Novel-in-a-Day (NIAD)... Day

Hello all,

############## UPDATE ##############

Novel-in-a-Day took place on 15th October and is now over - until next time, at least. Everyone that took part had a lot of fun, and for myself, it was liberating to be given a précis and have to sit down and get on with the nuts and bolts of writing for a day, knowing that if I didn’t get it done I’d be letting everyone else down. Liberating, because I have a tendency to fear the blank page and spend all my time arsing around with plans and notes and not getting on with the important part - the writing. I’m sure I’m not alone in that, so on behalf of myself and everyone else who took part, I would like to say thank you to Rog (Pigfender) for organising this event: thanks Pigfender! I know everyone really appreciates all the hard work you put into this.

And if you missed out: well, I’m sure we’ll be doing this again at some point, because it was a great success (although I’m sure none of us makes any great claims about the literary quality of our hasty prose).

The resulting novel is now available below. If you’re coming to this new, please bear in mind that this was written by twenty-four different authors in twenty-four hours. Pigfender wrote an overarching plot and sent each author a summary of their section, along with relevant character sheets, in the early hours of 15th October. Each author then had to complete their section by midnight with no idea what was going on in the rest of the book (technically there was an 8pm deadline, but for many, including myself, that just made the whooshing sound that Douglas Adams used to so love).

The Dark - A Novel in 24 Hours by 24 Authors

The Dark - PDF Format

The Dark - ePub Format

The Dark - Kindle Format

All of the above files were compiled from the Mac version of Scrivener. For those who would like to see how they were created, I have also uploaded the Scrivener project and compile formats that were used to generate these files. Please note that, although the Scrivener project can be opened in either the Mac or Windows versions, the compile format presets are Mac-only.

The Dark - Scrivener Project

The Dark - Mac Compile Presets (E-Book and PDF formats)

(To load the compile format presets in the Mac version, unzip the file, go to Compile in Scrivener, select “Manage Compile Format Presets…” from the bottom of the “Format As…” menu, click on “Import…” in the panel that appears, and choose the two files that were unzipped. This will add two items to the “Format As” menu: “NIAD - The Dark PDF” and “NIAD - The Dark E-book”.)

Thanks again, Rog!

############## ORIGINAL POST ##############

The various sections will then be pulled together and compiled (using Scrivener, of course) by midnight the same day. The finished novel will be made available for download the next day.

Apologies for those based in other timezones. For reasons of organisational efficiency we have had to base everything on Cornwall Standard Time.

The equivalent times in other areas would therefore be:
Portland, Oregon: 5pm, Friday October 14th to 1pm, Saturday October 15th
Sydney, Australia: 10am, Saturday October 15th to 6am, Sunday October 16th,

From a legal point of view, everyone will retain copyright in their own contributions, although will grant others (including L&L) the right to distribute the whole on a free / non-commercial basis. We may also make it available for free download on eBook sites if suitably proud of the output! Everyone contributing will get a credit showing which bit they added (unless they opt out).

The Next Step
If you want to get your writing arm warmed up ready for NaNoWriMo, or you just want the chance to say you’ve written a novel with Keith, simply sign up below.

I’m keener on the idea now than I was when I first read of it. Ah, the inconstancy of the human mind.

So, yes, I’d like to participate. If we end up with less than 50 participants, I’ll do a second section, if necessary. Just please try to ensure that they aren’t contiguous.

I you allow people who haven’t written any published work then yes I would like to join in. However I will fully understand if you only want skilled writers involved.

To all of you stumptown folk out there thinking of pitching in, I’m going to be writing at the Caffé Vita on 29th and NE Alberta on the late-afternoon/evening of the 14th. If you want to drop by and crash the place with a word fest, then show up! If you’ve never been there, it’s a little coffee & tea house toward the end of the east end of the arts district; they have three or four long tables set up with plenty of chairs, so there is always a lot of room to spread out your index cards (literally or digitally) and write to good tunes and roasted beans.

Thanks Keith!

Foxtrot, that’s definitely worth clarifying: you don’t need to be a published author at all, just commited to writing your section to the time limits, confidence in others reading your work without editorial review (!) and willingness to have a bit of fun!

EDITED TO SHOW A LIST OF PARTICIPANTS SO FAR (As of 27/09/11 - 20:58 Cornwall Standard Time):
-jravan (+1)

How about character sketches? Even sketchy ones? Will we have any idea who the characters are supposed to be? Or is that also part of the charm?

Getting a balance between ‘charm’ and chaos is importan!

You will get character and location photos. You will know if you are introducing someone / somewhere. You will get the bare minimum character description required to provide continuity without spoiling the plot or impeded creativity.

I just noticed I used the ambiguous word “sketches” when I should have perhaps used “descriptions.” I would much prefer words to pictures.

I signed up in the other thread, but wanted to reconfirm here. I’m in!

Will participants know the whole plot, or just our pieces of it?


Sounds like fun, you can count me in. I haven’t done anywhere near enough writing since I started working on Aeon Timeline.

Actually, there’s an idea…

Count me in if you guys create a timeline of the plot and character’s history using (the soon to be much prettier and more user-friendly) Aeon Timeline and let me stick it up on my website as an example timeline file!

Might be a good way to distribute some of the information, too.


PS - Alright, alright, I’ll be in anyway, but I have been wanting to get a few examples up when I start selling it, and this might be a good way to get one. You can email me for an advanced copy of the pretty updated version if you want.

PS - Don’t give me the sex scene.

The Aeon Timeline idea is grand… for those Scrivener users on Macs.

We Windows users can only look on in envy.

I’ll get to Windows eventually. Will probably start before the end of the year.

But to keep things on topic… don’t give me a torture scene either.

EDITED TO ASK: Why is BBCode off?

I don’t think we’ve figured that quirk of this forum out yet. Some announcement rated topics do not allow BBEdit for non-mods. It’s weird.

Count me in. I’d prefer a section with more than one character; I’m better with dialogue than with moody introspection.


And yet there are some rules for some… you seem to be able to quote just fine!

EDIT: Oh, would you just look at that!

To keep on topic: please don’t give the section before or after vic-k! I’m just not sure I could match his pace :slight_smile:

Something vaguely similar was done back in 1969: … 1569802629. Reviews of the book commented on the uneven style, and some even suggested that it seemed like it had been written by several different people.

Please add me to the list.

This is a scathingly brilliant idea (lol). Please count me in, this sounds like fun!

Dingo dodging smartarse Matt Wrote:

“please don’t give the section before or after vic-k! I’m just not sure I could match his pace :slight_smile:

Don’t fret y’self Bluey. It’s the kind of endeavour I avoid like the plague. I’d go into shut-down mode, and spend all day staring at the screen.

I was toying with the idea of having a go, provided I could do the, ‘Sadomasochistic, gymnasticated fornication & gratuitous violence’, bit…but even that wouldn’t work, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your sensibility’s degree of delicacy ).
So, sorry, 'snot gonna 'appen