I was listening to the Tim Sullivan episode of the Bestseller Experiment podcast (really good episode, very inspiring) and it got me thinking. The idea of writing a whole novel in a day came up… and I’ve decided to give it a bash.
It has been done before. When I published my first book back in 2011, there was another indie author skulking around the forums who did it. Nick Spalding wrote Life… With No Breaks in a single sitting. It was impressive and it did very well, launching an incredibly successful career.
I’ve been doing a bit of research and it’s proving difficult to find other examples. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne was written in two and a half days. That’s the shortest time period I’ve been able to find (in an admittedly brief Google search).
I’m going to aim for 50k. That means I’ll have to write just over 2k every hour for 24 hours. No sleep. Short breaks for food. A lot of coffee. And a pillow for my arse which will no doubt be aching by the 12th hour.
I have an advantage. In order to do it I’m going to be adapting a screenplay that I’ve already written: The Mask Collector.
There is a very good reason for not starting a story from scratch. The thing that slows me down most is trying to work out what happens next. All that thinking has already been done. If I were to start from scratch and force my way through a first draft of something new I would end up with a very bad incoherent first draft that would need a complete rewrite and so be pointless.
Prosatizing a screenplay (that’s a new word I just invented. I could have used “adapting” but prosatize is way more sexy) still requires creative juices and enough mental capacity to write something worth reading and not just a stale transferring of words with the tenses changed. Novels are a very different beast to a no-nonsense script so it will be a serious challenge.
I don’t know if I’ll succeed but I’ll be bashing out words to the final second of that 24th hour and hopefully I will start my 38th year on this planet with a new novel under my belt.
12th May 2022 (my birthday). 9am to 9am the following day (which is Friday the 13th 😳). The Mask Collector will be reborn as a novel.
I’ll be sharing my progress on Twitter and Instagram. I am @AndyChapWriter on both.