Welcome to Day One of the #laboringaway Marathon…

A couple months back, I guess it was mid-June, good friend and fellow author Marie Loughin approached me about a contest that seems to be held every year in which a group of seemingly-insane authors attempt to write a novel over a weekend, then submit it to the contest for judgment. Being insane myself, the concept of writing a novel over a weekend intrigued me for reasons that I can’t quite fathom, as I generally don’t care for the NaNoWriMo stuff. I also didn’t care for the contest aspect of this particular marathon as there were absolutely no safeguards to ensure that someone didn’t just submit a pre-written novel.

But the thing is, I’ve had this ever-morphing idea for a (very adult) literary novel bouncing around in my head. I despaired if I’d ever find the time to get it down on paper. Of course this gave me just that opportunity, so I decided I’d participate without joining in on the contest. Marie decided to join in as well. Our goals are a little different, as she’s using hers to kickstart her new novel and shooting for 25k words and I’m trying to grab the moon with a semi-complete novel and 50k words. Aniko Carmean has also joined us and is shooting for 15k. Is it possible? Who the hell knows, but I’ve built a schedule and loaded up on stuff that should keep my brain sharp over the next four days. I’ll check in with you guys as the progress goes along, give you my rolling word count. Let’s start the insanity…

11:27 AM

Lunch break, first check-in. I’m still in Chapter One, but am 3,750 words in so far. I’ve finished the first “section” of the first chapter and am currently in a dark park with the Main Character, Ken, and a prostitute. Thank goodness for outlines is all I can say. I’ve been breaking writing into 20-minute timed sections with 10 minute breaks in between and that’s turning out to be a very effective approach.

3:05 PM

Siesta break time. Built in time for a power nap and, if necessary, a few errands. I’m at 6,769 words thus far and just starting Chapter 4, where we go to a 12-step meeting for the first time. This is officially the most I have written in one day. Now off to nap and I’ll get back to work around 4:30.

7:12 PM

Dinner time. I had originally intended to knock off for dinner at 6:30, but I was too deep in the scene to let go until it was finished. I’m sitting at 10,184 words for the day and feel shockingly good. Right now my main character has made a discovery that tempts him and makes him feel old at the same time. Important moment for him.

10:02 PM

Stopping for today. Day 1 totals, 13,448 words, seven chapters, and a huge chunk of story. I feel really good about this novel so far. It seems to balance nice, uplifting scenes with some really depressing stuff. Very, very different from anything I’ve written to this point, but I’m loving it. See you tomorrow.

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  1. Jonathan,
    What fun! You have just inspired me to book a weekend on my own calendar and give myself permission to do nothing but write for four days. That sounds like four days from heaven.
    Hope you have a blast, whatever comes out of it.

  2. Good luck! I hope the stuff “that will keep your brain sharp” is legal.

    • Jonathan D Allen

      Thanks, Mark 🙂 Totally legal. Lots of green tea, citocholine, L-Theanine, and L-Glutamine. It’s actually good for you, thankfully.

  3. The sun is up on the west coast and I am off!

  4. Pingback: How To Write A Bad First Draft | Book Editing Expert

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