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Exit interview: Marilyn Anne Campbell

Marilyn Anne Campbell is no stranger to writing marathons, but she took on the challenge of 3-Day Novel Contest for the first time in 2013. Did her test-run the weekend before give her an advantage? Read our exit interview with her.

So, how did it go (seriously)?
Pretty good! I succeeded in getting a full version of the novel done, and I really like the story I've got. But it’s shorter than I was hoping for, and could still use a LOT of work. That said, my main goal was always to complete a first draft of a story I’m excited about telling. As far as that goes, the weekend was perfect. Also, I was reminded that I have many wonderfully supportive people in my life, which is always nice.

What surprised you the most about the weekend?
Even though I knew logically that three days was no time at all, I didn't feel a sense of urgency until the afternoon of day two. In that first half I kept trying to tell myself to work faster, but I’d easily slip back into fact-checking and rereading and editing and rewriting—things I did NOT have time for.

What story did you end up with? 
I don’t want to get too specific at this point but yes, I did go with my original plan, which involves 17th century pirates, among other things. It’s very much the story I wanted to tell, except it’s not the WHOLE story I wanted to tell. I had to rush through some parts to get it done, but the skeleton is definitely there.

If you could go back in time and tell yourself something before starting, what would it be?
Hour one matters as much as hour seventy-two. Act accordingly.

Any advice for those doing it next year? 
I should probably say something like "don’t choose a story that requires heavy research,” as that’s what really slowed me down. But honestly, I think the most important thing is to pick the story you’re most passionate about telling. You’re going to be living and breathing it for three days straight—make sure you’re in love.

Check out how Marilyn's weekend unfolded on Twitter:


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