A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

05 September 2006

Why Do I Bang My Head On The Wall?

As the man used to say: "Because it feels so good when I stop.
So we all know how Metro spent the Labour Day long weekend, right? He was busy churning out a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Or possibly a work of a heartburned, staggering, genius.

The 3-Day Novel Writing contest is essentially a trial by fire. Yesterday I found myself deeply moved to read on the discussion board the message:

I have one hour to go.
I have failed.

Oddly, that person came back and managed to chop, channel, and finish their book, in the end.

I got thirty-plus pages out on Saturday, then stalled at twenty on Sunday. The average length of a three-day novel is apparently about 100 pages. But I'm one of those miserable people who goes around making things difficult for myself*--more in a minute on this.

Yesterday I pulled out all the stops, stamped my foot to the floor--pick yer metaphor, they're all appropriate. I wrote two pages between roughly 7 and 9 AM. Yet by the end of the day (and the contest), I had managed to write 51 pages in all. Strewth!

Back to making things harder: If I am running (and I sometimes do this for exercise) I will tell myself "Well, just as far as that rock then ..." However on reaching said rock I will tell myself "You've got a bit more in there--sure you have. So just to the bridge, alright?" Or else I'll deliberately lie to myself about how far I've travelled, how much more work there is to do on a project--pretty much anything to make it a pleasant surprise when I actually achieve a goal.

So while the 3-Day Novel Contest demads its submissions double-spaced, I tend to write in "1.5", which I find reads more easily and with less scrolling on the screen.

One of the more pleasing effects is that my 36, 531-or-so words currently occupy 104 pages. Once double-spaced, this should expand by twenty-to-thirty pages, which is even more brag-uppable!

But it makes things a bit weird when I read of someone who's got 20 kilowords down the pipe and 88 pages.

As always though, I find myself wondering who entered and has given up? I'm actually reasonably sure that most of us finish. I mean there's a $50 dollar entry fee, and few people opt to spend their long weekend slogging away at their opus for the wrong reasons, let alone pay for the privilege.

Anyway, I'm glad I did it. And today I'm also glad it's over for another year.

*No, Justin--this doesn't mean you're right. To my other readers--this is a running feud with a friend who is convinced that I make things unnecessarily difficult. This most latterly culminated in a shouting match held on the ramps (the narrow and unsteady ramps I remind you, Justin!) of an automobile transport trailer.
A "transport of rage" if you will.

But I hold no ill-feeling, and to prove it I intend to buy my friend a beer.
Which I will serve him in a ziplock bag.
Shaken, not stirred.


At 5:51 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

I was there, and the shouting match was absolutely necessary. We'd still be in New Westminster if we'd waited for you gentlemen to settle this in civilized tones.

Congrats on surviving and finishing!

At 8:23 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

Thanks very much.

Turs out that, double-spaced, it's 141 pages--then I took out all the double carriage returns--still 136.

At 10:23 a.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

Holy crap, that's intimidating. Remember, when you're doing it for a contest you're not paid by the word.

Have you thought about the 24-hour screenplay contest?

At 1:31 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

I'm intimidating! No less than the Wicked Witch of the Web called me intimidating!

*Gives self a great big hug*

24-hour screenplay. Hmmmm.

At 3:33 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

Hey, don't get cocky, kid.

I didn't say you were as intimidating as ME!

At 4:34 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Yes ma'am, sorry ma'am.

Come off it. You're as intimidating as a marshmallow sundae smeared on a Care Bare.

It's too late now--already it begins:

"I have nothing to do with the creaking machinery of humanity-- I belong to the earth! I say that lying on my pillow and I can feel the horns sprouting from my temples."
--Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

At 5:18 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

"Care Bare"???

Not a proofreader, are you by chance?

At 5:37 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Yes, I am.

Your point?


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