Category Archives: Novel In A Day

00NiaD will return in…

Well, October is nearly over and you may have noticed that there hasn’t been a call for participants in a Novel in a Day this year, and there isn’t a nice shiny new ebook for you to download and enjoy for free.

Real life kind of got in the way this year, making it not possible to pull something together of the standard you’ve come to expect. So, I’m taking the opportunity to reset the timing to what will hopefully be a less hectic bit of the year for all of us. NiaD should be back some time in January. Follow here or on one of social media sites listed in the menus above and I’ll let you know when dates are confirmed!

How to plot

I have been sharing a series of pictures on Instagram over the past couple of weeks that outline the process I go through to plot out a story for the Novel-in-a-Day events each year. If you’re a ‘pantser’ who likes to just wing that thing, then the rest of this post will probably give you a bit of a chuckle. It might also give you an interesting framework to retrospectively apply after you’ve done that first draft to test how strong / focused your tale is. For the rest of us, it’s a helpful way to develop a story from scratch. Continue reading

Marshal Law (NiaD 2015)

September 1867. Marshal Ben Wright is forced to take extreme measures to take back control of Flintwood, AZ, a mining town overrun by rowdy frontiersmen and outlaws in the long shadow of the Civil War.

This book was written as a Novel-in-a-Day on October 17th, 2015. Three versions were produced (one called ‘Blue’, one called ‘Red, and one called ‘Yellow’’) each written in just 24 hours by 22 authors.

 

 

 

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Faster than an infinite monkey

I’m a little bit pleased with myself.

I was sitting at my desk earlier today — trying my best to focus on the work at hand — when the postman arrived with a package.

You might not be aware if you only know me through pigfender.com, but if you’ve been active on the Novel in a Day section of the Scrivener forum then you will probably know that last September I was badgered into promising to rustle up a t-shirt to commemorate our annual writing event. Several people volunteered design concepts, which I dutifully ignored in favour of a slightly obscure reference to the introduction from the original NiaD (back in 2011).

After months spent tinkering with the design, and plenty longer procrastinating over how to get them made, the postman finally arrived today with the very first Novel in a Day t-shirt.

I like it.

I’m wearing it right now.

In fact… I’d be half naked without it.

If you’re interested, you can get one here. It is an excellent way to solve your own partial nudity problems, and has a nice picture of a chimp on it.

PS, you can also buy a mug.

Section7 (NiaD 2014)

She’ll get her story, unless it gets her first…! November 2014, London. When journalist Lerner Jones is recruited by agents from the mysterious MI7, she uncovers a deadly terrorist plot she must risk everything to stop.

This book was written as a Novel-in-a-Day on October 25th, 2014. Two versions were produced (one called ‘Blue’ and one called ‘Red’), each with written in 24 hours by 24 authors.

 

 

 

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What is a genre?

The first decision I have to make when starting the preparations for a Novel In A Day event(A) is about what kind of story I want to tell: The original NiaD (2011’s The Dark) was a cross between a horror and a detective novel; The one after that (2012’s Lunar520) was a science fiction thriller; Last year’s effort (2013’s Made Man) was a mafia tale set in 1962 Las Vegas(B). I’m a big believer that the story comes first and everything else follows from that, but I’m equally conscious that there is a moral obligation on me to make sure each successive NiaD does something different; another gangster tale is (sadly) not an option(C).

Which got me thinking: Do I know what different genres there are out there? Do I even know what a genre is?  Continue reading

How to write a novel in a day

A few days ago I wrote a novel in a day. A whole novel, in a single day.

I say “I”, but it’s only fair to point out that I had some help. Twenty-five of us got together and – over the course of twenty-four hours – produced “Made Man”, a 55,000 word tale of mafia life in 1960s Las Vegas.

You can read more about the Novel in a Day (NIAD) premise elsewhere on the site, but for anyone coming here new the basic concept was this: Someone would come up with the overarching story in advance, and break it up into individual chapters. On the day of the event, those chapter briefs would be emailed out to the participants who had the 24 hours to write their section and return it for inclusion in the final piece. An hour or so later, electronic copies of the book (PDF, ePub and mobi) were posted online for everyone to read. Other than their own brief, the participants had no idea what happened in the wider story, or where their chapter fell in the book… until they read the finished piece, of course. Continue reading