wasn't able to enter the contest this year, because I was flying from Russia back to China. But I'm totally going to be entering it this year. And you should too! Go ahead. I dare ya. You’ll thank yourself. (The makers of Red Bull energy drinks will thank you, too.)
And not to toot my own horn or anything (in a blog that’s all about me), but remember that sci-fi fairy tale story from a few sentences back? Well, it was a top-ten finalist for the 2012 contest. It definitely had its problems, but I'm really proud of it, especially the written-in-three-days part. I’m still submitting it to different publishers, so keep your eyes open.