March 21, 2014

Survival Guide: #7

Day 1, 2 and 3: Where You Should Be

This section may be helpful or may not. These are not hard and fast rules but experience speaking. A general consensus is (working backward here) one should be finished their novel by 8 p.m. at the latest on the 3rd and final day. This leaves four hours for a re-read and editing. It also affords time to see if anything makes sense, in or out of the novel.

1st Day

For most, the first day is the toughest. Veterans are almost unanimous in their belief that if one even gets out of the starting gate on the first day they’re doing well. There may be a lot of “window staring,” pacing, wishing to be anywhere else. It may be best to just keep in mind no one knows anything the first day.

2nd Day

By sunrise on the second day, one should be well on their way, the real world is far off, one is immersed wholly in the concept that is unfolding before them. This is also the day that the outline may be discarded, not consciously, but by some other malevolent unleashed force that, in effect, takes over the driving. It is generally agreed one should be halfway by 6 o’clock this evening.

3rd Day

This, of course, is the “do or die” day. There is no general consensus on how best to handle this one. Accounts vary, it’s the “make or break it” time and is best dealt with in the next section.