The story of the novel I am writing is about a boy who must complete one crazy task for every year of his life. This is part of a cosmic challenge where he is scored for his progress in each task, and the points accumulated can help him to win cash and prizes. When he gets to his 18th year will have one huge task that he must finally overcome in order to save the universe from total destruction. However, if he dies at any point along the way then he gets to be re-born to try all over again, but he only has 100 lives to attempt this full challenge.
When the novel picks up he is already on his 91st life, and feeling very confident about earning tons of points and eventually overcoming that final difficult task long before hitting that last life.
The main character – Jay – is now on his 98th attempt to complete the incredible insane challenge. He has grown up (again) through 17 years of crazy tasks and is about to start the 18th and final task.
This particular life inside the challenge has been a bit more complicated than the ones in the past. Previously, when he was born again, Jay did not retain any of his memories of the past lives. Only between lives, when he was put into a special Waiting Room, was he conscious of all the hundreds of years he’d spent in the challenge. However, after discovering that the Authority responsible for this game have rigged it so that he will always lose, he decided to use a special meditation technique to bring his full consciousness into the challenge for the first time.
Then with all of his accumulated memories and skills, he had only one goal: ignore all the yearly tasks and just stay alive in order to make it to his last year and finally go all the way through the most difficult task of them all – “Protect the door from your enemies.” During this task, he will be under constant attack from evil enemies that he must fight off without any break or rest for a full year.
Yet, as he just hides out and ignores the yearly tasks, the world is in constant turmoil. Only through the coaxing of Timmy, his best friend from a pervious life in the challenge who miraculously appeared in this life, was Jay convinced that completing all the tasks was necessary to make the world a better place and eventually worth saving – all thanks to friendship.
Unfortunately, Timmy has been in a coma after he was possessed by a demon during the 13th task. However, Jay moved on without his friend but Timmy’s influence had made him a better person who was no longer concerned with just the rules and achievements of the challenge. And thus this is when he fell in love with Nancy, the nerdy girl who he was tasked with turning into the prom queen during his 14th year. Jay now felt there was something worth living for after the challenge, and he would fight with more passion than ever to save the universe – all thanks to love.
And now January 1st has come, his 18th year is about to begin and he is more ready than ever to finally overcome this incredible, insane challenge.
While writing this novel I let the world in on my process with my Live Novel-ing concept. I was willing to show anyone who was interested the steps I was taking everyday as I crafted each individual short story. I started by freewriting for 30 minutes, then revising that mass of words into a more coherent one-page, three-paragraph short story, and finally editing that story into something a bit more polished. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a consistent and regular writing practice that put the joy of writing back into my life.
And now I really only have one part left to write.
My main character must attempt that final task, the most difficult one of them all: “Protect the door from your enemies.”
During this task he will be constantly under attack, without any break or rest for one full year. If he does not finally protect the door then the world will be destroyed.
For this part of the story, I’m going to break from the one-page format in order to capture the relentlessness of this task. And to do this I’m going to attempt my own incredible insane challenge – freewriting for 12 straight hours.
I’ve set up a few ground rules for myself though:
–for every hour of writing I will take a 5 minute break (therefore it will take 13 hours to finish)
-should not stop typing for more than 25 seconds
-must produce a minimum 2,000 words per hour
Just like the boy in the story, I’ve been practicing for this moment, and I think I can come close to pulling it off. I’m sure much of it will be wacky rambling at a certain point, but hey, it’s just freewriting!
Task #18: Protect the door from your enemies.
10 Hours Down – 2 Hours to go!
I’m zoning out a bit as I’m writing this, in freewriting haze, on my 5 minute break between 1 hour sessions, 10 hours deep into my 12 hour goal, and feeling like the last 2 hours really are possible.
My eyes are sore, my forearms are killing me… but I’m going to do it!
Yes… I actually finished it off… I followed through on my plan and completed the last chapter of my Live Novel-ing project… live!
I started at 11am Korean time and ended at 12:12am later that day/night – 12 full hours of freewriting with a 5 minute break in between (and a few minor technical glitches, interruptions here and there), for a total of 13 hours and 12 minutes.
In that time I wrote 147 pages (using a 24 point font) and 25,517 words.
Physically, I was okay… my arms were killing me after the first 3 hours but the rest of the way it was okay. I guess my eyes were the worst considering all that time in front of my massive iMac screen, but in the end even they were okay.
Mentally, it was definitely an odd feeling and I could have swore time was moving backwards during that final 30 minutes, but I had a solid plan going in stuck with it most of the way so I don’t think I run out of ideas or repeated too much. After it was over you’d think I’d have been exhausted but I was totally wired! Definitely an experience I think I can… and will… do again!
Once I revise all that down to probably more like 10,000 words, I’ll have a really solid first draft of a totally kick ass novel! Dr. Loser feels like a loser no more… and yet I love the title of this blog? Eh… I’m keeping it… call me crazy (just not Dr. Crazy)!