In 2006 I participated in the 3-Day Novel Contest, and to my surprise, I actually wrote and finished Winter Kills in the three days, a prequel to the Crusader series I was writing at the time. I was floored that I had completed the book in only three days, and amazed at how good it turned out.
So, in 2007 I decided to give the contest another go-round. This time, I wanted to write a neat little mystery featuring the drivers of a quirky taxi company: Taxi Adventure. I sketched out the preliminary details ahead of time, then blasted into the work at midnight on the Friday beginning Labor Day Weekend. I kicked off the story with driver Horacio “Race” Rivera picking up a quirky fare, and jumped from scene to scene bringing more drivers and subplots into the story.
I tried to stay positive, but by Saturday evening it was clear that the story was bigger than I had imagined, and by Sunday it was obvious that I was looking at a full-length novel, and my chances for finishing that by Monday were non-existent.
After the contest, I put the book aside for a time while I focused on completing the Jack Trexlor books. Later, when I joined a writing group, I used Taxi Adventure as my group project. I managed to work out the details of the subplots and thread the narrative together, but I also tried to appease all my reader feedback. I revised and reimagined the beginning several times, and the work got out of control. It was a nearly hopeless tangle, and I still didn’t even have a single complete draft.
Frankly, I started to wonder if I would ever get it sorted out.
But, in time, I found focus and the writings of Dean Wesley Smith.
A while later, I rolled up my sleeves and I finished it. It would have saved me a lot of trouble if I’d listened to Dean Wesley Smith first, but in 2007 I was still several years from learning of him. I’m happy with how it turned out, but not with how long it took. Even now, my brain still usually remembers it as a project on the back burner, not one that’s been finished.
Today, because of a leftover quirk in my promotions setup, you can get the book that took me years to finish for FREE at Amazon. And no, it won’t hurt my feelings if you get it for free. It hurts my feelings if you don’t read it.
So enjoy, and tell your friends.