Pen-wielder with a license to thrill

5-Day Novel Draft Challenge Accepted

The Grueling 5-Day Novel Challenge


I’m behind on my writing goals, but I think I have the answer: finish the manuscript draft with a 5-day novel challenge.

I know I need to plan carefully to hit my 75,000-word goal, so I’m going to blog about strategies for success with this challenge as I gear up for a 5-day drafting session in mid-May.

I also know I need to be held accountable, so I’ve decided to do a brief, daily progress update that week. Oddly enough, I tend to work harder when I’m working for someone other than myself. Posting this publicly will prevent me from changing my mind. I’m essentially tricking myself into thinking that someone’s looking over my shoulder… and that someone is you.

I have some preliminary work to finish over the next few weeks, but it’s doable. To succeed in this challenge, I need to set some ground rules for Write Club:

  1. The first rule of Write Club is: you do not talk about Write Club.
  2. The second rule of Write Club is: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT WRITE CLUB. (No social media, email, Internet, or phone until the end of the day.)
  3. Third rule: if the writer yells, “Stop!”, goes limp, or taps out, it’s time for a break.
  4. Fourth rule: only work on one thing.
  5. Fifth rule: one section at a time, writers.
  6. Sixth rule: writing is the top priority. No distractions, no excuses, no bullsh*t.
  7. Seventh rule: writing will go on as long as it has to.
  8. And the eighth and final rule: if it’s your first time at Write Club, you have to write.The 8 Rules of Write Club

Many of these rules stem from Scott King’s The Five Day Novel: the How to Guide for Writing Faster and Optimizing Your Workflow. While King’s method proceeds from outlining to the final polish in five days, I’m aiming lower: write one act per day. I’ve drafted bits and pieces, but I’d really like a full first draft.

I have problems with my back, neck, and hands, so I’m attempting Dragon Dictation for this challenge. I’ll have to write 15,000 words every day for five days, which will not be easy. However, I’m committed to giving it a go – even if I fail.

Wish me luck! I’ll post updates throughout the process.