Last weekend, I took part in the annual Novel in a Day writing event, hosted by Literature & Latte. I didn’t actually write an entire novel in a day, that would probably be impossible. At least for me. No, NaiD is much more interesting than that.
Along with 24 other writers, I received an outline for one chapter in a novel. I got bare bones character sheets for the characters I needed to include. I got a basic setting sheet for the locations. That’s it. I had less than 24-hours to write the chapter.
It seems like a lot, but it’s really not. I had to guess how the character would react in the situations. I couldn’t describe the setting in too much detail in case it clashed with what someone else wrote. Do I need to introduce the side characters by first and last name, or would other writers introduce them?
When I received my chapter assignment, I had no idea what to expect – not even the genre I was supposed to be writing. As I read my brief, I realized the book was a spy mystery set in London. Not my genre or my country.
But the more time I spent playing around with my outline the main character, the more comfortable I became. It didn’t matter that the book was a genre I wasn’t familiar with. I had a character, I had her start and end points, I knew where I had to take her. I just had to keep pushing her forward.
It was a fun experiment and I’ll definitely do it again next year!
Read Section 7 (NaiD 2014)
My chapter is sixteen, but I definitely recommend reading the whole exciting book!