Nonetheless, I hopped onto twitter following the #3daynovel tag and looked through what other participants had accomplished. Clearly, just by doing this I had relinquished the reigns of my brain functions from "rational reason" and let "emotional impulse" be in control for a little while.
I don't want to throw down the stereotype card and say "it's a girl thing", but I will fully admit that it's a me thing. I do this. And it never ends well.
Now, the fact that the whole day after the contest I felt like I had been hit by a bus, probably didn't help either. I think that "rational reason" was struck trying to boot up from a system that still ran off of Windows Vista... and in its absence, "emotional impulse" just steps in before the whole place has a nuclear meltdown while left unattended... and then proceeds to put the whole system into nuclear meltdown standby in a matter of minutes anyways, so all in all it's a very faulty system and I should probably get it upgraded or refunded, but then I wouldn't be the lovable me who walks into walls and is determined that every conversation should be riddled with obscure quotes that no one else really follows...
Other Person: I'm aware
Me: "I thought you said your name was Victor."
Other Person (who incidentally is NOT named Victor): ????
...Good Burger, in case you were wondering...
If you recall, I did over 43,000 words, and I had to rush through what probably should have been at least the last 10,000 words in the final 15 minutes so it ended up being just a few sentences per scene that I had to cram in there. But, nonetheless, I did it. It's pretty much garbage at the end, but it's there - sort of. And yet, despite the quality that was produced, I was, and still am, pretty freaking proud that I pulled all of that off in just 3 days.
So there I am, scrolling through the twitter results, and there are the cries of victories. And, of course, I am happy for them! We just did something that shouldn't be humanly possible! We are superheroes with obscure/useless powers, but they are superpowers nonetheless, damn it! (That last part was the Hugh Jackman Van Helsing in case you were wondering, if you could hear me, I said it in a very specific voice - and yes, sometimes I do say what I write aloud - which I didn't notice so much before this 3 day sprint, but holy hell do I mutter a lot when I write!)
But there is one reoccurring theme among my fellow victors that I just can't get over. How many of them had time to go back over their whole story to revise before submitting. I barely finished my story, let alone got a chance to read it over! How in the bloody hell does someone write 50,000 words in a weekend, reread it, and edit it, all within 3 days?!?!!?!
At this point I feel very out of my league. My accomplishment is nothing. I probably shouldn't even have submitted it for entry. I do not have superpowers - even useless ones...
So I follow up with some of these godly accomplishments...
At first I read it as they just wrote 20,000 words in the 3rd day, which makes total sense because if your minimum novel is 50,000, then 20,000 words per day over three days is a great 60,000 word novel! But that still doesn't answer how the hell they can manage 20,000 words per day and still have time to reread and edit!
Then it hits me.
They didn't write 20,000 words per day! They wrote 20,000 words TOTAL!
And then this is where S#*% gets real...
IN WHAT F***ING UNIVERSE IS 20,000 WORDS A F***ING NOVEL!!!! *table flip* *rage quit* *Hulk smash!*
Luckily I'm pretty much a bottler, so rage brain didn't venture out into the twitterverse, thank god! because I would not want live with a permanent reminder of how rage brain rages. Now is okay, because rational me is in the operation booth again, so we can look back safely at the rage brain meltdown that happened when happy, light and fluffy emotional impulse noticed a small crack in the system. Besides, since I'm not screaming at anyone, in person or at a computer screen, I can acknowledge that I do have a point.
I in no way mean to belittle the accomplishment of anyone who pulled off 20,000 words or fewer. You wrote, and that's all that matters. But I'm kind of a stickler for following the rules, and I take the written word pretty darn seriously, so when it says "3 Day Novel", I associate 50,000+ words, or else it would be the 3 Day Novella Contest, or the 3 Day Novellette Contest, or even the 3 Day Story of Any Length Contest. But, it specifically says "Novel" on everything, and so, "Novel" is what I went for.
Why did this bother me so much? Well, just days before the contest began, I started spontaneously developing another older idea I've had floating along with me in my mental Rolodex, and I pushed it aside because I knew that the story wouldn't be rich enough to get me to 50,000 words. I rejected a shorter story because it would not be a NOVEL.
Understand the rage quit now? Had I gone with that idea instead, I too probably could have finished it, reread it, and submitted it with some knowledge that I must have caught at least a few typos and missing words.
Live and learn.
But knowing me, I probably still wouldn't have used that idea. I challenged myself to write a novel, and a novel is 50,000+ words. I wouldn't have accepted any less from myself. And while I know that 43,000 is not 50,000, I know for a fact that when I get my hands back on it and fix it up, Among Beasts will be well beyond 50,000!
The lesson here: I'm petty and pretentious. Sorry. Apparently that's my superpower.