I think I may have set some kind of record, if only a personal one, in novel-writing speed for the production of the manuscript for “Nothing,” the combined Fantasy/Sci Fi stand-alone sequel to Opoponax Dreams, Rêves Opoponax 69 and Dark Matter. After starting the story in early September and being forced to put it on pause after a total of three days (maybe less) due to a bad allergic reaction to the seasonal transition, I discovered last Sunday that Harper Voyager was looking for unagented Sci Fi and Fantasy novels for electronic publication.
I picked up my old laptop and resumed working on “Nothing,” mostly because I wanted to have it ready for Christmas publication as I’d only got 13,000 words down during the 3 days in September and needed to make a serious change to one of the characters. I decided to throw caution to the wind, free myself from my usual confines of starting with a tight short story and expanding outwards and just write. I would essentially let the story write itself. I dropped most of my obligations, except for my workouts as I can’t afford to gain weight from sitting in one spot all week. That’s just not healthy. I sat down on Sunday morning and started to write, despite having to spend the day with a beach-sized towel draped over my shoulders, I was sneezing so hard. At the end of Sunday night, the novel was 12,000 words longer and I felt hopeful. I aimed for 10,000 words per day thereafter. Some days I made it, some days I didn’t as I had other obligations and could only put in 7 hours on my short days. On Thursday, I stopped and made actual notes on an actual post-it, because I still have a need to control my endings and my laptop had started making funny noises and short-circuiting, possibly because it was having trouble keeping up with the typing, who knows? By Friday night, the first draft was done. I had written a full novel in 6 days, not counting the three days in September or the mind-boggling hours of research I’d done before to make sure my quantum physics was up to scratch, but including the research to make sure the terminology used in the novel was correct. I dreamt up the synopsis and query letter on Friday night, because it turns out that I can actually compose material while sleeping, a talent that comes in very handy when writing a novel in a week. I spent most of Saturday and all of Sunday on editing and polishing and rewriting, et voila, one sexy 75,000+ word PDF manuscript was submitted to Harper Voyager on Sunday night.
So, it turns out that it is possible to write a very tight novel in a week (sorry NaNoWriMo guys). The rest in God’s hands now.