I’m going to write a whole novel in a day.

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.

Rhinovirus and The Novel


Let’s all get sick at Christmas. That’s the best way to celebrate. Curl up on the couch and cough into a tissue. Still, we’ll make up for it on New Year’s Eve. Board games with the kid and the missus, quizzes, cheesy snacks, we’ll stay up late laughing and joking and we’ll do all the things we were too ill to enjoy on Christmas.

And then on to the conversation everyone has on New Year’s Eve, “Got any new year’s resolutions?”

Actually, I do. I’m 50,000 words into my next novel. I’m going to finish it. It’s a good resolution because it’s an easy one to accomplish. Another resolution; never get sick again. That’s a bad resolution because it’s impossible. What is the point of a cold though? Who does it benefit? The germs? If the germs found a way to procreate and eat without pissing off their host they would do a lot better. We wouldn’t try and kill them with Beechams for a start.

That reminds me, the cold medicine I was taking went out of date in September. That probably means nothing but maybe the decaying molecule that is meant to help me will some how make things worse. Or maybe I’ll get superpowers. Fevered Snot Man to the rescue! I bought them in a supermarket three months after they went bad. I’m still a bit ill so this post is going to jump around a lot. I’m not in the frame of mind to think straight. I’m in the mind to think wonky.

The common cold is scientifically known as the rhinovirus. I feel like more people should call it that.

“Hi boss, I can’t come in to work today, I have rhinovirus.”

“Oh my god, where did you catch that? Africa? Are you going to die?”

“Nothing some Lemsip won’t fix.”

Actually it won’t fix it. Nothing will. If you take Zinc early enough you might knock a day off the disease but you might also get a metallic taste in your mouth, become nauseous, and lose your sense of smell. So you’re not really gaining much. Vitamin C might knock a day off too but studies have proven uncertain. The problem is, you’re not fighting the virus. All the bad symptoms are created by your immune system going into battle mode. You have to take on yourself to get better. Take an antihistamine for your nose, an anti-inflammatory for your throat (or sinuses, or something), a paracetamol for the fever, and ibuprofen for the pain. You’ll be dehydrated and unable to sleep but at least your nose will stop running.*

Your best bet is to take some LSD and spend the next few days laughing and crying while being harassed by huge cackling multi-coloured Christmas ornaments.

The thing I don’t like about being ill is that I can’t write very well, or think too well either. I don’t want to take a week long pause from the novel but I have no choice. I sit and stare at the first quarter of the chapter I’m currently on and can’t make any sense of it. I know something isn’t working but can’t figure out what. It seems sloppy somehow. Bu today, today I feel almost okay again. I opened up that document and saw the problem. Away went the fingers and the prose straightened itself out.

That’s what I should be doing instead of writing nonsense for my website. Why am I doing this? It feels like the site goes stale if I don’t add something at least once a month. Even if it is just the ramblings of a sick man.

The next blog post I write will be much more coherent and interesting.

There is a kid in the book I’m writing called Dirk. He’s in bed right now. I have to go and ruin his sleep. God I love writing horror.


* Unless you actually have Influenza in which case your nose won’t be running anyway. But you might die soon, so don’t worry too much about the Lemsip. Also, don’t take anything I’ve said here as scientific fact. It’s probably accurate enough but I have things to do and Wikipedia is a rabbit hole that I don’t have time to fall down right now.